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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan provides final updates ahead of 49ers-Cowboys

Jan 14, 2022 at 3:12 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after today's practice. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Opening Comments:

"Alright guys, injuries for the game. [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair] will be questionable. [S Talanoa] Hufanga will be questionable. [P] Mitch Wishnowsky will be questionable and [LB] Marcell Harris is questionable. That's it. Go ahead."

The All-Pro list came out today and T Trent Williams and WR Deebo Samuel made it, DL Nick Bosa did not. What was the reaction among the team and yourself in regards to all three of those guys?

"I haven't got a chance to talk to the guys, it's unbelievable for Deebo and Trent, it's more than deserved, I'm so happy for them. I definitely think Bosa should be there. There's no doubt about that, I don't think people appreciate how good Bosa is play-in and play-out. I've heard people talk about him for Comeback Player of the Year and every time they say that I can't believe he hasn't been mentioned in Defensive Player of the Year. So that was a surprise to me."

Is there an aspect of the Cowboys, where as you've gotten deeper into the week, specifically offense looking at their defense, where you're more and more impressed by something they do?

"I was pretty impressed just turning on the tape, just because of how hard they play and how fast they move. It jumps off the screen, the way their d-line plays so reminds me of [Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn. It's similar style to our defensive line in just how they're penetrating and coming off the ball at all times. The more you watch them, it just gets stronger. You realize in their secondary why they get so many turnovers. They create havoc up front with how fast they play and all the stunts and everything. And everybody back there in the backend has some ball skills. They play good man coverage, but if there's ever an overthrow, if there's ever a tip, they very rarely miss it. And that's why they've been one of the better defenses to me in the league."

Yesterday Trent Williams spoke to us about how he felt like he was letting the team down by not playing last week. How much of that is indicative of what you have in the locker room and also just what he brings to your team and the roster?

"It's huge. I think guys put a lot of pressure on themselves and it's really tough to get up for these games every week. Just the physicality of it that not many people in this world can do it and it's a huge challenge for those guys, but those guys don't want to let each other down and they all try so hard to get to Sunday, but sometimes your body won't allow it, especially as you get here towards the end. And especially with that, if we didn't win, knowing there wouldn't be a game after it, that was tough. And I knew how hard that was for Trent, it was hard for all those guys. That's why those guys were as excited as anybody that we won, because I know they want to come back and help us get through these playoffs."

On Wishnowsky, I'm assuming he still has a couple steps to clear or another step to clear in the concussion protocol? And then how close is Azeez? Where is he at in this process?

"I feel pretty good about him, we have to make this flight, see how he's feeling when he gets there and everything. He was able to do a little bit more this week than last week. He is questionable, so I feel better than doubtful. But I'm really hoping he can pull it out because we all know the player he is and if he does pull it out, it'll be very impressive that he's made it back."

I have a couple questions about CB K'Waun Williams, does he remain your top nickel?

"Yeah. K'Waun's one of the top nickels in the league. We'll see for Sunday. You're always trying to trick me, I'm starting to notice it (laughing)."

It's only taken five seasons (laughing) and also you only talked about his preparation. He didn't feel prepared against the Rams. Obviously, he'd been on the COVID list. I'm wondering, just for clarity, was it any issue with his energy or was it just missing practice? And if it was the latter, did you understand his reasoning?

"Yeah, I understood it. Everybody has their reasons, I've known K'Waun for a while. K'Waun is very meticulous and a regimented guy and there was a lot of stuff that he missed and his body didn't feel right going through all that. And the situation we're in, he didn't feel it was right for him to go. And if K'Waun feels that way, we know K'Waun pretty well. You guys can watch how K'Waun plays the game, you never question K'Waun. And he did put a lot into it trying to go and he did not feel right and that he felt he wasn't in a good spot to go on Sunday. So we fully supported that and it was next man up and we needed a number of them."

You guys have faced lots of good wide receivers this year. How good is the tandem Dallas has of Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee lamb and Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper and how do they complement each other?

"They're real good just in terms of they both can run with the ball. Amari's been doing it for a while in this league. He's real good route runner. He can make some big plays deep and underneath and CeeDee has got some of that running back type skillset in terms of every time he catches it, it's like a kick or punt return. That's how he was in college too. He's a dynamic guy that can make some plays and every time he touches the ball, it better not be the guy in front of him. He better have the other 10 guys swarming to it because he can reverse the field, so two really good players. They got a really good group tied with the great quarterback. I know missing [Dallas Cowboys WR Michael] Gallup's huge. I know they have to be bummed about that. Because just watching him, he is a real good player for them, but we played a number of good groups this year and they're right up there with anyone."

Just following up on Nick's question as far as Mitch and where he is on getting out of that concussion protocol?

"We feel pretty optimistic he will. I think he has to pass one more, where I think he needs no symptoms tomorrow. But he's been doing real well."

Hey coach, just overall the preparation, can you get a sense of how the week went and the confidence level of this team going into Sunday's game?

"I feel like most of the teams in the playoffs are pretty confident right now and we're no different. I think we felt this way, really, we felt really all confident going into that Tennessee game. You could tell how we came out and we had a real tough loss and we knew how big the next game would be verse Houston. And I think we played real well and got ourselves out of that. And we took that confidence into L.A., just like it was a playoff game. We had a feeling the way everything else was going to go, that it was a playoff game. And I feel that just makes us even more battle tested for right now because it feels no different. We've kind of been in this mode for a few weeks now, if not half the season, and we're used to it and the more we do it, the more we get confidence, the better we feel and the more we're excited and we just really want to get to the game."

I just wanted to follow up on RB Trenton Cannon, I know you opened the window for him this week. How far along is he and is it possible you'll get him back this week also?

"Yeah, he's cleared to go. He was able to come and practice this week and from a health standpoint, he's fine. And just from a mental standpoint, I think it really helped him get into practice this week, trying to do some stuff, so he feels comfortable. And we'll see how the 48 pans out, but he's definitely an option for us."
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