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Kyle Shanahan provides final updates ahead of 49ers-Bears

Sep 9, 2022 at 2:42 PM--

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after Friday's practice and ahead of the team's Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Opening Comments:

"Injuries: [OL Daniel] Brunskill, out. [TE George] Kittle, questionable."

Did Kittle practice today?

"No, he didn't go out there today. It was all walk through."

As far as preparation and adjusting to life without Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, how have things gone with offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster this year? And has he been able to give you a new or different perspective just given his o-line background? Has that been valuable to you?

"It always has. Chris was with me in Washington for four years before we brought Mike there and he's been here for four years. I know he got more added to his title, but he's always been the same, the same role here. Chris has always been a big part of this. It's been different. Mike's been with me, I think, 18 out of these 20 years. And I think only two of those years he was a position coach. So you see, in a week like this always having him available, always when guys are in there coaching I always had Mike making tapes. The two of us going through things to prepare for a meeting and stuff like that. So it's been a lot more responsibility on some of the newer guys, younger guys, guys like [assistant quarterbacks] Klay Kubiak, [tight ends coach] Brian Fleury. Just helping prepare all that stuff for the players and helping me getting ready for my stuff."

How will it work out on gamedays? I know Mike used to be up on high and Chris obviously has to do the o-line stuff. Will you be able to use him as a sounding board out there for play calls or anything like that?

"Yeah, I'll use him the exact same way I've used him the last four years and the way I did for four years in Washington. And that's always been the case with our o-line coach, especially Chris and whatever o-line coach I've ever been with."

Has Kittle played in a game before during a week he did not practice?

"I don't know. I would guess he has, but I don't know. I don't remember those facts."

How's RB Elijah Mitchell been, I know he was working back. Do you feel like if he had to, he could handle a full workload this week?

"I hope so. You hope a running back always can handle a full workload. He's looked good these two weeks in these practices we've had, and he's 100%, we'll see how the game goes with that though."

With Kittle, the fact that he hasn't been on the field since Monday, but is questionable. Obviously, there's some room for optimism, is that right?

"Yeah. That's why he's questionable."

So he could play?

"Yeah, questionably."

Looking back to Chicago last year and that play to WR Deebo Samuel, it felt like that was a pretty significant moment in the season. Not to say that the season would've been over if you didn't make that play or win that game.

"The post to end the half, the screen on third-and-16?"

Yeah, the screen, I guess how do you remember that play and the significance of that?

"I remember I was upset as could be that it was third-and-16 and let's just try to throw a screen and hope we can gain some yards back and maybe magically get a first down, and then Deebo does what he's done on a number of plays. So that was a huge play for us and he seems like he's had a few of those though."

QB Jimmy Garoppolo was on the injury report this week, but practiced in full. Why was he on the injury report?

"I have no clue, I didn't even know that he was. Maybe old lingering stuff, I'm not sure. Procedural stuff."

Then LB Dre Greenlaw was dealing with the elbow all week, he's fine? Good to go?

"That's why I didn't give him a designation."

Just generally speaking, how does this feel, I guess, compared to when you started here being along six years now, how does it feel just compared to when you started do you still get the same excitement creating a gameplan?

"Yeah, the season's the season, they all feel the same when you get into them. Everyone's anxious before the first game, you just want it to get here. It can't get here fast enough. In this sport, there's a lot of talk and stuff that's what people enjoy, that's what I enjoy when I'm not in it, but there's nothing to talk about until you play the game. And you're only allowed 17 of them unless you earn more, so I can't wait to get to this first one, get this year going. And the first one's always fun, but it's the beginning of a long, long run and that's what I'm excited for."

There is a significant chance of rain for Sunday. How does that play up to a team's strength?

"It can sometimes, it might not the other. You have to find out with your team, we'll see how we play in the rain. I never know if that's going to be an advantage or a disadvantage. I don't know exactly how the other team's going to be. There could be pluses and minuses to both. Sometimes I feel rain has helped. Sometimes it's hurt. Sometimes it can slow down your O-line and you don't get good traction and it can be much easier for the defensive line. Sometimes the receivers can't cut on a slippery field and it's a lot easier for guys to stay on them and hold them in coverage. And then obviously the throwing, so there's so many variables that go into rain that I try to never make too big a deal about it. You just see what's going on in the game and you see what teams are having an advantages or disadvantages, and you try to adjust as it goes."

What goes into determining who your flex players are for the first game?

"Just whoever we need. Yeah, we'll flex the guy up if we need him."

A lot of running backs on this roster, what have you made of Ty Davis-Price and of Jordan Mason, going up to this week, game one?

"Those two guys are battling right now. Those guys are battling. We could possibly get four up, but a lot goes into this stuff. It's not just about carrying the ball. Rarely do three guys always get the ball in the game, but we usually use three somehow. And last year we had four up at sometimes. So we'll see what final guys are up on Sunday, but those guys have been battling all week and doing a good job in the run game and both getting better on special teams."

You have four tight ends as well on the roster TE Tyler Kroft, TE Charlie Woerner, TE Ross Dwelley, what have you made of then this week? And how deep do you guys feel you are, even if Kittle misses?

"I'm glad we kept four, just with Kittle getting banged up this week, we rarely carry four into the game, so we'll see how that goes. But if Kittle can't make it, I'm glad that we kept an extra one on our roster. But we could of brought up one of the guys from practice squad, so that's kind of how it works and it goes the same way with backs and the same with every other position, so you're always just trying to guess on that stuff."

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