Coach Kyle Shanahan: "We should’ve put them away earlier than that"

Kyle Shanahan provides injury updates and a final review of Sunday's win.

Glad to have LB Reuben Foster back in the fold now?

Yep. Hope to get him back here.

Do you go out on the field at all on Mondays?

No, we dont go out. We just had them in the meetings. Well see him full-go on Wednesday.

What will you guys do as far as, did you have to make a roster move today?

No, we dont. I think we get two days once he gets here to do that. We have to do it at the end of the week.

Would you approach this like hes been here practicing all along? Do you just throw him back in?

Yeah, we plan on it. Well discuss more of that tonight. Weve kind of just been finishing up all this game stuff now. Well see how he is in practice on Wednesday. Well see how the week goes. Hes only been gone two weeks. I know hes been working hard while hes been away, so I plan on him being in there pretty fast.

What stuck out to you when you re-watched the fourth quarter?

When you get a lead like that in the fourth quarter, what was it, 30-13, I was just telling our guys some things are out of your control, but usually when you get into that type of lead you can control the outcome of the game, and we allowed them to get back into it where it wasnt in our hands. You cant allow that to happen. We shouldve put them away earlier than that and we didnt.

After the game, you mentioned to the team that the passing game needs to be better, can be better. What have you seen from the passing game?

Similar to what I said last night. We didnt get enough production in that. I think you can see that on third down especially. The six sacks that we had, obviously we ran the ball very well, but in the pass game they played a lot of man coverage and I dont think we did a good job beating it and attacking it and getting the results.

Last season, WR Trent Taylor was a real integral player for you on third down and beat a lot of man coverage. What did you see from him? He only had two targets, no catches.

The same thing that I think all our guys struggled at yesterday. I thought [WR] Pierre [Garçon] did the best beating the man coverage. They played very, very tight man coverage, aggressive coverage, holding them a lot, which is part of the game because rarely does that stuff get called. Youve got to see how it is going to plan early in the game and then you see theyre going to let them do it, so youve got to get used to it. I thought Pierre did the best one beating holding.

How tempting was it for you guys to pursue New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon and see if there could be a fit here for him?

Anytime a good player becomes available on the open market, you look into all that stuff. By no means is it something you ever would get desperate for. Like I said last night, we feel very good about the guys on our team. Thats something that we looked into and obviously went a different way.

Was the price too high for you guys?

Yeah, Im not going to get into exactly what. But, I think they did more than we did.

How did WR Dante Pettis do on the press coverage, the one-on-one stuff?

I dont think anyone did a great job, like I said. Hes got to get used to that. They definitely let them get away with a lot more in the NFL than in college. Dante was fighting some things in the game, too. He needs to get better at it.

Can you, as the offensive coordinator, scheme your way out of those situations to give them a little bit more leeway off the line?

Yeah, definitely. Thats something we could have done a better job on. Its something that we work real hard on. Thats why we move guys around a lot. Thats why weve got a lot of stacked releases. Thats why weve got certain types of plays that we do. Didnt do a good enough job of it yesterday.

What impressed you the most about the way RB Matt Breida was running when he hit those lanes?

Just not hesitating. There were a few runs that we felt we had a chance going into the game to hit. When we did get those, there was zero hesitation. He hit them. The way you have days like that is when you get those opportunities and you turn them into home runs. He got that one in particular. There was a number of other explosives he got. He had some good looks and then he made them into some really good looks with what he did after.

Would you like to get him more opportunities moving forward?

Id like to get everyone more opportunities. Well see how the games go, always. Usually the better youre playing, the more runs you get. The better you do on third down, the more you control the ball. Id love to get 50 carries in a game here, but we have to get after someone to do that.

Do you have a sense whether S Jaquiski Tartt will be able to go this week?

I dont right now. Hes day-to-day. Hes got his shoulder stinger deal. So, well see how that responds throughout the week. I know he was dealing with it last week, also. Just real happy how he fought and played through that game, though. I know he made it almost through it, right there to the end. Well see how he responds this week.

After watching the tape, you mentioned guys not being able to separate from coverage, but what does QB Jimmy Garoppolo need to improve upon in those scenarios to avoid those sacks?

Just when he doesnt have much, just getting rid of it. He definitely couldnt have done that on all of them. It was definitely a group effort. I thought there was a couple he had a chance to get rid of it. You wait on a guy in man coverage and if you wait on them and they dont win or they get tackled, sometimes youve got to get rid of it. You cant just stay and look at him. Or youve got to get off of him early when you see theyre not winning. Anticipate that theyre not going to win because its not looking good early and progress to number two. But, once you stay there, youve got to let it go and hopefully if they dont win, you dont take the sack. Jimmy might have had an opportunity on a couple of those, but definitely not on all six. They did a good job covering and a good job getting to us when he did hold onto it because of that.

