Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Transcripts: What Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, others said after 49ers-Raiders preseason finale

Aug 29, 2021 at 7:09 PM--


San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance spoke with reporters after the team's preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan


Opening comments:

"It's [WR] Travis Benjamin, concussion, in the protocol."

With the quarterbacks, obviously moving them in almost every two plays or so, how did that go? Did you like the mechanics of it?

"I did. I liked the results of it. The two drives, there were a couple of things I'd like us to do better at it. It wasn't perfect, but for the most part, I was happy with it."

What were you trying to accomplish doing that here in the final pre-season game?

"I just wanted them to get live action of it. And we've done in practice a couple of times and this was the last time before we're going to get in the regular season. So, it's the last time you can have the opportunity to do it. So, I kind of wanted to do it this game."

Everything you do today is pointing toward two weeks from now and winning football games in the future. Is that something that you want to put in the back of team's minds that this is an option? This is something you guys can do?

"Yeah, it is an option. So, whether it's in their mind or not, that's up to them, but we've got two guys who can play. And we've been doing in practice a little bit, wanted to do it out there in the game, and I think it's always going to be an option."

What did you think about how each quarterback played?

"I thought they did a good job. By no means was it perfect, but I thought just the function of it and going in and out and not knowing when it's going to be, it wasn't a planned rotation or anything. I was trying to make it situational. So, I was just doing it mainly off impulse and whenever the down and distance felt like what we wanted to call. So, those guys seem like they handled it good. I'll meet with them tomorrow and watch all of it with them, which I'm looking forward to. But today I thought it was good."

Is part of it just how they react to being in-and-out, in-and-out?

"Yeah, I think it's them. I think it's the team. I think it's me trying to do it, just not knowing exactly when. They both know what's coming, but you just don't know when it's coming. So, I wanted it to be pretty random and at least doing it today felt pretty comfortable."

What did you think when you saw QB Jimmy Garoppolo going for the end zone headfirst?

"That's Jimmy. You guys have seen him lower his head and run a number of times since he's been here. So, Jimmy has kind of got a linebacker mentality. I'm all for him throwing it to [FB Josh] Hokit in the flat too. But I kind of like that about Jimmy too. I don't ever want him to risk himself and get hurt, but I think that's why guys fight for him."

How did QB Trey Lance make it through? It seemed like he might have hit his hand on a helmet or something?

"Yeah. I think he had a finger jam. It wasn't too bad from what I was told. I'm sure I'll find out more about it later."

What did you think of the way Trey created space for the running backs running the option?

"I think he only ran it once. Those guys weren't closing at all."

Or at least the way that his [Trey] presence, had defenders crashing in on him.

"Yeah, it's kind of happened with us later when their quarterback ran it to. It was just how guys want to play it. And they want you to hand it off so I'm glad he made the right decision. It seems like he made the right decision on all of them and they gave him one opportunity to pull it and he did."

Given Jimmy's injury history, the way he tore his ACL, the fact that this is a preseason game, you don't say anything to him like you're do not lower your throwing shoulder and get killed on a one-yard run?

"Yeah. You say that to him in every game. It's not a one-yard run, it's a bootleg. Sometimes guys go for the end zone on the one-yard line. I say that to them every single time. You don't want guys to lower their shoulder and risk and hurt at any time. So, I'd always prefer the throw to the guy, but sometimes it's hard to avoid that stuff in football."

Jimmy going to start first week?

"We'll have to see. I don't like playing this game, but everyone keeps asking me that question. I'm not just giving the answer just to satisfy the question. I think we got a pretty good idea like I said all along. I think our team does and we're pretty good with it. As long as I can keep surviving press conferences."

How's that going for you?

"I'm alright with it. I'm just trying to be respectful."

Did you let the starters go a little longer and then stop because they got the two scores or was that about what you wanted?

"No, I did earlier in the week. I wanted to treat him more like what we've always done in a third game and you always reach for a half in the third game. I was really happy with our practices on Wednesday and Thursday. So, our goal was to get around 20 plays and some guys were at 10, some guys were at 25 so it was pretty random throughout all of it."

You've kind of indicated you did this quarterback rotation a little bit on impulsive and feel. Would you imagine when the game's count there will be a little more structure or?

"Everything going with a plan, but nothing in a game is real structured. You have a game plan and you just go and you usually got 40 seconds to make a decision, it's less than that, because you have to get it to them before 15 seconds. So that's just how game days are and it's hectic and that's why we all have headsets on with the substitutions. And today we did it with quarterbacks, but that's a big deal with every position, usually except o-line."

What'd you see from S Jaquiski Tartt? Is he starting to look like himself again?

