Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan believes he’s yet to find a consistent play-calling rhythm this season

Oct 25, 2021 at 6:31 AM--

Six games into the 2021 season, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan says he has still yet to have a game where he's truly found a groove from a play-calling perspective.

The 49ers have had their inconsistencies on offense throughout the season, with their 30-18 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 being the latest example. The offense got off to a strong start against the Colts with a touchdown on the opening drive followed by two field goals before the end of the first quarter, but from there they went into a funk that saw them put together seven failed possessions before finding the end zone one more time in the fourth quarter.

Shanahan was asked in his postgame press conference if he felt he's gotten into a play-calling rhythm for an entire game at any point this season and answered in the negative.

"No, I don't think I've gotten in a great rhythm," Shanahan said. "I think we've done it on a couple drives, but we have not sustained that and I haven't felt comfortable with it."

Even if Shanahan hasn't hit a consistent play-calling stride, it's unlikely any of his players have lost any trust in their coach's knack for calling plays.

"I don't think it's more of a scheme thing," wide receiver Deebo Samuel said Sunday night. "We believe in Kyle, and Kyle does a great job all week of putting us in position to make plays. We just have to lock in on all the details and focus more and just come together."

The 49ers have had their share of injuries on offense throughout the season and are continuing to make their share of costly errors, among them being the four turnovers they had Sunday night. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn't have the answer when asked why the offense is continuing to make mistakes, saying they'll simply need to take things up a notch in their game preparation in order to fix the problem.

"I don't know. I don't have one specific thing," Garoppolo said. "I think whatever play is called, we just have to go out there and execute it. It's just about putting in more time, more effort, staying longer, putting in more hours, things like that. It's the little things at this point. The NFL is a crazy thing. One week you're on top, one week you're at the bottom of it. Every team has their ups and downs. We're at the lower end of the point right now. But we can fight back."

Whether it's play-calling or execution, the 49ers are clearly still a work in progress on offense.

"It's a lack of discipline when you get a couple penalties," Shanahan said. "We can do better at that. There's times I don't think we throw and catch very well. Then you've got to make some big plays, which we had a chance in the run game early on, but we didn't get that going for three quarters after that. So it's a combination of everything."

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