Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined the "Murph & Mac" show early Friday morning to give an update on the team as it prepares to host the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. The game will be the first for Shanahan as a head coach. He took over a 49ers team that won just two games last season and looks to be vastly improved following a massive overhaul of the roster in the offseason.

Shanahan gave injury updates on two key 49ers players, discussed his outlook for the 2017 season, and, once again, verbally slipped up on-air. Below are the key takeaways form Shanahan's Friday morning interview.

Jimmie Ward


Jimmie Ward has been limited during practices this week. He is attempting to return from a hamstring injury that forced the free safety to miss all of training camp and preseason. The 49ers coaching staff has been very careful with bringing Ward back into the fold but he has missed a lot of time and some question if that alone would prevent him from playing in a regular season game right away.

Shanahan said Ward would once again be limited in practice on Friday and his availability for Sunday will be a game day decision.

The 49ers' official injury report will be released on Friday afternoon and Ward is expected to be listed on it. It will be interesting to see how he is listed.

George Kittle


Tight end George Kittle is also dealing with a hamstring injury. It is an injury that was suffered during training camp and then aggravated. However, Shanahan believes Kittle will be available when the 49ers kick off against the Panthers.

"I'd be surprised if he isn't," Shanahan said. "He's been ahead of Jimmie and he didn't have as big of a setback as he did a couple of weeks ago. He's been out there. He's definitely been limited. We can't put him out as much as we want but he's getting better each day and I'd be surprised if he wasn't ready to go."

Season Outlook


On Thursday night, general manager John Lynch told KNBR that the win total would not be a determining factor in the success of the season. Instead, he wants to see the team be competitive and show that the foundation for success is there.

Shanahan is optimistic going into the regular season and feels the 49ers are now in a position to compete with opposing teams. That would be a vast improvement over last season.

"I'm as positive and optimistic going into the season as you can be," Shanahan said. "I love what we've done. I love where our team's at. By no means do I think we've arrived but I think we've put ourselves in a position to really improve and give ourselves a chance to win every game. That's how you want to feel as a coach going in. That's how you want your team feeling going in. And you've got to play well. You've got to see how the ball bounces. You've got to take care of the ball. You've got to get turnovers. But I think we've given ourselves a position to be in each game and I'd be surprised if we don't go out there and play well."

Brian Hoyer


Once again, Shanahan's choice at starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, came up. There are many who question Hoyer's ability to win in the NFL, especially with such a young team around him. Going into Week 1, the 49ers have 14 rookies on their roster and over half of the team has three or fewer years of NFL experience. It's that inexperience that makes many analysts feel Hoyer simply doesn't have enough around him to be successful.

Don't tell that to Shanahan, though. He feels good about Hoyer being the quarterback. The two spent about ten months together in Cleveland in what was their only previous time together.

"He's had some highs and lows in this league just like I have," Shanahan said. "I believe he's battle tested since getting back with him. I haven't seen him in a couple of years. I think he's been through a lot. He seems more confident to me. He seems more ready and it doesn't matter. I think he can survive anything. The highs and lows aren't there as much. He's had some success. He gets where he's at. I think he believes in himself.

"The thing I always say about quarterback is, 'A lot of it is up to them.' They've got to put themselves in position to work as hard as Brian has and know everything and know where to get that ball going. They have to be tough, hang in there in the pocket, but also, the ten guys around them have got to play well. And when the ten guys around them play well, if you've got the right guy, I believe they will be successful. That's why you go out there and your quarterback's got to play consistent to have a chance but in order for him to play consistent, we've got to make sure we're playing good around him."

Another Slip Up


Earlier this week, Shanahan slipped up during a press conference and said something he immediately wished he could take back. While 49ers probably cringed at the miscue, the reaction from fans was very positive. Fans love that Shanahan is so relatable and the slip up just added to that.

On Thursday night, even general manager John Lynch shared his reaction to Shanahan's wording during the press conference.

"I was so proud of him," Lynch said.

On Friday morning, much to the pleasure of the KNBR hosts, Shanahan slipped up again. He was asked about defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and how well the two are working together. Saleh has coined the term "extreme violence" while describing what people should expect from the 49ers defense this season. Shanahan was asked what he thought of that term.

"It is a violent game," Shanahan said. "We don't want to get penalties. We want to do things the right way. But people need to feel it and offenses feel it. When those safeties and linebackers and those guys fly around, when your defensive line is running to the ball and they're rushing the quarterback and then chasing guys – we call them 'stack monsters' (because) they're running out of the stack – If anyone's trying to cut back across the field, they're going to have some big a--..."

Then Shanahan paused to correct himself as the hosts laughed at the mistake.

"...some big dude coming behind him trying to hit him," Shanahan continued.

"It's just early," Shanahan explained as the reason for his second on-air slip up this week.

You can listen to the entire KNBR interview with Shanahan below.