Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



During the San Francisco 49ers' first preseason game, tackle Joe Staley, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, and wide receiver Aaron Burbridge walked out to midfield for the coin flip as team captains. One has to wonder what might have happened if the time for the coin flip had come and no 49ers players were out there to represent the team.

Heading into that road matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, head coach Kyle Shanahan wondered that very thing. He nearly forgot to name team captains. As an offensive coordinator for numerous teams over the years, that responsibility has always fallen on someone else. As a rookie head coach, responsibilities like that one now fall on Shanahan's shoulders and it is all very new to him.

"I hadn't even thought about the captains until someone asked me yesterday," Shanahan told KNBR on August 10. "Honestly, if someone hadn't asked me, I probably would have been sitting there looking out at the coin toss and wondering why no one was out there."

Shanahan now has two preseason games as a head coach under his belt. However, that doesn't mean he is done trying to work out things that he has never had to think about. Shanahan sat down and spoke with Dennis O'Donnell of Bay Area television station KPIX and touched on the topic.



"I just have a process that I get ready for, that I think prepares me to call a game," Shanahan told O'Donnell. "And that's a pretty thorough, big process that I have. I try not to change that at all but I'm also realizing all the other stuff that I've added to my duties. I'm glad I do have four preseason games to figure that out. Usually, I just want to get through the preseason, which I still feel similar right now, but I need those four games.

"Just even getting used to having to talk to you (for an interview) at the end of the second quarter. That's really not something that's ever been on my mind. You're never thinking about how to answer a question. You're thinking about how to get into the locker room, what plays to put together, and how to speak to your team. And then you've got to think about what to say to a reporter when you come off the field too.

"Those are things that kind of caught me off guard a little bit. I think it will get easier each week. I don't think it is stuff that's too tough. It's stuff that you can handle but it's stuff that you don't really think about until it happens."

Shanahan has two more preseason games to get acclimated to the game day duties of a head coach. On Sunday, the 49ers will travel to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. After that, they will play on a short week and host the San Diego Chargers at Levi's Stadium on Thursday, August 31. The 49ers kick off the regular season on Sunday, Spetember 10 by hosting the Carolina Panthers.