"Yeah, I was real pumped for Tartt to come back this week. He had two really good days of practice. It was looking like a long shot for him at the beginning, but he started feeling a lot better down in LA with the chargers. He was telling us how good he was going to look. And he went out there Wednesday and Thursday and he wasn't lying. He had a great two days of practice. Didn't want to have to play him as much, but we had to also find out where he was at for this 53. We know Tartt, how good of a player is, and how much he can help us. But today was really almost like a third and a half practice if you count a walk through. So, I was just really pumped he was able to go out there. And I think he played about between 25 and 30 plays which was the goal to see if he could get through that and I'll watch the tape. But I was just real happy that he got through it because we saw him playing at high level in practice too."

Could you talk about how WR Jalen Hurd was able to handle his workload today?

"Similar to what I just said about Tartt. I was glad that he could get out there and get through it. He hasn't been able to practice as much and I think he got about 25 plays today too. I know some plays he'd like to have back. A couple of drops there it looked like but I really considered it a success. That was his first time playing in a couple of years in a game. He's had a long road to get back to that point and I think it was a big day for him getting through it."

With those two guys with Tartt and Hurd is it almost more important what you see from them tomorrow and the day after then what you see today?

"Yeah, it's tough. We know we got some good players there. You're always trying to tell the future. You don't want to keep good players and get rid of some other players that you know can help you. You're going to hope you had those guys back in a few weeks. So, it's always a challenge when guys aren't able to practice as much because of the injuries that they've had. That's why they stayed out there a little bit longer today. We had to give them some time to get healthy, where they had a chance to do that. And at least from what I've been told so far it was a success with both of them."

Same thing with RB Elijah Mitchell, he missed valuable time between those first two games. How did he look during practice and in the game today?

"I thought he looked real good. He started out having a real good camp for us at the beginning of training camp. And he's been out here I'm want to say the last two weeks. And we knew this would be a big week for him. He was starting to feel better towards the end of LA. He had two and a half real good days of practice. And we wanted to make sure to get him in the game. You never know about runners, especially rookies until they get into that game. And he looked the same way in the game that he has in practice. So, I was real happy with Elijah."

How challenging is it for you at that fourth and fifth running back spot?

"It's a real challenging. Every guy that you guys have seen out there has ran like an NFL back. And those guys have done a great job. They've been great people throughout the whole thing. I know they're all pulling for each other too. They're definitely making our job harder."

For the quarterback decision, how much do you gauge the locker room's opinion of who should start? How much is it just you?

"You hope you don't have the gauge locker room's opinion. It's really hard for them to do their job. It's really hard for me to do my job. It's hard for everybody. So, you hope that guys have the confidence that we're doing things right. I think our guys know us well enough. Guys always have opinions, I'm sure, but I think our team's going to support us with whatever we do."

You played DL Javon Kinlaw pretty deep, is that because he hasn't done a lot this preseason?

"Yeah. It was the same thing with him too. He's been in and out with some injuries throughout training camp and he had to play some. It's such a fine line because the last thing you want to do is get them hurt. But we also got to get him ready for the season and he has no problem going out there. We have to hold him back if anything. And I think he ended up getting between 20 and 25, which was the goal going into it. I didn't plan on it lasting as long. Our defense played real well at the beginning of the game. There was a number of three and outs. I think they were on rep count like nine halfway through the second quarter. So, he got the plays, but he was out there a little bit longer than I thought, but at the same amount of plays I thought he would get."

What about for cornerbacks, was that to allow the two rookies to get as many reps as possible?

"Yeah, it was to take care of those guys to."

Is the defensive line going to be one of your toughest decisions on the 53?

"Yeah, probably. It is tough. We'll see how many we ended up keeping there and how it goes. If were allowed to keep a bunch, it can be a little bit easier. You guys have seen them in all three of these games. They've played good from the beginning to the end. And I think our D-line has been pretty good here these last three years. And I feel the same this year."

QB Jimmy Garoppolo


When you knew going in what the plan was, just your head on a swivel to see when you're in, when you're out?

"It was good. I thought we had two good drives with it. The defense was scrambling, and it made for a tough drive on those guys. So, it was pretty good."

What were you thinking when you dove for that touchdown?

"Just get in. I knew it was third and goal. I thought I was going to get into a little easier than that. The hole kind of closed quickly, but you've got to do what you've got to do to get in."

With the defense kind of scrambling when you're out there and you guys went back and forth, do you feel that hesitation from them?

"Oh yeah. Yeah. You definitely feel it. I think even with me and [QB] Trey [Lance] running on and off, the tempo was still pretty good. So there was a couple of times getting to the line where they're still making calls and things like that. And you can tell it's tough on them. So that's what we're trying to do."

What do you have to do as far as like looking at the play clock, when you're coming back in after Trey comes out. What was kind of the checklist of stuff?

"That was one of the things I was trying to do just because [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] is trying to get it in as quick as he can, but some of them happened a little later in the play clock. So, there's always new things that you're trying to adjust to and things like that. As far as far as the checklist, today was kind of the dry run of it, I guess you could say. So thought it went pretty well though."

Did former NFL QB Drew Brees talk to you and Trey Lance about what to expect with the two quarterback situation?

