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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan and Trey Lance provide final updates ahead of 49ers-Rams

Jan 7, 2022 at 3:20 PM--

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Opening comments:

"[DL Maurice] Mo Hurst will be questionable. [LB Dre] Greenlaw, questionable. [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair], questionable. [QB Jimmy] Garoppolo, questionable. [S Jaquiski] Tartt, questionable. [LB] Marcell Harris, questionable. And [T] Trent Williams, questionable. Go ahead."

As far as Jimmy, we saw him throw early in practices and it is hard for us to see any difference with him. Did he have any setbacks from Tuesday to Friday? And what was your observation of watching him throw?

"He had a good week. Yeah, a good week of practice when he was in there. I feel good with where he is at right now."

And what was Trent Williams able to do today? Did he practice at all?

"No, Trent didn't practice. No, he's still rehabbing his elbow, trying to get ready for the game. So hopefully he'll be out there."

As far as the guys that were on the COVID list, is CB Ambry Thomas the only one who was activated as of right now?

"Yeah, Ambry was activated. He was out there today. And the rest of the guys have a chance tomorrow."

How did Emmanuel Moseley get through the week and look to you this week?

"I thought he had a good week. We really only go full speed on Thursday, which guys like him, Greenlaw, Azeez, guys who haven't had a chance to do it for a little bit, you'd like to go full speed for them all three days, but with where the team's at, you can't do that. So I was excited about him on Thursday. He had a good walkthrough today, so I feel good about him being ready this week."

If you're feeling good about where Jimmy is right now, would you want to take the leap and say he might be starting?


And Kyle how did Dre Greenlaw make it through the week?

"Dre had a good week. He has tried to get through a number of these weeks and hasn't gotten this close yet, so the fact that he's questionable today makes me feel that he has had his most successful week. And hopefully he'll be good enough to go on Sunday, just talking to him, but I have some optimism with how the week's gone."

What was Jimmy's mindset and just his demeanor all week of playing through the pain and how did QB Trey Lance look during the week?

"Trey had a good week. I thought he was a little bit better this week than last week, so he keeps improving. I think everything with Jimmy was just trying to feel on what he was comfortable with, what he could push, what he couldn't push through. And just trying to figure out all the parts of the game that do go down on Sunday that you try to do your best to simulate it this week."

Are there throws that you want, I guess you didn't ask Jimmy to make this week, because they could potentially hurt his thumb and you'll just maybe wait until, I guess it would be game day to see if he is capable of making those?

"No, I know what we're doing. I just don't feel like telling you right now. Is that what your question is?"

No, my question is are there throws, deep throws, throws that might be hard on his thumb that could either irritate his thumb that you say, 'Hey, we're not going to have you do that in practice and maybe we'll just see if you can in warmups Sunday.' See if we can let those fly?

"Yeah, possibly. I wish I had a mask on too, so I could hide my facial expressions."

Given Jimmy's week and the fact you said he's looked good. Have you already made your decision on who's starting Sunday or will you hold it over and then really decide Sunday morning?

"No, I'm not deciding Sunday morning. We don't have any practice left. I know where Jimmy's at today. I know where Trey's at. I know where our team is at and I feel pretty good about where we're at, so I'm excited to get to Sunday. I am really glad I don't have any press conferences after today. So once I survive this, I'm done talking about it. So I think we'll be good after that, but I think you guys understand why you don't announce it. But regardless, especially with Trey playing last week, we've got two guys here with some experience that our team feels good with and we'll see how it plays out."

Who steps in if Trent can't go? And how would you feel about going that way?

"You always want the best tackle in the league out there, so you don't feel as good if he can't go out there. But [OL] Jaylon Moore's got some opportunities this year, he's played some good football. And we also have [OL] Colton McKivitz, who hasn't got a chance this year, but last year he got a start at guard versus the Rams, so he'd be an option also."

Do you relish keeping it vague more because it's Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay?

"No, it more has to do with their defense and just making [Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator] Raheem [Morris] a little more uncomfortable. Not that Raheem ever gets uncomfortable, but it's just not worth saying. There's just no really point in it, except to avoid more of these press conferences, which this is my last one, so I feel like I can tough this one out."

I think you mentioned Azeez as someone who's questionable for Sunday, is he a little further along than maybe you expected him to be right now?

"Azeez does everything he can week-in and week-out to try to get to Sunday. You guys have seen him with his elbow braces he's been working on throughout this year. So we knew it would be tough to get to this Sunday. It's still tough. But he's about where we expected, having a chance to play. But when we say he is questionable, he really is questionable. I'll be very impressed if he can get there, but he's shown that he has a chance to get there."

This might be a weird question, but in Madden when you're looking at a play, you'll click the thing and you'll flash how the routes look before the play to remember where all the receivers are going. Is there a way to sort of teach quarterbacks how to visualize plays? I don't know if that's a stupid question, but is there a way you teach that or is it just each individual guy sort of --?

