San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined the "Damon Bruce Show" on 95.7 The Game on Wednesday to discuss several topics surrounding the future of the team.
Free Agency versus the Draft
Shanahan was asked what would contribute most to the team's rebuild. Would it be the 49ers' plethora of draft picks or their surplus of cap space? Shanahan identified both, not committing to just one over the other.
"You need to improve in every facet possible," Shanahan said. "And everywhere you're given a chance to improve your football team, you need to not hesitate and do that and you need to be smart about it. You want to be aggressive but it's got to be smart. It's always the best way to do it is through the draft because that's how you can build your roster and you don't have to overspend to do things like that but you also – when there's a good player out there who's a good person, he can be a leader for you – you've got to be willing to go pay those guys also and to pay your own guys and not let them go.
"I don't believe that there's just one way to build a team. Each year it's different. Sometimes there can be a lot of options in free agency and if there is a good player, who's a good person, and you think he'll help your team for a while, you've got to go pay that guy. If there's not many people in free agency, you don't want to just go pay people to pay people just because you have money. You've got to do what's right. You can't hurt your organization long term just to win right away. You always want to win right away, but every decision you make is also involved in how it's going to affect the year after.
"You take everything into account, I hope we can improve this team in both the draft and free agency and I hope we can get the players that are here better also."
Shanahan was asked if he had spoken to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick yet and if there's a scenario where he is under center in 2017.
"I think anything is possible," Shanahan said. "I'm not going to make any strong judgments on our guys until I get through all this tape, until I get a chance to meet them all. I spoke with Colin through texts. He reached out to me, I want to say the day after my press conference and we communicated through there and I've always been a fan of Colin – especially coming out of college. That's when I studied him the hardest. I know he's had a lot of success in this league and I'm looking forward to studying him more and getting to know him when he comes in here."
Shanahan was asked what he hopes to mirror in San Francisco that he found successful in Atlanta. The head coach said that he hopes to build a roster with the players that can help the team across the board.
"We had some talent in Atlanta," Shanahan said. "Everyone knows about Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. But all the guys that we had on our roster. A lot of them, they were very talented. They're not all -- they're guys that other teams have let go, that people have given opportunities, but there were certain aspects of their game that we felt we could really use. When you can get guys who have certain traits, that's what I like having.
"You spread them around the field, you get certain ways to attack coverages, you get a quarterback who can distribute the ball and get it to the right people and then you don't feel handcuffed as a coach. You have all types of guys that can do certain things. You have some speed guys who can run by people. You have some shifty guys who can break people off in the slot. You have some running backs who can run the ball or they can be effective in the pass game. And you've got different sets of tight ends. That really just gives you options as a coach. It allows you to adjust throughout the year.
"And to me, what made it so special in Atlanta wasn't just having those people, we had some very ego-less people. Guys truly didn't care how the game went. They truly knew their number was going to be called eventually depending on what the defense did. All 11 guys on the field, run or pass, were always working as hard as they could go. Some guys would go a game where the defense didn't allow them to get the ball and then the next game, they might get five. I could never tell the difference in that guy by looking him in the face after the game or seeing him on Wednesday. We had guys who truly played for each other and all they wanted to do was win and I truly believe that's one of the main reasons for our success. That's why we got better as the year went, not worse."
You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.