David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan: ‘Doing things better,’ not tweaks, will lead to an improved 49ers defense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM--


The 49ers had their first game of the season Sunday against the Lions, and it was DeMeco Ryans' first game as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers.

Ryans, who was promoted after former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh became the head coach of the New York Jets, made the impression this offseason that he wanted the team to be ultra-aggressive, beginning with the defensive line.

And that was the case Sunday, as four different 49ers (DT Kentavious Street, DE Nick Bosa, DE Arik Armstead, and DE Dee Ford) racked up at least five pressures, with Armstead leading the way at 9 total for the game.

However, with the positives came some work to improve on, as the 49ers allowed 116 rushing yards, with most of the damage coming along the interior.

When head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked after the game about what he saw from DeMeco Ryans and what needed to be tweaked with the defense, Shanahan pointed out the rushing aspect and players not being in the proper spots, allowing the backs to enter the second and third levels of the defense.

"I think DeMeco will tell you the same thing," Shanahan said. "It's not as much about tweaking things. It's about doing things better. There's a number of things that we've done here, going into our fifth year in a row, early in that game, especially those three runs up the middle. Just a couple of guys not being in the right gap. And it wasn't one culprit. It was three different guys from three different plays."

On Detroit's first touchdown drive of the game, running back Jamaal Williams had a 20-yard rush up the middle, which pushed the Lions forward en route to a touchdown.

Then, on the next drive, De'Andre Swift had consequent rushes of 16 and 15 yards, setting Detroit up for a field goal, keeping them within reach at 14-10.

"I think they had like 110 yards rushing, and I think they got 60-something yards on three of the same play, which were all very similar," Shanahan said. "That's more just you've got to tie 11 guys together to stop the run, and when one guy gets out, it's going to get [to] Jimmie Ward real quick, if that's the middle-third player. You're just hoping he can save a touchdown."

Jimmie Ward, who played well Sunday, got beat on a 1-on-1 tackling opportunity during De'Andre Swift's 43-yard touchdown, which came from a screen pass.

"Three of those really hurt," Shanahan added. "Just a couple of mistakes there at the end of the game that allowed them to get some quick points and stuff. But stuff that we've got to get better at in terms of not making mistakes. That's why I'm real excited to get to practice on Wednesday [to fix] that stuff."

With the 49ers heading to Philadelphia next weekend to face the Eagles, look for them to shore up that interior run defense against young running back Miles Sanders, especially if defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is healthy to play.
Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article? Report it.





More San Francisco 49ers News



Kyle Shanahan: 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk needs 'to be a lot better' than Trent Sherfield to earn more playing time

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 15

The 49ers have a conundrum on their hands. At least it seems so, with the constant hesitancy around Brandon Aiyuk from head coach Kyle Shanahan. Brandon Aiyuk was the 49ers' promising 1st-round pick from just a year ago, catching sixty passes for 748 yards and seven combined touchdowns while starting only 11 games, being an explosive piece in both the run and pass game. However, this past Sunday, when the 49ers opened their season against the Detroit Lions, Aiyuk was not involved in either aspect, catching no passes and getting no rushes, which raised eyes about the 49ers' offensive game plan. While Aiyuk nursed a hamstring injury throughout the offseason, there was optimism that the second-year receiver would return and play a prominent role as the



Eagles' Nick Sirianni on 49ers' Kyle Shanahan: "He knows how to attack a defense"

By David Bonilla
Sep 15

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan doesn't have a relationship with his Philadelphia Eagles counterpart, Nick Sirianni, just yet. Shanahan told reporters today that the two haven't had a chance to get to know each other other than one phone call. "Seems like a hell of a guy," Shanahan said. "I really like how he's carrying himself, and you can tell his team's playing real hard, and they looked real well-coached in their first week. I know some players who know him, and they speak very highly of him." Sirianni, a first-year head coach, also spoke with reporters today. He was asked to share how watching Shanahan with San Francisco might have influenced him, directly or indirectly. Sirianni has a lot of respect for Shanahan and the way he



Kyle Shanahan explains how Trey Lance is helping the 49ers defense prepare for the Eagles

By David Bonilla
Sep 18

Athletic quarterbacks have been a challenge for the San Francisco 49ers defense in recent years, and the NFC West has two of the best in Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. They are quarterbacks who can not only hurt you with their arms but improvise with their legs. The 49ers defense will face another similar challenge on Sunday in Philadelphia Eagles second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts. This year, however, DeMeco Ryans' unit should be more prepared. Not necessarily because of anything the first-year defensive coordinator has implemented this offseason but because of the team's first-round draft pick, Trey Lance, who the defense regularly faces in practices. "It definitely helps them be more prepared," head coach Kyle Shanahan explained to NBC Sports Bay Area this



'Things are slowing down for me': Jimmy Garoppolo more comfortable than ever with 49ers offense

By David Bonilla
Sep 13

There were two narratives presented to San Francisco 49ers fans this offseason. The first was by the team itself. Even though it was drafting a quarterback of the future in Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo remained very much in the plans for 2021. The other narrative was that the 49ers sought to trade Garoppolo but couldn't find a deal that fits. The team didn't care which narrative you believed. It was just moving forward with its plan. The 49ers, after all, have become incredibly proficient at blocking the outside noise, even as the coach, general manager, and player after player are repeatedly asked about the quarterback situation. Garoppolo might tell you it's an "it-is-what-it-is kind of thing," as he often does. And he'd be correct. He refused to


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone