Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan optimistic about NFL season, glad preseason was canceled

Jul 24, 2020 at 7:48 AM--

The new ramp-up schedule for training camp didn't leave room for preseason games. Players won't even put on pads until the 20th day of camp. It was hard to imagine finding the time to play one or two games, especially when those exhibition matchups don't count for anything other than player evaluation.

That, however, can be done in training camp.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been a long-time proponent for reducing the number of preseason games. While he feels two would be the sweet spot, he would prefer zero as opposed to four.

"This is the first time we've gone without preseason," Shanahan said on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. "And that does help a lot because, usually, you've got to put in those travel days for that. I don't care as much about the game, but you miss practice the day before, practice the day of, and practice the day after.

"So knowing we don't have those, even if we have less days, I think we might be able to make it up because we don't have to travel for games. So we might be able to get the same amount of work in."

As stated before, Shanahan adds that he isn't necessarily against the preseason entirely.

"It's different this year," Shanahan said. "I mean, I'm all for the preseason because there's a couple of guys we've never seen in a game, who are pretty good in practice. And then you throw them out there in a preseason game, and they freak out. And you're like, 'Alright, they're not ready. We've got to put them on the practice squad.'"

The coach also noted that preseason is helpful when two or more players are neck and neck in a training-camp competition.

Shanahan added: "And how bad does it suck for guys not to get film who won't make the team? ... But this year, our goal is to get to the season and have a year."

Not only does Shanahan feel good about training camp, even under some difficult circumstances, the coach feels good—maybe better than most—about the chances of the season taking place amidst a pandemic.

"Where I feel compared to a few months ago, I feel good now," Shanahan shared. "I think we'll get through this. I'm watching the European leagues, and their soccer teams and stuff, and they're not in a bubble.

"I think there's a chance, when we bring everyone in, the testing could not be great right away, like it looks like with all these college teams when they come back. But I do feel like, the way we run stuff, and the way these buildings are, that we can get it under control over a few-week period, a month period, and have a chance to do this.

"I didn't always feel that way, but from what I've seen and what I've heard, being in this building, I feel a lot more optimistic than I used to."

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