"We talked about it, me and Drew, a little bit. I don't know what he talked to Trey about. We talked about that for a little bit. Just the situation in general. Drew had some good insight on it. He's been through it all. He's literally played in it. He gave a couple pieces of advice, just stay ready, things like that, on the sideline, but it's just something new that you have to get used to."

I understand instincts take over during a game, but you have had the injuries. You lowered your throwing shoulder for preseason game. Afterwards did you kind of wonder if that wasn't the best idea?

"If I would've got hurt that would've been a terrible idea. Yeah. But, knock on wood, thankfully good things came out of it. It's just when you're out there, you really can't think of things like that. I know you're supposed to, it's just hard. Things happen in a split second. I tried to just submarine below the two of them. Didn't work out so well, but I'm all healthy and everything. I feel good."

How would you assess just how--?

"I thought it was good. I thought, honestly, it kept getting better and better as we went, which is what you're really trying to do. You're always trying to improve and not take steps backwards. And I thought just as a whole, as an offense, we did that. I would say as a team, we really did that and we're kind of on the upswing right now. I know we've got a long way to go and it's going to be a grind of a season, but I like where we're at right now and where we're going. I think we've got a good mindset in that locker room right now. We've got some dogs on this team, some guys who have played in big games and been there before. And we're trying to get back there."

Obviously, you don't have a huge say in the matter, but if what we saw in the first two drives is the way the regular season starts and goes into the regular season, how can you make that into something that benefits you and the team?

"I think that, in and of itself, benefits the team. We had two successful drives with it, scored on both of them. It's tough for defenses to handle that. And I've never been in that situation, but just seeing it firsthand here today, it's hard on them. So, whatever's best for the team, I'm here for it. It's one of those things that whatever's best for the team, you've got to get behind that and be a part of that. And I think that makes you the best player you can be, too. So, it's all tied together. We're all in this thing together. And we'll see where it goes."

Inaudible.

"I feel good. Like I was saying before, I think we're a kind of improving day by day. I think each pre-season game really has gotten better and better. This is probably our best one as a whole, just all three phases working together and playing complimentary football, scoring before the half, all those things. When you're clicking like that, and I know it's only preseason, but that's where you want to be going into the regular season. So, we'll take these couple of days, get our mind right and start getting ready for Detroit."

Is that the way you practiced it too? Kyle would just tell you right at the moment when you're coming in, it wasn't preplanned even in practice?

"We've mixed and matched. I mean, to be honest, we've done every flip flop that you could imagine in practice. It's just something, like I was saying before, something new, something you've got to get used to. And I think as the more and more of it we do, the more things you get creative with and just see what works."

You mentioned this is what is best for the team, having this rotation, different skill sets. Does it take you a second? I imagine as a starter, you'd like to take 60 straight snaps in a game.

"Honestly, I think coming into it, it was weird at first. Just having to process the whole thing. But after being on the field, it was fun. When we're clicking like that and the defense is scrambling like that, it makes it hard. We're trying to win games out there and so whatever it takes, we're going to do that. All right. Thanks guys."

QB Trey Lance


What was your sense of how the Raiders were reacting to two quarterbacks coming in during those first two drives?

"I don't know if they changed a lot. Not that I noticed, especially between when I was coming in, when [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] was coming in. But it was awesome to get looks at it in practice and obviously in a game setting was awesome."

How does it feel for you to be going in and out every couple of plays?

"I was prepared for it. So I think Jimmy was too the same thing. I'm sure he answered it the same way. It's one of those things where we had repped it, like I said, so it was good to get game reps and then kind of really see how it really feels."

Can you describe your touchdown run? And that was one where you rushed onto the field.

"It was another zone read. The end crashed, we brought [WR] Jalen Hurd in motion. And yeah, the end crashed so kind of probably one of the easiest rushing touchdowns I'll probably ever have. But the offensive line did a great job and made it really easy."

It looked like you jammed or hit your finger late in your time? What happened?

"I don't really honestly even remember what play it happened on. But I think I jammed it, yeah. Like on a helmet or something. But yeah, no, I'm not worried about it. See how it feels tomorrow, for sure. I think it will tell a little bit more, but yeah, not too worried about it at all."

You mostly handed off. Have you been given specific instructions in preseason games to avoid injury and not run the ball too much?

"No, not at all. Obviously like if I'm going to take a shot, get down, but that's just playing football at the quarterback position, really at any position to try to protect myself and obviously get what I can and get down or get out of bounds. But yeah, it's what the reads dictated today. That's how they played us. They wanted me to hand the ball off or at least that's the way they played it. So that's what I did. And obviously handed the ball off to [RB] Elijah Mitchell, [RB] Trey Sermon, you know, [RB] Wayne [Gallman II], [RB JaMycal] Hasty and [RB] Raheem [Mostert]. It's fun to watch what those guys can do with the ball."

When you're subbing in, do you already have the play when you're going in or do you run in and then get it in?

"Yeah, so coach [head coach Kyle] Shanahan gives the personnel and I have a personnel grouping, so came in with my personnel grouping. Jimmy hears the same thing, [QB] Nate [Sudfeld], on the sideline, same thing. So yeah, coming in and then obviously hear the play after I get the personnel group and kind of once I get out there, as I'm running out there."

A couple more drops today from your receivers. A couple of weeks ago you said you want to throw a more catchable pass on the underneath stuff. What do you have to do to make that adjustment?

"It's just playing football. It's just, yeah, I don't really have an answer for it. I'm just going to continue to try to get better, get used to throwing to these guys and vice versa. They've been doing a great job, receiver room from top to bottom. It was awesome having [WR] River [Cracraft] back, he made a big catch today too. But from top to bottom, those guys have done a really great job. So, you know, like I said, it's my job to just give them the ball."

Jimmy was saying it was fun, fun to be out there. Was it fun for you? Do you get kind of an adrenaline with you guys shuffling in like that?

"It's fun. I trust coach Shanahan and I know Jimmy does and our whole team and locker room does. He's going to find ways to get the guys that need the ball, the ball and do whatever it takes to win games. So yeah, it was a ton of fun for sure. It was good to get into a rhythm. And obviously those drives when we were going back and forth, it ended up with Jimmy scoring that first touchdown was a lot of fun."

Did you sense that they were almost respecting you as a runner in terms of opening up space for other guys?

"I don't know if it was that or that's just more of the scheme that kind of we expected going into it. But yeah, if I could hand the ball off to those guys and my read doesn't tackle it, then that's a good thing."

(Inaudible)

"Oh, it's awesome. Those guys, just the energy they bring in a huddle, in the locker room before the game, those guys are definitely guys that you can tell have been doing it for a long time."

It looked like a couple of times with Elijah, maybe one guy was going one way, the other guy was the other way. On the pitch where you had to kind of stop yourself when the ball went up in the air like that?

"Yeah. It's just a ball handling thing. And just communication and reps. It was awesome to have Elijah, he did a great job today. Having him back out there, he had a couple of really, really big runs and some big plays on special teams too. So it was good to see him healthy and back out there."

What type of first impressions did you have from watching Mostert's speed up close?

"I've seen it in practice for the last, you know, since May. So it was a ton of fun. Obviously he's a special guy and doesn't really look like he has to try that hard to run that fast, which is very fun. I'm glad he's on my team."

You noted on your touchdown run that Jalen Hurd was in motion, Trey Sermon's in the backfield with you. Three guys that can run the ball were back there. Did you see the Raiders kind of respecting that, reacting to that?

"I mean, I guess I don't know what their plan was defensively exactly. But like I said, I think it was real similar to what I saw on tape, what we saw on tape as an offense kind of expected it. And again, just I'm going to hand the ball off until I can't, until the defense makes me keep it. And like I said, the offensive line did a great job and made that a pretty easy walk in."

How would you assess how you performed this offseason now that it's over?

"It was a ton of fun and learned a lot and still continuing to learn and just super thankful to be here. Thankful to be in this organization, in this locker room. And I think that things have been going well in my estimation. So going to continue to try to get better and learn as much as I can throughout this season."

DT Javon Kinlaw


You played a fair amount for the last preseason game. Did you know that you were going to play that many snaps?

"Yeah. There was a plan to play about 20 plays. So I think I had about 16 going into the half, well at half time. They just were like, 'That was good.'

Was that important for you to get some kind of playing rhythm?

"I think it's very important to just get out there and try to establish some type of rhythm against somebody else other than people you play against every day. So, I think it was very important. I wish I could have played more being that I haven't been out there much."

You mentioned not being out there. Has it been somewhat of a frustrating summer?

"For sure. Just not getting done as much as I would like. I feel like I've improved regardless of how much I've been out there or not. All in all, yeah. I've been pretty frustrated, just missing time being with the guys. We've got such a great group of guys. So, it's been frustrating in that aspect of just being around people in general."

How good do you think this defensive line can be?

"From top to bottom, everybody has been playing at a very high level. Doesn't matter who it is. Everybody's been just excelling. Everybody's been getting better every day. It's just very encouraging to see, and I feel like I'm very blessed to be in the position that I'm in, to be around a group of guys that we have."

You never got a chance to play here in front of home fans last year. So what did it mean in that second quarter when you were getting everybody riled up?

"That's just something that I do. I've been doing that since college. I've been just waiting on some fans to be out there, just get them going a little bit, that type of stuff. But yeah, I've been doing that for a long time. So it's not new."

Did the vibe out there seem unusual at all in terms of the fans in the stands with some many Raider fans?

"No, not to me. I didn't really, I saw redder than I saw black."

You all seem very close in the defensive line room. Tuesday is going to be a tough one. Are you guys ready for that?

"Oh yeah, I think so, because I want them to keep everybody we've got. We've bonded so much over this training camp and if some guys go, it's going to be hard to see them go. It's like a real brotherhood, real family-type vibe."

RB Raheem Mostert


Opening comments:

"I just wanted to make a statement. We all go through a lot of things in life and I just want to send prayers out to the families of Afghanistan. You know there's those soldiers right there, they mean a lot to this country and we all should understand that. It is very important that we acknowledge that. And like you saw it the game today. It was a meaningful moment for everybody, but I just want to send the prayers out to the families that are victims to those soldiers. My family is going to have them in our prayers as well. That's all I wanted to say. Now we can open up."

The quarterback shuffling for you guys?

"Yes, between the two quarterbacks, you get a little bit a little bit of everything. You get more [49ers QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] is the pocket protector pocket passer, making plays, but then you also get with [49ers QB Trey [Lance], he could do, you know, run and pass. And so can Jimmy as you saw today, when he scored that touchdown but, it's nice to have both the quarterbacks and just get a feel for both of them. It's truly a blessing."

Did it feel good to be out there again?

"Hey, I felt good. I haven't played ball since November, December due to being injured from last year, but it felt great being out there. I was happy. I was excited, got some explosive runs and I just need to make sure I carry that on over to the opener against Detroit."

You guys dabbled with the zone read today. Is it easy to pick back up and how did you pick it up in the past?

"We've been doing the zone read for some time now. When [former 49ers QB CJ [Beathard] was here, he was doing a great job with it. [Former 49ers QB] Nick [Mullins] too. And Jimmy as well. But when you have a guy like Trey, he can open, open things up, you've got to re-adjust to those different quarterbacks, but all in all it's still the same plays. We have to do our part. As running backs, we just have to make sure that, we don't grip the ball too hard or just automatically assume that Trey's going to pull it or anything like that. It takes practice and once you get that practice in, it's definitely going to be, it's going to be great."

Every day that you have been here the running game takes on a new identity. Do you get thrilled that it can get faster?

"Yes. This run game, we definitely do a lot more now that we have Trey but our mentality is still the same in the running back room. I f we get the opportunity we're just going to flourish, make those plays and we have to do what we have to do. And I started off with coach [Robert] Turner [Jr], he implemented that with us, some years back and even before he got here, he was still doing the same thing. When he started coaching, just implemented how important the run game is. And as you see, it's still important to this day. So we just got to keep it going and make sure that we understand the offense and, just go out there and do our thing."

So going in and out as quickly and often as they weren't as preface it, catch you off guard in the huddle?

"It catches you off guard. I'm used to having Jimmy in there the entire time. So then when Trey comes in, it's just like, oh, Hey, here comes Trey. Yeah. What are you doing here? Five, but nah, it's cool, man. It's, it's definitely unique, man. And it's honestly fun. It's fun seeing that it really is."

Jimmy commands the huddle for people who haven't been in a huddle. What does that mean? And how does, how does Trey come in?

"Yes. So when Jimmy commands a huddle, he wants to make sure everybody's doing their job, doing their assignments. And when he gets a play call, he understands. He'll tell somebody, look, I'm looking for you on this play. So you better get open or he'll say, Hey Heem, take off, just go ahead and run. Same thing with Trey when he's in there too, he's doing the same thing. He's learning a little bit more from Jimmy and he's you just see him growing, even in practice, he's doing the same thing. He's just growing and becoming more and more like Jimmy too. So yes. It's fun."

S Jaquiski Tartt


How did you come out of this game?

"It felt good. I've felt real confident ever since I came back. I had the one play where I just hit knees with the other guy. So I started limping a little bit."

I mean, you've dealt with injuries a lot in your career. How difficult has it been?

"To be honest, it's been, this has been the toughest injury I've ever had to overcome. Initially I thought I was going to be back for the start of training camp and had a setback. And the setback was pretty much just trying to get flexibility in my toe. It was just being tough on me. But I mean, the training staff, everybody got together, got a good plan for me and the plan, it was a good plan. And now I'm here."

Did you ever have a dark moment when you feared you couldn't make it back?

"No. I mean, I knew eventually I'd be back on the field, but you know, never a dark moment."

A few weeks ago head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated you weren't particularly close to coming back. Obviously you are back. Were you surprised yourself? Was there like kind of some surprising breakthrough you had?

"I mean, it's tough because with the toe it's like they say there's a certain time you should be back, but just dealing with the toe is at a certain point, I guess it will just gain flexibility when it chooses to. But I mean, just the plan, the initial plan we started, it was very productive and we just kept working at it and I kept gaining more confidence and more confidence because I was gaining more flexibility and really just trying to take it day by day. Wasn't trying to think too far ahead. And I think just taking it day by day helped out a lot. And now I'm here."

At the same time, did you feel like you needed to show something by the end of camp to make the team? Did you feel like you're up against a deadline?

"I mean, not really, no. I kind of know where I stand with the team, so not really."

When you look at this defense and see what it's capable of knowing that you have a lot of familiar faces in the secondary and a really strong defensive front and an All-Pro linebacker in LB Fred Warner?

"I mean, it's 2019 vibes for sure. But that was 2019. We're still working, like to see, we've still got like two weeks left for the first game. So we know we've got to keep grinding and get better as a team."

What was your assessment of S Talanoa Hufanga today working with him in the starting group?

"I love him, man. He has a lot of energy. He's doing his thing right now. He's balling. And so, it's good to see that from a rookie and he's taking advantage of these opportunities."

This may seem like a strange question, but what do you do, is it a lot of waiting with a toe injury? When you're rehabbing that injury, what are some of the things you do to gain flexibility?

"A lot of, really a lot of like calf raises, a lot of football movements. Just being able to just get that angle so your toe can just bend. It's different angles, you know, when you're taking on a block and even running. So it's just being able to get the angle for that toe to bend. And that's pretty much what we kept working on just to keep trying to gain more and more flexibility. So it was like, take two steps forward, one step back. But eventually you're just going to gain a step forward every time."

Do you have a new appreciation for how important your toe is?

"Yes, sir. For sure. You can't do anything without that big toe."



Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden


Opening comments:

"Okay. I'd just like to say, I'm really proud of our football team, players, and coaches for the effort they provided. The 49ers were a tough opponent for us today. You get a lot of guys a lot of opportunities and get great tape for us to evaluate. It's painful to lose, especially the way we did, but we're anxious to make sure we keep the right fit to three guys. I'll answer any questions that I can."

You do have a lot of new faces, is it different this year in terms of how close you are to that 53, or is it going to be the same in terms of how many you still have to evaluate?

"Well, we have issues with the trainer first. We have to see who's healthy and there's going to be special teams considerations. We've got a lot of things to consider. So I'm not going to say too much today, but there were some guys that I got a great opportunity for three straight weeks on a showcase where they are, what they're capable of doing. And we'll do what we think is right for our team."

I lost track of how many ways Amik Robertson played: outside cornerback, inside cornerback, special teams. And his name kept coming up. Has he responded to whatever challenge…

"I think so, I think he really has stepped up and I give [Las Vegas Raiders DB coach] Ron Milus, our new secondary coach, a lot of credit. We've seen a young player [Las Vegas Raiders CB Nate] Hobbs step up, we've seen [Las Vegas Raiders CB] Amik Robertson step up and it'll be interesting to look at the film and see which defensive backs are going to be with us this season. But certainly he stepped up and had a good day today."

Two real different ways of approaching a third exhibition game. You left a lot of your guys home and didn't even bring them and they were playing QB Jimmy Garoppolo and QB Trey Lance and LB Fred Warner at first. What went into your thinking as to how you were going to approach this game?

"Well, obviously we have a lot of injuries at linebacker. We lost another one early in the first series. We want to make sure we evaluate our team and that's what we've done. We've pretty much done the same thing for three straight years. So this is four straight years. This should be no surprise. We know where [Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh] Jacobs is. We know who our starting five linemen are. Who's a six man. Who's a seventh man. Who's the eighth man. We may not have that. We'll find out, but valuation is critical. The only way you can evaluate guys is in live situations. And we needed these three preseason games and see where our second year players are, where some of our new players are, and where our rookies are."

Not having that fourth pre-season game gives you an extra week of practice of downtime before. How beneficial is that for this team before you go start week 1?

"We've had a good off season. I don't know if you were with us in Los Angeles when we scrimmaged the Rams, our starters had two good days down there. It's going to be a unique challenge for every team in the league this year. There's going to be some idle time before the opener and the first thing's first, we've got to cut the roster down to 53 and that'll be the process that we're really negotiating our future here and how we handle next week."

Las Vegas Raiders DT Gerald McCoy got a lot of time today, did you feel his presence when he was out there?

"Yes. I got to look at the tape and I asked Gerald during the game and after the game, how he was doing. It was just great to see him out there. He had a tough injury, did not play last year, but we've been smart with him. And I thought this was a really good step in the right direction for him and really positive results I think."

Las Vegas Raiders LB Divine Deablo got his first-

"First time we've seen him play. It'd be hard for me to say until I really look at it. I'm just excited to see him cover a kick, protect the punter, play linebacker against a good football team. And they came out here alternating quarterbacks, running zone reads. We didn't cart up a lot of those plays. I give the 49ers credit, they got us on a couple of those looks. But [Las Vegas Raiders CB] Isaiah Johnson played his first game. Our coaches got to see [Las Vegas Raiders S] Karl Joseph for the first time, [Las Vegas Raiders DT] Gerald McCoy for the first time. [Las Vegas Raiders QB] Nate Peterman took every snap for us in the preseason and we looked really hard as a young offensive line and who is our fourth back right now? So we have a lot of things we have to digest and consider."

The depth of your quarterback right now and the number three, would you have liked to see Las Vegas Raiders QB Marcus Mariota just to know where he was health wise?

"I would like to, but he wasn't cleared to go. He was available on urgency basis only. We think he is getting better. Hopefully with the next 10 days to two weeks, he'll be ready to roll against the Ravens."

