Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Notebook: Why not practice in Mexico City? Is Kyle Shanahan still tough on WRs? Adjusting to the altitude

Nov 19, 2022 at 4:36 PM--

On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers finished up their last of three practices this week. They'll depart Colorado Springs, where they have spent the week to get acclimated to the altitude, for Mexico City on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers and Arizona Cardinals play on Monday night at Estadio Azteca, where the elevation is about 7,200 feet above sea level.

The team had to practice indoors on artificial turf the last two days due to some snowfall this week.

"It's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world," head coach Kyle Shanahan said after Saturday's practice. "We made it through it, and I'm happy we did it now. ... Everyone would rather be on nice, soft grass, but most of the places I've been at this time of year, there isn't soft grass. We're fortunate to have that in California."

Why not practice in Mexico City this week?

Some have questioned the decision to practice this week in Colorado Springs rather than heading straight for Mexico City and practicing there. Why wasn't that the plan?

"Great question," Shanahan responded. "I heard [the United States Air Force Academy] has really good facilities. I heard they had everything that could accommodate us. [We] talked to New England coaches and Chargers coaches. They said that. We flew our guys down here to check all that. They thought it was pretty nice. I've been here. I think it's pretty nice."

Shanahan added, "[We] didn't have the same connections in Mexico City," before joking, "[OL] Alfredo [Gutierrez] didn't know the people, so it's harder to trust."

Getting acclimated to the altitude

How do the 49ers feel about the altitude now? Do they feel like the trip to Colorado has helped?

"Yesterday, we kind of felt it a lot because we was able to get a lot out of practice," wide receiver Deebo Samuel said. "But today, we felt it a little bit with one full-speed period. But I feel like we'll be ready to go."

Shanahan, who hasn't had to endure going through any practices himself, is not immune to the altitude's impact. He admitted that he was " a little out of breath" just climbing the stairs after Saturday's practice to meet with reporters.

"We were at Denver a little bit over a month ago, and you can feel the altitude there, but being at Air Force, it's two thousand feet higher, and it's a big difference," Shanahan said. "... We had our biggest practice on [Friday], and that's where they really felt it. [Thursday] was not quite as much, and today was not quite as much. But [Friday], they really felt it then, and that was the first time they were like, 'Oh, this is pretty real.'"

49ers leave Colorado relatively healthy

The good news is that the 49ers remain relatively healthy. The only player ruled out for the Week 11 matchup is defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot, ankle), who will miss his sixth consecutive game and seventh of the season.

The team listed defensive end Samson Ebukam as "questionable" due to a quadriceps injury. He was a limited practice participant on Friday and Saturday.

Cornerback Charvarius Ward, better known to his teammates as "Mooney," missed Thursday and Friday's practices due to a personal matter. He practiced on Saturday, though.

Shanahan getting softer with WRs?

Samuel was asked if he and Brandon Aiyuk can sympathize with rookie wideout Danny Gray, who has yet to register a catch in his 33 offensive snaps this season. Shanahan has been notoriously tough on young receivers. Samuel laughed when reminded of that. Of course, everyone remembers last year's Aiyuk-doghouse storyline.

"Just a jokingly thing, Kyle ain't as hard as he used to be," Samuel told reporters. "And me and Brandon joke with him a lot about how hard he was on me and Brandon, but he's got guys like us in this room that kind of help him with that, so he don't be on Danny as much. But he do still get a piece of it here and there.

"As a rookie, I feel like Danny's doing a pretty good job. The opportunities that he gets in Kyle's offense, I mean, it's hard to learn. And with him being a rookie, and we kind of need him to play a good bit, I feel like it's a lot of pressure on his back.

"As far as being a rookie, I feel like he gets a little anxious at times, and it kind of takes control of your body. Me and Brandon have been there, so that's when we step in and just kind of be like, 'Just calm down and let things happen.'"

Samuel added, "Once he gets the first catch—I feel like it's the first hit, honestly—but once he gets that out of the way, and he gets all the jitters out of the way, he'll be all right."

The star receiver remembers getting cussed out by Shanahan at practice as a rookie.

"Kyle used to be a little rougher than what he is now," Samuel noted.

That led to a reporter asking if Samuel feels Shanahan has gotten softer on receivers since that rookie season.

"We just get away with a good bit of stuff that some people wouldn't be able to get away with," Samuel responded with a laugh.

Related News

Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

49ers Notebook: Shanahan loved Friday's practice; Omenihu impressing; Niners "not there yet"

By David Bonilla
Nov 25

The San Francisco 49ers are working off a short week, preparing for Sunday's matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The team played on Monday night in Mexico City, not arriving back in the Bay Area until Tuesday, around 6 a.m. Players were given Tuesday off but returned to work on Wednesday with a light practice, which was held on the Levi's Stadium field and didn't begin until after 4 p.m.—very late for a 49ers practice. The team held another light practice on Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Fridays are typically the lightest sessions of the week. But this week, the team went full-speed during Friday's practice. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how he felt about the final practice of the week. "I just loved the practice that we

49ers Notebook: Nick Bosa sends Kyle Shanahan a curse-filled message; Deebo responds to Raheem Mostert; Shanahan on Trey Lance, QBs; Players praise Brock Purdy

By Kirk Larrabee
11 hrs

There was no shortage of topics to talk about from a 49ers perspective after Sunday's 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, and we're going to dive right into them in this edition of 49ers Notebook. While much of Sunday's postgame discussion dealt with the season-ending foot injury to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the performance of Garoppolo's replacement, Brock Purdy, there were a number of other interesting and entertaining moments we're going to get into here, including some pointed (but friendly) words defensive end Nick Bosa had for head coach Kyle Shanahan and a bit of smack talk from wide receiver Deebo Samuel to former 49ers running back Raheem Mostert. Let's get it started... Thank S***-talking Kyle Shanahan for Nick Bosa's

Kyle Shanahan to 49ers: "We've still got everything in front of us"

By David Bonilla
9 hrs

No one inside the San Francisco 49ers is throwing in the towel on the season after watching a second quarterback suffer a season-ending injury. First, it was Trey Lance in Week 2 with an ankle injury. Head coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated after the game that Lance would not be back this season or for the playoffs. On Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season after suffering a broken foot. Led by its stingy defense and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy on offense, San Francisco managed to emerge with an impressive win over the Miami Dolphins. However, they know nothing will be easy moving forward. In the locker room after the game,

Javon Kinlaw close to returning, Elijah Mitchell to IR not a given, says 49ers' Kyle Shanahan

By David Bonilla
Dec 2

Javon Kinlaw last appeared in a game on September 25. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, the defensive tackle could be nearing a return from the injured reserve list. The San Francisco 49ers have brought back six players from injured reserve this season. That leaves the team with the ability to do so again twice more. On Friday morning, Shanahan again shot down the speculation that quarterback Trey Lance could return to serve as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup if the 49ers made a deep playoff run. "He's still going through his rehab," Shanahan said on KNBR. "That would be too soon for him, so that's pretty out of the


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone