Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan talks 49ers training camp, Trey Lance, Nick Bosa, Mohamed Sanu, more

Jul 28, 2021 at 4:14 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their first practice of training camp today. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after the players came off the field. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Opening comments:

"The guys just doing individual only right now, waiting to be safe before we allow in team stuff is [WR Jalen] Hurd, [DL Nick] Bosa, [DL Dee] Ford and [DL Javon] Kinlaw. Go ahead."

The guys you mentioned going on COVID, does that have a positive impact in the weeks ahead? As far as counting toward the vaccinated players you have on your team?

"What do you mean by positive impact?"

Do they like count as vaccinated in the future?

"I'm not sure about, I'm not sure that question. I mean, not the question, I'm not sure of the answer. We've got almost everybody on our team vaccinated. There's a few guys who aren't. I can't ever get into who is and who isn't. But the protocols are different for all three of those guys. But I think it'll be easier than it was last year."

Are you taking it slowly with Kinlaw because of the knee stuff that he had early in the off season?

"Yeah. All the knee stuff. Just the stuff he went through in the off season, making sure the swelling is out and took it easy on him here the last couple of weeks with his rehab. So just trying to get him back into shape. So he doesn't go out there and re-swell it or anything like that."

Did Jalen Hurd have any kind of setback during?

"No. No. He was good and was able to do individual. He did everything up to team drill. So I was excited to see him out there today. It's been a little bit.

Both QB Jimmy Garoppolo and QB Trey Lance had impressive practices. I know it's not an open competition at the moment, but it seemed like a pretty good start for both of those guys. What are your thoughts?

"Yeah, I was impressed with both of them in OTAs and I've only been around them one practice now, but they seem sharp today and it was good. Our cadence wasn't great with the second and third group, just coming off the ball and stuff with some new guys. But besides that, I thought it was a good crisp practice for the first day."

Was the cadence the issue with that one rep early on in full team drills?

"Yes. Yeah, there was a few of them today, but there was one exceptionally bad. It looked like 11 guys came off on a different cadence."

Otherwise what did you think of Trey overall? He had the big throw to WR Deebo Samuel in sevens and then the jump ball to TE George Kittle.

"It was nice and it was the right spot to go with the ball both times. Deebo went by as guy and he made a perfect throw in stride. And then the one to Kittle was pretty good coverage, but he gave him an opportunity to ball and Kittle went up and made a play. So I was impressed with both the eligibles and the quarterback on it."

Are you doing the same kind of ramp up approach you did in OTAs? Just very light reps in the first couple of days?

"Yeah, there is a technical NFL ramp up, which just means it's five days with OTA rules and stuff, except for allowed to do one-on-ones. But no pads and anything like that. But the way we do it is, I mean, it's a low day today. We'll do a little bit more tomorrow. We'll back it off the next day and we'll do that over a four day span. Then we'll get a day off. We'll do our fifth practice, which is the last day of ramp up. And then practice six will be pads."

Did you get a chance to peak over at the defensive line drills to see Bosa and Ford on the field?

"A little bit. I looked a couple of times."

Did you get a chance to see Nick? He looks like he's pretty healthy and full go.

"Yeah, I mean, Nick takes care of himself and better than anyone I've ever been around. I mean the guy has got a one track mind and it's awesome. So you knew he'd come in great. And now it's just about, you've got to know how much time it's been since the injury. Him moving and looking like the player is, isn't an issue. It's just about building it up the right way. So when he gets out there with 22 people, he can react and feel safe if he gets caught in an awkward position. So we'll take our time with them and be smart."

Does WR Brandon Aiyuk look any different than last year? How much more mature and ready does he look going into year two now?

"I mean, it was day one, so I'll have a good idea probably after three days. But I was impressed with them today. I know he came into OTAs feeling pretty ready. Had a little bit of a setback in OTAs with, I think, it was some groin tightness. And I know what he did with as 40 days away. I feel like that helped him. He thought he was ready, which he seemed close to it. Had a little bit of setback and just talking to him and seeing him out there, he's done everything he can to improve off that. I feel he's in a better spot, but time will tell."

During those 40 days away, do players voluntarily just kind of, I know you got a lot of video from Nick. But it seems like, obviously, you're aware of what everybody is doing. Do they just voluntarily tell you, show you?

"Some guys, every person's different and I'm different with each person. I think so is each coach. I mean, the whole goal is to get the best out of everybody. Some guys, you've got to keep your thumb on a little bit. And some guys need a break from you, a lot. Most of our D-Line needs a break from [defensive line coach Kris] Kocurek. A few guys need a break from me. And so sometimes you give those guys that break and it's a lot easier to coach them when they come back. Some guys need you to stay in contact a lot and each one is different, but it's all the same goal."

I know he wasn't in the team drills or maybe some others, but Dee Ford, that was certainly the first time we've seen them in a while. Is it hard to resist moving him forward? He looks pretty good right now.

"No. I've just been with him and I've seen the history and you know, we've got to be smart with it. It's been a tough situation for him and for us just going through it and the sensitivity of his injury. So I try to never get too high or too low with it. I mean, if Dee Ford is healthy and can play, we all know how much he's going to help us and how much he did when he was healthy in 2019. I keep my fingers crossed, but I sit there and I'm not going to hope or wish. I'm just going to go about our business. And if things work out for him, it's going to be a hell of a deal for him and a hell of a deal for the Niners."

DB Jimmie Ward yesterday said that the defensive line is giving him 2019 vibes. And I know you don't always want to look back, but have there been moments, whether they were the OTAs, where you felt the same? Are you seeing something like that?

"Yeah. I've felt the same about our D-Line since really 2018 ended. I thought we had a chance going into 2019 to have a special D-Line. I thought we had a chance going into 2020 to have a specialty line and I feel exact same this year. So it's three years in a row that I feel we're in a very good position now. That's just gives you a chance going into it. You guys saw what we did with that chance in '19, and you guys saw what happened in '20. But I don't feel there's much difference. We've got the talent out there and especially at that position. It's the work we put in, how we tie everyone together, how healthy we can stay and how good we respond to some adversity."

How does WR Mohamed Sanu Sr. look now compared to maybe when you had it for a little bit last year?

"I think he's in such a better spot. I knew Sanu so well from my year with him in Atlanta. We studied him hard when that trade went down and we were looking into him and [Buffalo Bills WR] Emmanuel [Sanders] and New England and up getting Sanu. And he was at the top of his game then. And he had such a bad high ankle sprain that last year in New England. Then went into COVID. We didn't get until I want to say Week One and he just wasn't quite the same yet. And I think that happens. It happened with a lot of guys who didn't get to do the same stuff in COVID. When guys don't get to go through an off-season OTAs and off-season training camp, they don't know why, but there's just something missing. And Sanu told us he was good to go and we believed him. And we got him here in OTAs and we could see it. I think you ask our players and anybody who's watched him here. It looks like the guy I remember, and not the guy that we had for that those week and a half or whatever it was, and looked great today too. So hopefully can keep it up and keep it going."

Deebo and Brandon were a little disappointing last year when he did get cut. Do you sense that they're feeding off his energy now that he's back?

"Yeah, each guy is different. So you have to ask them more than me, but I think it's when you have a guy in there who's done it and done it in a few places and who does it the right way, those are guys that guys respect. It's always good to have someone they can go to ask questions. You don't want the coaches always pushing people. Eventually you push your son so much that they stop listening. You've got to get the neighbors down to go coach them and they'll listen to them. So that's what you like with some veteran players that they respect, but if they don't respect them. That can backfire on you too."

You said yesterday that Garoppolo was impressive in the spring. That was OTAs and we'll see about training camp. Was that the same OTAs Garoppolo?

"I mean, it was one practice, but it was a hell of practice. He's doing a great job. Yeah. We'll just crown everybody today before I've watched the tape and after five reps. Usually when you have an OTAs like that, you don't go celebrate for the 40 days away. You know how good it feels in OTAs and you build off that in a training camp. So I would've been very surprised if he took a step back and we didn't see that at all today."

You said Trey looked good, but then he's going to be away for 40 days and let's see what he is when he comes back. Did you see that from him?

"I saw a guy who didn't stop working and we definitely check up on him a lot. So I know, Trey working isn't, that's not the issue. He's going to work and do everything. And now you do it away from us, so you want to see what type of work he's doing and everything. And you get films and stuff like that. But we'll see that over the course of these next seven practices. We got him through seven practices in OTAs where you go through a seven day install and we'll do the same install for these seven practices. And I like to get those seven over because then you get it all out of the way and you can start kind of forming your team and the direction of where you guys are going based off of how they've looked off those seven practices."

Did you notice the fans at all? What was it like just having him back for training camp?

"Oh, it was awesome. Just drive it in today and having a couple of fans out there that I'm used to dabbing up before I go in. They were nervous to dab me up. I wasn't nervous. I'm vaccinated so I felt all right with it. Hopefully that doesn't get me in trouble. But it was really a cool feeling coming in. It's different not having fans out there. And I know our guys were pumped. I heard them buzzing about it this morning. We usually do a rookie hype machine and I feel like I didn't see it out there today. So I was kind of disappointed with that. I'll get that corrected later today, but it was definitely different. And I'm so pumped to see it in the stadium."

You mentioned that the cadence issue with Trey early on and then later it seemed like he drew some guys off sides and had a free play. Is that an example of sort of the things you see from him from the mental aspects in his early development? Like how's he doing in that regard?

"It's still too early. I mean, the D-Line probably hadn't heard us go on two yet and they've been teeing off. He had pretty good command of that watching him in college. He played the position like he's been doing it for a while even though he didn't a ton in college. That's one of the things we were impressed with him a lot. And I just think he didn't get a ton of reps in OTAs because it wasn't as much as we usually do. But we've just got to give that guy the time and let him keep working and work his way through some stuff. And I think we're gonna all be pretty excited."

Have you been able to get a gauge on OL Aaron Banks has come into camp and what is the timeline for him to work with the first team?

"It's the timeline for everyone else. As soon as we think he's better than the guys in front of him. Being where we drafted them and stuff, we obviously think he has a chance to be. We think he's a pretty talented player. Just watching it live, he does some good things and he's got a lot of rookie things too. I don't think he's focused right now in his first day of practice about getting a starting job. He needs to be focused on just doing as good as he can. He didn't get all the reps in camp and today was probably the most he's gotten and we'll just keep stacking them up. I'm sure in a couple of days we'll take a couple of steps back, but as long as it's taking more steps forward, we'll be alright."

Trying to clarify Kinlaw, he had surgery in January and it was characterized by the team as very minor. Is he out right now because of that surgery?

"No, actually, I'll paraphrase because I'm not sure of the exact details of it. But, he had traveled and stuff like a month ago or something. Just swelled up a little bit. So I'm not sure whether they drained it or not, I'll get exactly for you guys tomorrow. But just a minor thing. And so he had to stay off of it for a little bit after they did that and we don't want to throw them right back out there because he stayed off of it for a couple of weeks going into camp. I feel good. I feel he's healthy, but a guy who stayed off his leg for a couple of weeks, we don't want to just throw out there right away."

What's the biggest advantage that Trey has learning from Jimmy? He's obviously been in the offense for a long time. How does that, how do you expect that relationship to work and just passing on knowledge along of a playbook that's very complex?

"Yeah, I mean the playbooks just about memorizing the drawings and what's on there and what you call stuff. So that's putting the time in and for some people it's a little harder than for others, but you put the time in. Everyone gets it. It's about the experience and feeling the live reps and Jimmy has gone through it a number of times and he's done it at a high level. So that's, to me, where the help comes. When I can teach him, tell him stuff, but you get away and a guy tells him kind of how it feels. Or he sees him going and says, 'Oh yeah, I used to struggle with that too,' eventually it's this. So just be patient. And those are the same things people like Sanu can help out with that Aiyuk and stuff like that. Jimmy's made for that. I mean, Jimmy, his personality and stuff, he's one of the guys in there and whether it's with Trey or anyone else. So it's been a good dynamic so far."

CB Tim Harris Jr. was out there with the first team group. It was surprising to us because we haven't seen a lot of him over the years. Is he coming off a good spring? I mean, what's, where is he in this mix?

"He did have a real good spring and that's why those guys put them out there today. I wouldn't look a lot into it. [CB Emmanuel] Moseley wasn't there today. We're not making a big decision right now, but that's how it looked in OTAs. And that was a credit to Tim because he looked as good as he has an OTAs. I don't know yet after today. I'll watch the tape, but hopefully he can keep that going throughout camp."

What have you seen from the running backs? RB Trey Sermon has taken quite a few reps with the ones.

"Yeah, I'll notice how many he took when I get in. I know we were trying to be lighter on [RB] Raheem [Mostert]. I think that was a big part of it. Whether Trey got it today, I think that all that stuff will start evening out. We've got a pretty good group of backs, in terms of, I mean, everyone on our roster has got a chance to make this team. We know what Raheem's has done for us. We know what Jeff's done. And we've got to find out about these other guys."

When are you putting on pads?

"It's the fifth practice. So three more days plus an off day plus the fifth--. Yeah. Thank you guys. Every day is Monday to me. So I should have just said that"

I think QB Josh Rosen got one 11-on-11 throw today. I know that'll change from day-to-day, but is that going to be difficult for you to make that decision?

"It was always difficult. I mean, that's the tough thing about the NFL. That's why we all say we wish we had a minor league or something because it's just tough to give the threes a ton of reps. I think our threes got two reps in each period. And he's rotating with [QB] Nate [Sudfeld] on who gets us three reps. So it's just limited. I think I want to blame [quarterbacks coach] Rich [Scangarello] for getting off track one. So he missed one of those, I think Trey stole an extra handoff. But Josh got him for that last throw."

You rotate who throws in individual and who throws to the receivers and the one quarterback who throws to the backs?

"Yes. Yeah. I'm not on top of that, but they rotate that every day. Yeah. You gotta get everybody with everyone. All right guys. Thanks."





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