Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Road Trip: Kyle Shanahan explains why East Coast stay is important for 49ers

Nov 30, 2019 at 2:48 PM--

Staying in Youngstown, Ohio, after the San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers must have seemed difficult for the players and their families. Still, the extended stay away from home felt worth it after the team emerged from its road trip with a 2-0 record.

The 49ers are heading on another similar road trip this week. They will play Sunday's game against the Ravens in Baltimore and then board an airplane for Florida, where they will remain for the coming week. That will be a prelude to San Francisco's Week 14 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

The 49ers won't return home until the evening of December 8.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area and discussed why this extended time on the East Coast could prove crucial for the team's success.

"Just realizing from the two years prior to being here, how hard it was, which everyone warned me about, but I didn't totally believe until I went through it," Shanahan told Maiocco. "Just being on the West Coast, and the time change, how it is a little tough for your body to adjust to those 10 a.m. (Pacific time, 1:00 p.m. Eastern) kickoffs if you're not used to it.

"Once you do that for one game, and when you have them back-to-back, to fly (back) out here, how much it messes you up throughout the week, trying to just get back to normal. And then to have to fly back again on that Friday, then you're messed up again."

The one nice thing about this historically difficult three-game stretch, which started with last weekend's home win over the Green Bay Packers, is that the schedule-makers made the decision whether or not to stay the week on the East Coast easy for the 49ers. The two games, along with the two first games of the season, immediately popped out when the schedule was released in April.

"So once we saw on the schedule that we had back-to-back East Coast games, we knew right away that we wanted to try it," Shanahan continued. "I wasn't sure how it would go but I think it definitely helped us in Cincinnati. The week, I think it was tough at first, but I think our guys got used to it. It was pretty cool to spend that time together, and I think the team definitely felt better on Sunday than they had.

"Now, if you don't get back-to-back trips, its not an option, but it is this time. You've still got the challenge on Sunday, but by the time New Orleans comes, that week, we'll be East Coast people because we'll be used to that time change, and nothing will be different for us."

You can listen to the entire interview with Shanahan below. He also discusses the upcoming matchup against the Ravens, the challenges that quarterback Lamar Jackson presents, the importance of Kyle Juszczyk, and the benefit of having veterans Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas for their respective teams.

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