"No, you do it over and over and over it again. I believe you're not great at anything until you put 10,000 hours into it and that's why OTAs aren't enough, training camp is not enough. It's what you do away from people, it's what you do when you're with us, it's what you do every single day. You've got no chance in this league as a quarterback if you're not working that type of way because it's not just visualizing all the plays and the way you can mix five eligible. It's also the protections, it's the coverages, it's the fronts, the blitzes, the situations, all the techniques on handoffs and all of the you have to do that with the snap counts and all the motions. So it's a job that not many people in this world can do, so I've got a lot of respect for the people who do it at a high level."

QB Trey Lance

What was this week like for you in terms of how reps were divvied up, maybe compared to last week when you were getting all the reps and how did you get through it?

"Yeah, obviously I didn't get them all. [QB] Jimmy's [Garoppolo] back limited this week. So it was good for me, obviously, to still be able to get some reps and at the same time work through it with Jimmy. It was unique a little bit with us being able to talk through reps that we both get. I think [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] did a great job for me, personally, just being able to prepare still this week and still being able to get some reps, not knowing, obviously, what's going to happen with Jimmy on Sunday."

Kyle said that your week was better than last week. So what ways did you see progress with yourself out there on the practice field?

"I just think throughout the season, every single rep that I get, I get better. I learn so much from every rep, whether it's just practice or a game. And like I said, being able to have Jimmy out there and being able to be limited, throwing some this week, I think helped me a lot also."

How do you feel your preparation has changed over the last couple of weeks as you prepare to take more and more reps and potentially play on Sunday?

"Honestly, the only thing that's changed is just me getting reps in practice, for me. Obviously, it's my job to prepare and be as ready as I possibly can every single week. So for me, mentally and from a preparation standpoint, it really hasn't changed."

When you had a chance to go back and watch what you did last Sunday. What were some of your takeaways? What did you like, what did you did not like from that game?

"I think really kind of what I said after the game held true. Some good, some bad, but definitely learned a lot from every single rep."

What are some of the tips that you've been given about avoiding the Rams defensive front of Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald and others?

"Obviously, there's some guys on that D-Line that are going to make their plays, but protecting the football is number one."

We talked to TE George Kittle and to WR Deebo Samuel yesterday, and both of them said that they couldn't see any differences in Garoppolo passes. Obviously, he didn't take all the passes, but from what you saw, would you be able to tell that he is dealing with a thumb injury?

"He has a wrap on his hand, I'm sure you guys saw. But I know that soreness, I've never had the injury, but I know how tough Jimmy is. I know that it hurts when he throws, so I know he is going to do everything he can to play on Sunday. And I know he's a tough dude, so whatever he can do, he will."

I don't know how much nerves you've had in your previous starts, but when have a game kind of this magnitude with these kind of stakes, just where's your mind right now as you look forward to potentially playing in it?

"Yeah, the stakes were the same last week in my head and honestly in Arizona. It's really not like I try any harder or prepare harder or better just because this could be it. It's win or go home, but it really was the same exact stakes last week. So nothing really changes."

Because you're in this unique situation now of having split the reps this week with Jimmy, do you feel that if you go back to your number two job against the Rams, that you'll be in a better position to maybe serve as a resource for him and have some nice conversations between series?

"Yeah, I'm sure the reps will help. Really preparation from that standpoint, nothing really changes. I see the same pictures that Jimmy does, we're in the same meetings, we're good friends, so we talk a lot. So from that standpoint, on the sidelines from game-to-game, it's kind of just us sharing what we see. And obviously, [quarterback's coach] Rich [Scangarello] on the sideline and [QB] Nate [Sudfeld] are huge helps also."

Kyle was asked yesterday or a couple days ago about how supportive George Kittle has been and how he tries to avoid his hits after a good play. Have you tried to avoid him? And then also, how much has it been a help for you having his support?

"Yeah, George is high energy dude. As everyone knows, he's been big bro to me for sure. One of my big bros since the first day I stepped in this locker room. So I'm super thankful for him, the energy he brings. And yeah, after big plays I know a lot of people should probably watch out for George because I don't know if he necessarily can turn it down in his brain."

Do you have a pre-game routine, whether you eat the same thing every week or you listen to a playlist? Do you have any kinds of pre-game routines like that?

"No, not really. I'm not very superstitious or anything like that, but I try to do what I can to feel comfortable and ready to go."

What unique challenges does the Rams defense present in terms of both scheme and personnel?

"From a personnel standpoint, they have a lot of guys that can take over the game, can change the game. I think the biggest thing for us offensively, is just taking care of the ball. As long as we don't have turnovers offensively, trust that our defense is going to get stops and get takeaways, I think that that's really all we need to worry about."

I asked Kyle basically the same thing, but when you're playing Madden, you visualize route trees before the snap. What's your process of visualizing plays and coverages? Do you have something that you go through before games, overnight, or right before each play where you sort of see the play out in your head?

"I'd say probably every rep you take, every time you picture a play, every time you read the play in the huddle, you have to visualize it. If I don't know what my guys are doing, then it's going to be really tough to run it against a defense."


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