I know you were asked this last night, but now that hes a full-time starting quarterback, he threw three interceptions Week 1, do you think there is any carryover and is that sort of a new type of challenge week-to-week that he has as a full-time starting quarterback?

Yeah. I think thats something hell go through throughout this year. Well go through it with him and well learn as we go. You feel that. I can feel that to a degree after a game when you end up having six sacks like that. You go back and watch the tape. I think every one of them was versus man coverage. Its not that hes scared to let it rip in the zones and stuff, just wait on someone to beat a guy and it wasnt happening fast enough. We couldnt get those guys off of us for a while. Thats how they were calling the game. Thats some of the stuff youve just got to deal with. Theres certain things that we can do to help him out that well do a better job of that next week.

That last one, was he coached to take that sack?

The last one, definitely. Thats something you say in the headset. Hey, a sack here is better than an incompletion because you want the clock to run.

So you reminded him of that?


Is there any question whether CB Ahkello Witherspoon will start on Sunday?

Well see how this week goes. I mean, he was in and out towards the end of the game. I dont know exactly how hes feeling yet. Well see on Wednesday, but well see how practice goes this week for him.

He came out obviously during that tough stretch for him. He had penalties, he missed a tackle. That was just an injury thing or was it more of a performance thing--?

No. We felt other people at that time gave us the best chance. Yeah, that was crunch time. Theyre going against a real good offense there. [Detroit Lions QB Matthew] Staffords got a great chance to get them back in the game with how good he is. Just watching the game right there, we felt giving [DB] Jimmie [Ward] in helped us.

On the five-yard touchdown to Detroit Lions WR Marvin Jones, he was playing with like four yards of separation. Is that what hes supposed to be doing there at the goal line?

Are you talking about the first one?


The one that scored from like 20 yards out? The play action?

No, the five-yarder on the slant. He was in the slot.

Oh, yeah. Weve got a three-man rush on that, so theres a number of people you can double on the play. It has to do with how they come out, whether theyre in three by one or two by two. Theres a lot of options on there. They were playing man coverage and hes expecting some help. Didnt get the help. There was some confusion from the guys.

Im not trying to get you into trouble by any means, but when youre going tempo like you did yesterday and you did in Week 1, it seems like theres a couple of times yesterday where the officials werent spotting the ball or there was something off in the timing of that. What is the reasonable expectation that youre supposed to have when they spot the ball?

When we dont sub, were supposed to go as fast as possible and there were two times in particular, one time that they thought we subbed because [RB Alfred Morris] Alf ran half way off and then realized that we wanted him in still so he came back on. So, they thought that was a sub which I totally understand because he started to go off so they made us wait for that. But, the one on the one-yard line, he said he needed to get to a position to do his job to ref. We didnt give him enough time. So, hes got to get faster.

The run game was utilized a lot more efficiently in Week 2. What can you attribute to that improvement in production between Morris and Breida?

We hit some long ones. We had some lanes. Usually you do better on third down, you stay on the field longer and you get more runs. That wasnt the case here. We didnt do very well on third down. We thought going into the game that wed have a good chance to run the ball. We thought theyd play a little bit more pass and those guys took advantage of their opportunities. I thought the O-Line blocked well and so did the receivers. Everyone did, all 11 guys really committed to that run game. The backs did more than what the holes gave, too.

Where has Breida improved most in year two?

I think just his confidence. Hes keeping his feet. He had a couple of chances last year because he can hit a home run. Hes got the speed to do it. Hes got the cutting ability to do it. He had a couple chances last year. I remember the Indy game in particular where his feet just got caught up, was one small trip away where it was very close. He hadnt gotten that look this year yet in a game. Going into the second game, the first time he got it, he hit it and didnt stumble on anyone. He reversed the field, followed all of his blocks and made a hell of a play which not many people can do.

Have you decided on LB Fred Warner, whether hell continue to start?

No, we havent decided yet. Weve got to see exactly where Reubens at. Weve got to see where [LB] Malcolms [Smith] at too. Weve got to see our whole group because its been pretty fluid here these two weeks.

As far as what you said earlier, did you say that the one receiver who seemed to do the best on press coverage was Pierre?

It wasnt just press coverage, its beating holding. Pierre is a hard guy to hold. Hes angry, hes physical and he runs through it.

I was just going to ask, is that a function of strength or being a veteran?

I think its a function of his strength and his veteran-ness and his attitude and his mindset and just a lot of things.

You talked about his stiff arm. He reached back and stiff armed a guy. He said that was probably a mistake. Have you seen Pierre do that before?

Yeah, there comes a time where Pierre is looking for contact and thats what hes trying to do. Thats why we love him. I should have gone to him more in the game. My favorite sequence of plays in the game is three in a row, we ran an outside zone to the left, I think we got like 18 on it, and then we ran the same outside zone to the right. Thats when Breida went to the house. Pierre turned into the fullback on the play, led block the whole way, and you could see him going crazy at the end of it, how excited he was for his blocking. So, then we did the next play which was a pass to him and that was the one where he was just trying to hit people after he caught it. So, you knew what kind of mood he was in which is one that helps you win.

Did you do any team film breakdown?

Today, no. Today showed more of some of the good plays by guys. We talked a lot about some of the issues that we talked about last night in the locker room. Just reading some of the guys comments after the game, I think those guys had a very strong idea of what almost happened that shouldnt have happened. I think the guys were pretty good today with that and we kind of handled that all in our rooms individually.

What was the one play that you broke down?

I showed a number of the good plays. I showed some of the positive stuff. That stuff just at the end was just how weve got to finish there. Offense has got to stay on the field and move the chains. We cant make mistakes. We have to keep our defense off of the field. When you give it back to Stafford and someone like that, now youre going to start depending on people to make the right or wrong calls. Youre going to put a quarterback in a situation like that whos usually going to be very good and then youve got to hope guys have a couple of drops and things like that. We were fortunate. That happens to both sides and we know that, but we also know it shouldnt have gotten to that point.

Since the season started, has Jimmie Ward only seen reps at cornerback?

No, he got reps at safety in practice last week. He gets reps at nickel, reps at dime and reps at corner, so all of the secondary spots.

So, if Tartt has to miss time this week during practice, is Ward going to be your backup?

Hes a possibility. Weve got a number of guys that can do it. It depends where were using him that week. But, he had to take some reps in practice last week for that.

There was a play I think in the second corner, Marvin Jones was deep and Stafford overthrew him and LB Elijah Lee was covering him. Was that a missed coverage?

No, thats just how everyone whos in our system plays cover three. Youll see it throughout the league. The backside deep third corner was taken on an out route and when the play extends for a while, thats a linebacker in a hook zone whos got to carry a guy across the field. But, youll see it a number of times happen. Watch [Los Angeles Chargers] San Diego, Atlanta, Seattle, Jacksonville. Its just part of the system. Dallas, Indy, lots of guys do it.

Youve obviously seen Pierre catch a lot of passes and make a lot of good plays. Where does the blocking, when you think of Pierre Garcon, is that one of the better offensive plays that youve ever seen?

It is. He does that a lot. That one was cool because its just him and the defender and Breida in the picture for 25 yards. So, it was a long 25. I couldnt figure out what was going to happen. I was waiting for someone to trip on each other, but it just stayed that way the whole way which was impressive. But, P does that stuff a lot. Not everyone gets to see it because its not as easy to see there. But, he is always working on that backside. Hes always trying to get involved and trying to always find a way to hit someone.

What was your reaction when you saw Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes threw six touchdown passes yesterday and did you want to go see the highlights?

Yeah, and I havent seen them yet. Without seeing them yet, I know theyve got a lot of speed there. I know theyve got as good of a tight end as anyone. And, I know how strong the quarterbacks arm is. Its something that we need to end this as soon as possible so that I can go to work on it.

What does DL Solomon Thomas need to do to get more playing time?

Just keep going like he did yesterday. I thought he showed up a lot yesterday. I thought he was playing hard in pursuit and stuff. I thought he showed up at the quarterback a couple of times. I thought he came out as a stack monster, just throwing the ball down the field. He turned and ran to the ball a lot. I noticed him a lot with energy, just feeling him on the field. I thought he had a better game than he did a week before and I expect that to continue throughout the year.

Is it just a function right now where you think DL Arik Armstead is a better interior guy on those key third downs?

Yeah and its also whos a better outside guy, too. We think all three of them excel on the inside, but we also have to mix them up and put them on the outside more. So, sometimes we do Solomon there, sometimes we do Armstead. As weve said before, [DL DeForest Buckner] Bucks always an option, too. But, that depends on the five O-Linemen were going against and who we think the best matchups are in third down situations.