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Kyle Shanahan, Trey Lance discuss first 49ers-Vikings joint practice

Aug 17, 2022 at 2:39 PM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Trey Lance spoke with reporters after Wednesday's joint practice with the Minnesota Vikings. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Opening Comments:

"Alright guys, nothing new to report for the injuries except [WR Danny Gray] was back today. [CB Emmanuel Moseley] E-man and [DL Arik] Armstead were back in individual, but didn't do any competitive periods. Go ahead."

What'd you think of the work you guys got today?

"I thought it was good work. It's always nice to change the scenery, go against some different people. I know our players like that and always going against different fronts and schemes and different concepts is good for the monotony we've had."

How much of an emphasis was no fighting or was that talked about a lot?

"Yeah, that's a pretty big emphasis. I just have a deal with [Minnesota Vikings head coach] Kevin [O'Connell]. If anyone throws a punch, we're going to kick him out of practice and we know how important it is to get this practice work right now. And that's always stressed, because we need to practice and if you fight, you're going to be out of there, so do everything you can to not."

How has QB Trey Lance done for you so far?

"Trey's done a good job. I thought he had a good day today and we're in the middle of camp, so you have some good, some bad, but he's getting better throughout the whole process."

How did you feel about his protection?

"Good at times, bad at times. Kind of like all of that is. When you drop back, you get in some third down situations, that's what you expect. Some of those two minutes, that's what you expect. Always want to do better, but it was about what I expected."

There was a play early on in the practice on a pass from Trey to WR Deebo Samuel, Deebo caught it, but it was a little bit behind him, a little bit off. How is Trey in sort of that short stuff of where you want to set up the guy for some yards after the catch? Is that a concern for you at all?

"You always want to hit guys perfectly in stride. It's a little tough behind the line of scrimmage on those plays, because you have some run pass options, but I mean yeah, he's hard on himself with it and when you get guys in space, the better you can hit them in stride, the more YAC they can get."

In what ways has he gotten better since last year?

"Just being more consistent. He gotten a little better at everything, which is what you need to do for a rookie coming in, especially the lack experience that Trey had. So you throw everything at him and sometimes he gets one down and then you go a bunch of new stuff and then that takes a step back. So that's been the process here throughout all last year and coming into this year, just in every single area, the consistency of it, not having to take two steps back as much. As I keep saying, the more he plays, the more reps he gets, the better he'll get."

Will he not get any reps in the game Saturday?

"Right now, I'm not expecting to, but we're day-to-day with that, we'll see how practice goes tomorrow. And there's a chance he will, but that was the original plan."

What was the thought process about releasing DB Darqueze Dennard the other day when he's been your number one nickelback for most of the offseason?

"We didn't think he was going to earn that spot. Whether he is out there with the ones or not, no one really is slotted that way, except for the depth charts we have to give you guys before preseason. So we wanted to give him opportunities, being the vet and with younger guys coming in, but we got to see enough where we felt the younger guys were going to have a chance, so we want to give them some reps. And Dennard's been awesome for us when he helped last year stepping in, in that game. He was a good player for us this offseason. And we'll see how these guys do and if doesn't work out, hopefully someday can come back."

"Yeah, [CB Samuel] Womack [III]. I think everyone saw him during the game and he did a real good job. He's done a decent job in practice too. We have some safeties who we can mix there also. So there's still some competition, but yeah, we've been happy with how he's been so far."

There's 10 new head coaches this year, five of them are first-year guys, what advice would you have for a guy like Kevin?

"Just be himself. Be aggressive in everything you do, don't hesitate, if you believe in something, there's a reason you've gotten this opportunity, listen to everybody and the people who have the experience, but when you have an opinion and you want to go somewhere, don't hesitate and don't look back."

Is it odd to you that there's only been five guys who've been at their job four seasons or longer?

"Yes, that is a little weird, but I guess that's why I'm starting to get grayer each year, getting older."

How much have you crossed paths with Kevin over the years?

"Yeah, we've never worked together, but our paths have been real close together. I remember studying the heck out of him coming out San Diego State. That was my first year as a quarterback coach, so I was aware of him as a player. And then when he got into the league, he's been with a bunch of close people of mine being, I think with [Minnesota Vikings assistant head coach Mike] Pettine and the group in Cleveland, being with [Los Angeles Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] and those guys in Washington and the Rams. He's been in San Francisco with a number of coaches on our staff, so I've been able to get to know Kevin, never worked with him, but he's an awesome dude. And you guys got a hell of a coach."

Trey came out of a small school as everybody knows, was that ever an issue in his progress? And if it, has he passed that?

"Yeah, everyone's a product of their experiences before they come. And so when you play at a smaller school, there's some things to that that you have to get later. And there's some things though that it helps also, so he's just like anyone else, but that's his situation. And he got two games last year and when he gets in the season this year, we'll find out."

Trey led the team out of tunnel in the first game of the preseason, is that something just happens organically? I'm assuming no one says, 'Hey, Trey. It's your turn.' Does it just kind of happen?

"I think so. I don't assign people and I'm definitely not out there in that, so it'd probably be better to ask those guys."

Hey Kyle, did you get a chance to say hi to Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins or anything along those lines yet?