I know it wasn't all the starters out there, but how beneficial was it for your defense to get those zone read looks when you have Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson-

"We were talking about it on sideline. We were definitely talking about that on the sideline. We'll have our hands full, certainly with Lamar and the Ravens. And again, we'll deal with that when we have to deal with it. But right now I'm very proud of our guys, they worked hard. A lot of these guys put forth tremendous effort. That's all you can ask for in order to try to keep the best 53 guys."

Do you have many impressions of Lance and what do you think Kyle can do with him?

"I saw him run a lot of zone reads today. I know he could do that, he did that college, so I didn't really have a chance to see him. I watched him carefully in pregame. He's a great looking kid and I met him in the off-season process. He's got a huge upside and they got two good young quarterbacks."

Las Vegas Raiders WR Dillon Stoner had a nice outfitting today, is there anywhere in that wide receiver room-

"Yeah, you know I want to see him. Want to see him. He returned kickoffs and punts and played X, played Z. [Las Vegas Raiders WR] DJ Turner got hurt, I think he even snuck in there as a slot receiver. So it's a tough, tough outing for us, but I think on the stat sheet, he showed up."

Las Vegas Raiders DE Carl Nassib for he and Las Vegas Raiders WR John Brown played a little, also is there a case where he gets some work in or are there roster bubble issues there?

"We had to play somebody. Both those guys have been nicked up throughout camp. We just haven't had a chance to see him much. So we won't see him today. The last call, you know, so we want to see those guys run around a little bit so we can get some type of evaluation."

With the one last pre-season game, a lot of teams decided to play all their starters in this game. The Niners came out pretty much with their whole unit. You left most of your team back home. What was your thinking?

"Well, you know, all teams did the same thing. I mean, I think you're damned if you do and damned if you don't in a lot of ways. You lose two or three of your starters in this game and all the questions will be different. But we like what we've done with their off season program and our training camp. We took the approach to evaluate the guys we didn't know much about. A lot of these guys had college seasons that were interrupted last year. The evaluation was incomplete. You don't tackle in pads. You don't do a lot in pads like you used to. So this was the most important call for us. So we try to make the right decisions when we cut down the roster on Tuesday."

DT Gerald McCoy


Hey Gerald, you got a lot of playing time out there today. How good did it feel just physically just to kind of get back out there and shake some rust off?

"It felt excellent. Today was my first real reps. I took a few of my first practice reps this week, and been getting reps here and there, but today it was just like, throw him in the fire and it felt great. My legs felt great, no pain in the knee. Knocking the rust off felt really good. I was just back in my element, and after a while, instead of thinking about it, after a while, I was just like, all right, let's go."

I'm sure as a veteran, the Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden says, 'Hey, you know, it's kind of up to you in that regard,' but you played a long time, did you want to get there?

"Yeah, for sure, for sure. I needed it. I didn't realize, I read it this morning, I hadn't played a game in 20 months. It's taken it two years. I didn't realize that. I knew it had been a while, so I needed the reps, because I haven't practiced really. I haven't really done anything. So, I was like, if I'm going to be ready for the season, I've gotta play today. I don't care how many snaps it is, who's out there, I gotta go."

They were obviously running some zone reads and almost playing like a real game, so-to-speak. Is that good for a defense to kind of see that kind of scheming up at this point in the season?

"Yeah, of course. You need to. And really a lot of it is just reading P's [plays] and playing what you see with an offense like that. They draw it up so well that it's a lot of window dressing, a lot of smoke and mirrors to get you to look all over the place for something simple. And they're one of the best in the league at doing that."

Have you changed either way in terms of getting here, of when they get to the 53, how good this team can be and what you expect it from what you've been?

"Have I changed?"

No, your thoughts about the team.

"No, no, no, no. If anything, I feel even better about it, just watching how guys have competed against the Rams, at practice, in the game, and no matter who's on the field it's, when you've been doing this as long as I have, more than just the result, you look at the fight and how guys push through adversity. We didn't have a lot of guys today. But guys would fight regardless of how long they had to play, how many snaps they had to play, guys were fighting. And when you can have a team full of guys that are doing that, it can take you a long way."

I know you said you had stayed in shape, been working out while you were kind of out of the game, but how long did it take you once you got to training camp to kind of get back into football shape to where you felt like you were ready to actually hop into a live game?

"I don't know. That happened today. I don't know. Shoot, I didn't know what type of shape I was in. I was running on the side and I did extra. I was running hills and pushing sleds and doing all of that, but that's nothing like football man. And I was, I felt great today, and then that two-minute drive hit and I was like, oh I'm back in it! But no, I felt great today."

Were you surprised by that? Just that you were able to go out there and play that many snaps after 20 months.

"Oh yeah, that's God, man. That ain't nothing I did. God just had me covered today and I definitely prepared for, you know, our strength staff and our training room, they've done a great job of getting me prepared to play in this game and they just threw me in the fire and said let's see. And I believe I weathered the storm and did pretty decent."

You've been here a few weeks now, what are your impressions of the rest of your D-line group?

