Kyle Shanahan: "I've got a lot of respect for (QB) Jared Goff."

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan looks on against the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium on Oct 21.Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan Conference Call with Los Angeles Media

(On what it's like to inspire his team to play as hard as they have these last two weeks despite being eliminated from the playoffs)

"We've got a good group of guys. We've got a good building. We're all still going the same direction. We've been disappointed in our year, but we also know this isn’t ending for us. We're trying to build something and trying to turn this place around. We've got a lot of guys in here who want to be a part of that – players, coaches, personnel guys. So, even though this year's coming to an end for us, we know it has a lot to do with next year and guys are trying to prove they want to be a part of that."

(On what it's like to be the team going against DT Aaron Donald who is pursuing the all-time single season sack record)

"The same as it is going against him every single time because he's that good. He's a tough player regardless of what he's playing for. He's got a chance to sack you on every single play regardless. I know he'll be going hard and going for that record, but I also know that guy goes hard every single week, every single day. So, he's a player we've got a ton of respect for and we know he is hard any time you've got to go against him."

(On his impressions of QB Jared Goff from the first time he saw him this season to how he's playing now)

"Well, I've got a lot of respect for (QB) Jared Goff. I think he's having as good a year as anyone in the league. He was lights out when we played him earlier this year and he's been very good since. I know he hit a rough patch going against some pretty good defenses, which I don't think people always give enough credit for some of those defenses, whether it's at (Philadelphia Eagles) 'Philly' or especially the one in Chicago (Bears). He obviously struggled in some of those, but every quarterback has this year. I think Goff's been playing at a high level and he's one of the reasons that they're doing so well."

(On what's been his experience having a quarterback that goes through a stretch of struggles and how does he work with quarterbacks to help them get through that)

"You try to put them in the best situations to be successful and some weeks are harder than others. When you go against one of the best defenses in the league and you don't have a lot of success, you can't overreact and start to make up a bunch of stuff. They struggled verse Chicago and so has everyone on the planet this year. Obviously, guys can do better, so you talk about that stuff and you try to figure out what they could've done better and you try to give them the best gameplan possible the next week to help get their confidence back. I don't care how good of a quarterback you play with, how good of an offense you have, how good of a team, you're going to go through weeks where you don't play your best. When you play at a high level for a while, like the Rams have, like Goff has for the last two years, it just shows they've changed the standard. People expect to see that every week and that doesn't always happen. When that doesn't happen, that's reality. That's not anything big. But, you've got to find out how tough of a guy you have mentally that – can you handle that, and can you not make it as big of a deal and just go out there and do your job next week? Because if you keep doing what you've always done, you're too good of a player for not to bounce back from it."

(On if defending RB C.J. Anderson presents any different challenges than if they only had to plan for RB Todd Gurley II)

"Not really. They've got a good O-line, they've got a good running scheme. (RB) C.J. (Anderson) is a good runner, he always has been. So is (RB) John Kelly if he gets in there and gets it and we all know (RB) Todd Gurley (II) will. We all know Todd's a special guy that you've got to deal with. I think he should definitely rest up for the playoffs and wait until he gets there (laughs). But, regardless of who's in there, they cause a threat because they know what they're doing schematically, their O-line blocks well and all the backs they have run hard."

(On if he has been in a situation where he's had to make a decision towards the end of a season to play or rest a key player ahead of the playoffs)

"No, we haven't. When we were playing our last game in the playoffs in Atlanta, all our guys were healthy and good to go. When you're dealing with the playoffs, it's week-to-week. You can't sit there and be greedy. So, if guys can go and it helps them, you've got to do whatever you can to get the best situations in the playoffs."

(On what he has seen from 49ers QB Nick Mullens since becoming the starter)

"He just hopped into not the best situation and he handled it great. Reacted well under pressure, especially his first couple games being on national TV. I think his first game was Thursday night, his next game was Monday night. We got a bye after that and came back and we've had some more challenging defenses to go against like the (Seattle) Seahawks and Chicago (Bears). I just believe he's gotten better and better. With reps, he's learned a lot about himself. We've learned stuff about him, too. Things that he has struggled with, he's corrected the next week. He's a fun guy to coach because he works at everything, he's very humble, he's very prepared and I know our guys believe in him. When he gets in the huddle, the command he has on the offense and the accountability he has, guys play for him very hard. He's a guy that we feel very fortunate to have on our team."

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