Coach Kyle Shanahan Recaps 49ers First Win of the Season

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference – September 16, 2018, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions

Can you talk about the interception that was called back. What was your thinking on the play call and what did QB Jimmy Garoppolo say when he came back to the sideline?

Didnt have time to talk to him about it because we stayed out there. It was a man-zone read. We got a man look. A receiver was supposed to do something to help out [RB Matt] Breida right there. He didnt. trying to go inside, make them play over the top. We got the wrong route from a receiver. Obviously, weve got to see that and still try not to throw it though.

How big of a sigh of relieve is it when theres a penalty there and that gets called back?

Its huge. Its real big. Its better than the feeling I had the series before when I thought we didnt get one. Nothing goes perfect. I was very upset the period before when I thought [WR] Pierre [Garçon] got it and they didnt call it, but I would definitely take that one over that. So, I was happier.

What did you see on all the sacks that Jimmy took today?

I thought he took too many. Weve got to get open. Weve got to beat man coverage, thats for sure. I thought we could have done a better job today beating man coverage, but on a number of those I thought we had to get rid of it. Ill see when I see the tape on all of them, but those ones in the red zone especially, youd like to give a guy an opportunity and if he doesnt beat man, weve got to get rid of the ball.

Did you have a sense that you let them off the hook a bit as a team, that you had a chance to put them away but didnt--?

Yes, definitely. A win is a win. Im extremely excited about that and were all happy, but it was extremely frustrating there at the end. I thought we had a chance to completely finish them and put it away, especially when the defense got us that ball back. We got the first first-down on the, I believe, it was the drift to Pierre. But, that was disappointing. You want to finish it that way, so by no means was it perfect, but we found a fit way to win, which Im very excited about. Well enjoy this the rest of the night, but when we come in tomorrow we still have work to do and we still have a lot of ways we can improve.

Can you talk about what you saw from Matt Breida today, specifically that big run he had in the third quarter?

I saw him running very hard. I saw our O-Line blocking very hard. When they gave him space, he hit it with no hesitation. He did a good job when he did get into the secondary not sitting and breaking down and thinking about making too many moves. He just hit it hard as can be and probably got about 60-yards and Pierre did an awesome job on the backside. I always tell him he turns into a fullback at the end of the play, because he ends up being the lead blocker to get us in, which was real nice.

After that touchdown, I think Breida only got one more carry. I think it was RB Alfred Morris the rest of the way. Whats the thinking there?

I think a lot had to do with, we ran most of it there at the end of the game. When you get into a four-minute drill and youre trying to run the clock out, we needed about two first-downs to end it, I believe it was, you want to get a bigger guy in there just a little bit better with the arm tackles.

Was CB Akhello Witherspoon healthy at the end of the game, you just wanted to give him a mental break?

No, we took him out to get him out for a play. He was questionable all week with just how he was practicing, having some stuff bothering him going into the game. Thats no excuses or anything. If youre out there youve got to play well and just saw him hobbling a little bit, so got someone else in there.

Youre looking at a million things, could you help noticing that QB Matthew Stafford threw left like 20 out of 21 times there at the end. He wasnt even looking at RB Richard Shermans side. Does that register or what does that mean to a defense when a quarterback isnt even looking to his right?

A lot of it has to do with whether were playing man or zone and usually you have your single receiver over there. A lot of it has to do with - the ball was on the left hash sometimes when youre in a three-by-one. When the ball is on the left hash and its man, that guys going to be alone all day. I saw a number of times like that. Youre right I cant look up all day, so Im not sure how many times it happened. I think the way Richard has been playing in these two games, I think its pretty smart of them to not go at him that much.

You mentioned your displeasure, obviously, seeing Jimmy get sacked four or five times. What do you want him to do there as far as, because obviously, it seems like hes sticking around trying to extend the paly, do you want him to get that ball out sooner--?

Theres a fine line with that and Ill watch the tape tonight and tomorrow, but Im not saying its just him. Guys can beat man coverage faster and make that a lot easier. I can call some better plays to help guys having an easier job getting open and when they arent we can make some tighter throws or we can block a little bit longer to give him a chance to look at it longer. I know we took too many sacks. By no means are all those on the quarterback, but when you do go against man, which they only play in the redzone and weve got some stuff going, weve got to do everything we can to avoid those sacks.

Do you feel he overcorrected a little bit from last week and tried to not throw interceptions?

I hope not. You guys can ask him that. It didnt seem like that to me, but I hope not.

You had some success in the redzone today. Do you feel like there can be some momentum to that, does it sort of get a weight off peoples shoulders?

Not really. If I spend all week reading everything and then Id worry about the weight on our shoulders, but I thought we did some good things in the redzone. I thought we were better in the redzone last week than we were this week. The results werent or the percentage, I dont think. This week, I was more disappointed in it. I thought we could have done a better job, unfortunately. I thought we ran the ball very well down there. Better than last week, but we didnt throw it very well.

Thats your first win of the year and thats when you havent won any, even though its the second game, must be something?

It definitely feels good. I havent been a head coach for very long and it took me a while last year to get a win. I wish it was last week, but Im very happy that it at least came this week. That was a tough wait last year. I do think that thats something that gets the monkey off everyones back a little bit. Not me in particular, just the whole organization, the whole team. I was real happy for the guys there. I thought our defense played their butts off there. I thought our special teams made some huge plays. [DB] D.J. Reed Jr., just the skill he had and the will, he was trying to do everything he could to get in the endzone there. It allowed us to score, I think, the next play or a play later. Then I thought we ran the heck out of the ball. We struggled a little bit in the pass game. Thats receivers, tight ends, backs, quarterbacks, myself, but I was really happy that we found a way to win. Especially when we didnt play as good as we could have there at the end. Didnt get discouraged and our defense got us off the field at the end.

Why did you rotate Witherspoon and DB Jimmie Ward. Was that just a fatigue thing?

I believe so. I know, like I said with Akhello, going into the game we knew we had to watch him with some stuff he was fighting through and Im not in that all the time. So, Im not exactly sure what had happened, but Im not surprised that it did happen during the game. We thought thered be a chance of that going in.

Can you talk a little bit about what RB Raheem Mostert brings to special teams?

Yeah, Raheem is playing at such a high level. He started with that last year. I think he was one of the better special teams players in the league last year and he has started off continuing that this year. The plays he made last week in Minnesota at gunner, even when hes doubled, he still makes plays. Every time I looked up today he seemed to be making plays too. He does a hell of a job for us in special teams and theres going to come a time this year, where were going to really need him on offense also.

Are you interested in pursuing former Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon or are you good with what youve got at receiver?

Im content with our whole team. I love our whole team and the guys that we have. I always feel, since camp ended and we got our 53, we can win with the people we have. But, anytime a player is available, which I dont know if he is or not. I dont know whats happened to do. If he isnt, Im not allowed to comment. But, my same answer for always, we will look into every situation to always try to upgrade our team no matter what the case is, but to answer your question, am I happy with what we have, of course I am

Missed tackles. Can you talk about how youll address that this week?

Yeah, we addressed a lot of it last week too. I thought we had some missed tackles versus Minnesota. I looked up a couple times today and saw a few of them also. You give credit to them because theyve got some good runners when they get the ball in their hands, but thats something we have to do a better job of. To me, youre not going to do a bunch of tackling drills in practice. Thats not very smart. Youve got to do it on gameday, but to me, when youre struggling at tackling it means you need 11 guys swarming to the ball. So, you dont put single guys in space by themself and the faster you can get more people there the less pressure you put on one guy.

When youre looking at Richard just from last game, are you thinking thats the same guy youve gone against? Is he right there?

Yeah, thats what I see. Weve seen it in practice too. I know its been a gradual deal for him getting back, but Richard is a smart player. Knows very well how to play in the scheme. Knows when to be smart and stay on top and let cover-three work for him and he knows when to be aggressive and use his length to jam at the line. Really happy to have him on our team. Not just because of how hes been playing so far, but how hes been as a person in our building.

Did you get a good look at the holding call on TE George Kittle and if so, I assume you thought it was the appropriate call?

Yeah, I did not get a good look at it. Youre talking about the one on the pick-six?

Yeah.

No, I wasnt even sure which one they called it on. I was looking at the other side. But, of course it was a good call.

Did you see one on the other side too?

No, I was watching the other side where Breida was and watching out X and [WR Dante] Pettis.

Was S Jaquiski Tartt the only injury that you guys had?

I know we had some guys banged up who went in and out of the game. I know Pettis was battling through stuff throughout that whole game. I know Tartt there at the end, he didnt return and I believe that was it.

OL Mike Person didnt look like he was 100 percent, I mean do you give him credit for--?

I give him a ton of credit. He was kind of out of sight, out of mind all week because we didnt think he would be able to. He came out on Friday and did enough that warranted us to work him out before the game and he worked out this morning on our practice field for our line coaches. He was adamant he was going to play all week. We kind of just smiled at him, but the way he looked today when we worked him out, he was and he battled his tail off. Ive got a lot of respect for that guy.

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