"No, I didn't get a chance to see him. I'm sure I will here in the next day or so, but no, we were on separate fields and you guys got a big facility here, so it was harder to run into people than it is at ours. But no, Kirk's awesome. I'd love to catch up, but we didn't get a chance at practice today."

Is your dad coming out?

"Yeah. He got in last night. He was able to be here at practice and watch these two days."

You were born here.

"I was."

How old were you when you left?

"14 days. I don't know exactly. I was born in the middle of December and we left when college football ended, so it was pretty fast. It was like by January."

What are your favorite memories?

"I was cold. No, I didn't have any memories except I had a Minnesota social security number."

Trey is from Minnesota, is there no sentimentally to get him a couple reps in the game?

"Now that you reminded me that he is, maybe I'll think about it, but no, not at all. Sorry."

QB Trey Lance

How does it feel to be back in Minnesota?

"Oh, it's good to be back. It's good to see you. It's fun, obviously, going to get a couple good days of work, great days of work here. Practice, it's fun practicing against someone else, see another defense. And then traveling and getting in the hotel and spend a lot of time with the guys."

The first time I saw you play, it was against children, just down the road. Did you ever think that one day you'd be here doing this?

"I mean that was always the dream, but man, it happened fast. But I'm excited to be here. Kind of settled in now, year two. Yeah, just excited for this year.

How did practice go for you today?

"Some ups and downs, excited to watch it for sure. Again, it's just good to go against another defense, one-on-ones, seven-on-seven, red zone, everything against another team. And the new stuff they're doing this year, it's fun to practice against. They give a lot of good looks, obviously a real talented defense with a lot of guys who have played a lot."

You're targeting WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle a lot. Obviously, they're pretty big, productive players for this team. Do you now feel like you're getting that rhythm with those guys?

"Playing football, it's kind of throwing where the defense tells me where to throw the ball more than, I don't just go back and pick a guy. But yeah, absolutely I'm finding rhythm. I missed a big one with George and a big one with Deebo today. But yeah, I think those are great things to go back and watch on tape and just talk through with those guys."

These practices with the Vikings, do you circle them on your calendar? I know this is preseason, but what were your thoughts when you first saw that?

"I was excited for sure. I get to see my family, see some friends, but it's work at this point. I come out here, these two days of practice should be awesome for us and Saturday as well."

Trey, is there a good amount of family and friends here today?

"Yeah, today and tomorrow for sure. My high school team, the Vikings, I appreciate them they actually got some buses for my high school team to come out tomorrow, so I can say what's up to some high school coaches and some teammates as well."

Do you go into these hoping that the Vikings show you certain looks that you don't get from your own defense in camp?

"Not really hoping for anything specific, but definitely excited to see the looks, like I said, they got a lot of guys who have, especially in the secondary, have played a lot of football. So just picking those guys brains and watching how they play, it helps me out a lot."

Can you walk me through the fourth down play to Deebo during the two-minute drill?

"Yeah, it was a three-man rush, fourth-and-long, I just scrambled out to my right, Deebo did a great job on two of them, had a keeper as well that he came off schedule with, and then that play as well. He's done a great job of schedule for us, along with [WR] Jauan [Jennings] and B.A., but Deebo showed up today."

Do you feel like you and him are starting to figure it out and connect a bit more?

"Yeah, I mean I felt like we were always hot but no, he's done a great job these last few days. Just again, the more reps we get together, the more stuff we get to watch together the better we're going to be."

In the preseason opener, you led the team after a timeout, you broke the huddle down as a team. Is that something that happens organically?

"Yeah, it's totally organic."

How's it been seeing your interior offensive line go against another defensive line?

"Yeah, like I said, going against another defense again, real talented D-line, some big guys up there, but I thought they've been doing a great job. Hopefully we get [OL Daniel Brunskill] Dan back soon as well. But man, [OL] Spencer Burford, [OL] Aaron Banks, [OL] Jake [Brendel], those guys have done a great job and I'm expecting them to continue to do so."

So which players do you like on this defensive?

"It's more positions than players specifically. I know [Minnesota Vikings S] Harrison [Smith] is going to mix up the looks, [Minnesota Vikings CB Patrick Peterson] Pat P is also really good. I mean those guys, their whole secondary, they do a great job of holding their looks pre-snap and then waiting post snap to move. But yeah, not really one specific guy."

Do you kind of pick the brains of those guys?

"Yeah, I haven't talked to them, but just watching them play, watching the way they move in seven-on-seven in the red zone especially. Their pre-snap looks specifically, they do a great job and like I said, man, those guys have seen a lot of football."

You're healthy right now versus this time last year, do you feel like you're processing everything better?

"Yeah, things have slowed down a lot, I'd say mentally and physically. I feel like I'm in a much better spot on both ends and yeah, obviously I'm in a different position."

Trey, what are you working on the most right now? You saw things are slowing down, what's--?

"Man, for me just trying to come out here every day and trying to get better, taking it one step at a time, especially with these practices. One step at a time, one day at a time, and just continuing to groove with these guys."

What kind of prep do you before a practice this against the Vikings just to get prepared for what looks you might see?

"A little bit, not a ton. A little bit of personnel. A little bit of Denver's defense last year and a little bit of Minnesota's defense last year. But yeah, they mix it up a lot. A little bit of their preseason game against the Raiders. But it's preseason, so we don't see everything. But like I said, these two days will be super important. Hopefully I'll get to see a lot of different looks."


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