"Oh, I love them. I love them. One of the best groups I've been around. The thing about this group that I love the most is the competition. They compete at everything, whether it's the get-offs in individual, you know, individual with [Raiders Defensive Line Coach] Rod Marinelli is no joke, but guys are competing like, let me see if I can be first in this and guys are making sure that, if somebody, if we say we gonna lift, even if it's an optional lift, if somebody don't come to the optional lift, we give them a hard time. It's always competition and all it is, is pushing everybody to be great. And with this group, with the talent that they already have, when you have that type of drive, man, the sky's the limit."

CB Amik Robertson


How do you think you played this game today?

"I think I played, well, I left a couple plays out there, but you know, I just think about it like this. When you play fast, you know, you're going to miss him some play just to try to win more than you lose and try just focus on the little things."

After your rookie year, last year, How do you feel you responded so far in training camp in this preseason moving into the regular season?

"I feel like in training camp, I started off a little slow. I started to kind of get better, [DC] Gus [Bradley] always said some guy's going to click early, some guys are going to click after OTAs, and some guy going to pick up during the pre-season. I feel like he just started clicking probably at the end OTAs and now, I think that I am just starting to get my groove in the preseason."

Have you looked in the DB room and the depth chart to see where you fit in?

"Not necessarily. I'm a very competitive guy I just thought about and I just control what I can control, you know, and just try to learn and get better each and every week. How to learn from the guys that were drafted, the veterans. I didn't really look at the chart. I am just going to do my job and compete every day."

On your social media you hinted that people may have overlooked you last year. Do you feel that is the case and did you put last year behind you and learned from it?

"I most definitely did. I was definitely putting last year behind me and tried to learn from last year, kind of look at it in a positive way. Like I said before, I didn't really get too involved with it. I know who I am at the end of the day. I know who I am and I know what I can do. So I just kind of looked at it in a positive way."

At that nickel spot, What did you feel like you made the biggest improvement issue compared to where you were as a rookie?

"I would say overall, I think that my biggest improvement was all over. Trying to the ball, covering better, believing and trusting in my technique and most importantly being around the ball. That's who I am. A guy that's always around the ball. I try to focus on the little things. [Las Vegas Raiders defensive backs coach Ron] Malus always coaches us to do our jobs and focus on the little things. That's where I think that I have improved at."

How much have you learned from coach Malus?

"A lot. A lot. He is a coach that is hard on me. He thinks that I don't like him but I honestly love him, I love that he's hard on me. Try to focus on the details and doing the little things, when you just do your job and trust your coaches and players will come, you can take a play. They'll, come with you. Just when your numbers called just make those plays."

How much confidence would you say you have now in comparison to when you first came in?

"A whole lot of confidence. I had to really sit back and really know who I am, figure out what was. I kind of fell away from that last year. I kind of lost my confidence just a little bit, but when you talk like that, coaches like [Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon] Gruden and Milus, it builds you back up. That's what I feel like this year, I had a fresh start, a new coaching staff, and I wanted to set a different image of myself than I had last year. I feel like it was kind of a slow start, but I think I'm where I want to be now. I think that I'm still getting better at the end of the day."

WR Dillon Stoner


You got a chance to get a lot of plays today. How did you feel you played and showcasing your stuff?

"Yeah, it was good. You know, [Head] coach [Jon Gruden] put us is an opportunity to make plays. [Raiders QB] Nate [Peterman] had two great balls that even I really didn't have to do much just right on the money. So obviously that was fun. I wish the outcome of the game would have been a little bit different. Obviously hats off to the 49ers and their organization. We played hard and fought hard to the end."

Today was kind of the last day for people to make their impressions. What's the next 48 hours going to look like?

"That's a great question. Obviously it's my first time in this type of situation. You know, all I can do is all I can do and I felt like I did that today. So I'm super blessed to have made it this far. No matter what happens, I'm very blessed."

Coach Gruden mentioned that you played multiple receiver position today in X and Z. What's it going to take to be flexible enough to move you around?

"Coach Gruden did a great job getting us in early and all of the rookies in early, really just getting a lot of reps at the offense and understanding the offense. We had a rookie mini-camp, but we really started all through OTA's. It was just as many reps as you can get. He didn't shy away from the rookies. He wanted all of us to understand the offense as a whole. So you know, just getting more and more comfortable as each week went on, helped me a lot."

What's been the learning curve this off season as far as you mentioned getting used to the offense, it feels like it's clicked already? Are you still kind of in the process of getting comfortable?

"I think I am still getting there and I think I'll always still be getting there. I don't think I'll be totally comfortable in groups. You know, there's never ending stuff. Just being here early and getting, getting a hold of the playbook early and getting to do all those reps has helped me tremendously."

How good do you feel on those two passes today?

"Yeah, it felt great. You know, like I said, it's been long pre-season and a long training camp that. It was cool to see some more come to fruition today. So like I said, and hats off to Nate for putting right on the money and I didn't have to do a lot for that."



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