San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after Sunday's Week 3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.



Opening comments:

"Alright, guys, all we had was [CB Akhello] Witherspoon with a foot. We'll find out more tomorrow."

How do you make sense of this one?

"Very happy. I'm exhausted. I thought we played extremely well at some times and played extremely bad at some times. Anytime you have five turnovers in a game, that means you didn't play that well. But, you take those away, and every aspect of the game decides that. I thought the guys did very well. It reminded me a lot of the Arizona game we had last year, we had a game versus Arizona where it was like 30 first downs to 10, and like 500 yards to 200, but we ended up losing the game because we had all those turnovers. Today was very similar, so it looked like we were going down that same (road), but the defense, they stepped it up big. Just getting the ball, those two turnovers to start. I think they both were in the redzone, or backed up. Pittsburgh was already in the redzone when they got it, held them to two field goals. Offense got going in the second half, but then we got that fumble down there in the redzone to end, for the defense got the ball right back. It was huge."

What does it say about the team that you're now in that position where you can lose the turnover battle like that and still come out with a victory?

"These were the biggest ones. Everyone knows how well Cincinnati went, but the game today and the game in Tampa, those are games that we have not been able to win here. And, to have two games like that where things don't go perfect, says a lot about the character of the guys in there. I think we have been better in how we're playing, but it also says, our guys are mentally a lot stronger. They were pretty relentless through everything. They didn't waiver at all. They were excited at halftime. They were excited in the third, and obviously, they were really excited when we got back in."

Can you break down the touchdown to WR Dante Pettis? How'd that play evolved and what that says about Dante making a contested catch at the goal line.

"It was nice. I didn't get to see it all clean. I know it didn't come out right away. We tried to hurry up and snap it really quick. I know we had a guy in the flat and Dante running a stick route right on the goal line. It looked like he beat the guy on the inside and, from what I saw, I think the corner tried to fall back in and Dante just stepping back to it, from what I saw, was huge. Because it's not like it was a play that got him wide open or anything. He ran a real good route, but they had two guys fall back in and just to have the aggressive hands like that in that situation was, looked like that's why we scored."

You guys are 3-0, you guys haven't been 3-0 since 1998. That team was pretty good back then.

"Yeah, that is good, but that doesn't mean anything. I've been 5-0 and not made the playoffs before, so that doesn't mean much. Especially, having a week off here. I know bye weeks are not fun after a loss, so to win one that way, we'll get two good days here in with practice. We'll get away for a little bit. Bring the guys in. We'll get a couple extra practices in since we're going on Monday Night. Give us a chance to heal up, but can't wait to get right back."

What do you make of the way QB Jimmy Garoppolo played, particularly since he was getting hit a lot more often today than he had the previous two games?

"I thought Jimmy played well. He was put in some tough situations with all the turnovers. I think he had two picks, but they seemed like pretty good throws. Just went off those guys hands a little bit. But they came after us. It was very similar to Tampa and anytime somebody does that, there's a lot of feast or famine. So, it's going to be tight every time. He hung in there, took some big hits, made some big throws and when we did give him the time, he didn't miss much."

How much of a hurdle can that be when you miss most of a full season and you come back and you haven't really taken those hits, to be able to deliver a lot of those passes?

"I think it's huge, always for a quarterback and anyone. With him coming off the ACL, it's been longer. You don't hit guys in practice, so you're going to get in the games, and I think sometimes the more Jimmy gets hit, the better he does. He responded to it well and played very tough."

Are you concerned with the number of times he was hit? Do you think there are things you can do schematically to cut down on that or is that just football?

"No, that's just football. Yeah, you'd love to pick up all those blitzes, but I thought we were getting rid of it pretty quick. They were shooting the safeties through a lot of gaps throughout the whole game. A lot of times that dares you to throw the ball, but that's what happens when you see it. What was neat, was we were able to still stick with the run too, there were some tough looks, but it's also feast or famine in the run game. The key to that stuff is doing good on third down, which allows you to do it. I think we were 55% on third down, which makes it a lot easier to be balanced."

Do you have any initial sense of the severity of Witherspoon's injury?

"No, I don't at all."

What happened on that last turnover, the one that went off of WR Richie James Jr.?

"We're trying to timeout the cadence. It was one of those fake jet sweeps to change the structure of the defense. From what I saw, it snapped when he was over the center, and we want to snap it when he is over the tackle."

FB Kyle Juszczyk was a lot more involved today. Was that the game plan going into it or was it something that kind of evolved?

"No, we knew he had a chance at some things. He's a fullback, so he's doing a lot of blocking out there. There were a few times when we thought he could slip through. He had a tough time slipping through there because of all the pressure, but Jimmy had to wait on him a little bit. He finally got passed [LB Mark] Barron and that was one of the most impressive catches I've seen. It took a while to get there, so Jimmy had to let it go, especially with that safety in his face. That was huge."

What's been happening behind the scenes that enabled WR Dante Pettis to get the start tonight?

"He's just gotten better each week. We all know how he finished last year. Had a few bumps in the road throughout training camp, which I think has been well documented and I talked about. But, I've been extremely impressed with how he's responded since the first week of the season. He's taken the challenge. He's been working as hard as anyone on our team. He had a really good week last week and he came back and was even better this week. I see [WR] Deebo [Samuel] in, we were going to start Dante last week based off his practice, but the first two plays we did kind of changed our mind on that because of something we wanted Deebo in for. Dante earned it and helped us out today."

With all that being said, what went through your head when the pass banged off his hands and got intercepted?

"Not much. It was a bang, bang play. The ball was in the middle instead of on the right hash. We were about two yards too wide with our split. It's a very quick throw, where you just plant and throw and it just went off the tip of his fingers. Wish he would have had a little tighter split on it. I think it would have been in his hands. It wasn't like he eased up on the play. I didn't think it was a bad drop. Anytime the ball touches your hands though, he has the ability to catch it. I think that was just football."

This is just about as emotional as I've seen you after a game or as it was finishing up. Is it because of the grind of the game or the emotion or why do you think you let loose like that?

"Because of the grind of the game. The week before, it was more relaxing. Could relax that whole last quarter. This game, it's very intense when you feel like you're doing some things, but you have no points to show for it. The turnovers were very frustrating and then to get back in there with our first two drives of the second half felt good. But then after that turnover it's just intense and we knew how big this game was. They are all big, but especially going into the bye week, we needed to win this and we didn't make it easy on ourselves. It was extremely intense, but it felt very good at the end of that game."

You talked about Jimmy getting hit, but he was able to escape, I think, three sacks on that second to last play. There were three a few series before. The fact that he was able to do that, he trusts his knee that much, how much energy does that give the rest of the offense?

"A lot. There's two feelings with it. Sometimes you're nervous as can be, just throw it away and get rid of it because no one's open. Then sometimes, when he gets out of there, you're glad he did it because then you've got a chance to make the play. I have very mixed emotions whenever I see that. I don't know how I'm going to feel until the end of it."

At 3-0, is it hard to have a bye week now or do you just take it whenever you can take it?

"We'd rather not have it, but it's always good to rest guys up. You can always use this time to get guys healthier, but it is what it is. We know we'll come back. You always have a little time off when you have a Thursday Night game. Hopefully it will allow us to get a couple guys back who haven't been with us this year and then we know those last eight games are going to be a grind."

How do you think OL Justin Skule did out there today?

"The fact that I didn't talk about him much throughout the game, I think he did very well. I've got to watch the tape and see exactly. I didn't talk about him really all day. I know he had those two penalties, which I couldn't really tell what he did on them. Not that I was watching him either. But anytime you go through a whole game like that and you've got a rookie starting for his first time and the play caller isn't bringing up his name left and right, what happened, that means he did a pretty good job."

What went wrong on those two plays when CB Jason Verrett took over for Ahkello?

"Just looked like he got beat. From the first one that I saw, it looked like somehow, not sure exactly what defense we were in, but we got the safety out of the middle field and they threw a post over the top. I thought I was going to be uncatchable and I thought he was on him pretty good, but their feet got tangled up and then you always get the PI call on that. I believe they double moved him on the next time. I'm not sure. I didn't see it. I just saw the end result. He just got beat."