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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Notebook: Shanahan loved Friday’s practice; Omenihu impressing; Niners “not there yet”

Nov 25, 2022 at 2:54 PM--

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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 had," Shanahan told reporters. "The main thing that we've had to adjust was just getting back so late and being on the short week. Today was the first day that we took a full-speed rep. We usually don't do that after Monday night games. We always do it slow on Wednesday, but we always do full speed on Thursday.

"This was the first time that we waited all the way until Friday. I felt we needed to, but because we did that, we had more full-speed stuff today than usual. So I was curious how they were going to be after not doing that all week and having Thanksgiving yesterday.

"Those guys came out, and they were going. You can tell they're feeling good, and you could tell they're excited and ready to go for Sunday."

49ers 'not there yet' despite impressive outing

The 49ers put together one of their most complete games of the season on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. The talented offense, loaded with stars like wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, running back Christian McCaffrey, and tight end George Kittle, is finally starting to click after struggling earlier in the season.

"Usually, it takes care of itself unless you have a bunch of drastic injuries," Shanahan said. "I think we had a few at some key positions early in the year, starting with the quarterback, the most important part. Also, with the running back, losing Elijah [Mitchell]. So you do got to do some adjustments and stuff.

"But I also think in all those games, it wasn't that we weren't capable. I [just] thought we weren't very consistent. When you're not very consistent, you don't get as many opportunities.

"I didn't think we had many games where we just laid an egg in terms of not being able to move the ball and stuff. But we didn't score enough points. And, to me, that's just everyone working together and trying to get consistent. I thought we have been doing that more in the last month or so, but it was nice to finally fully put a game together last week."

Shanahan added, "Yeah, I feel like we are getting better. The more we play together, the better we do, but we're still not there yet, at all. We've got to keep making sure we're getting better because if not, you're going to end up worse."

Omenihu has impressed

On Wednesday, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans praised defensive linemen like Charles Omenihu, saying that star pass rusher Nick Bosa could not do the things he does without his supporting cast.

"Yeah, Charles has done a really good job over the past couple of weeks," Ryans said. "Sometimes those inside guys, it goes unnoticed how much presence they bring. And Charles, with the length that he has, he's able to utilize that length to really make it tough on the quarterback. So, Charles, he's done a great job. He's getting better each and every week. He is applying pressure to the quarterback."

San Francisco acquired Omenihu via a trade with the Houston Texans on November 2, 2021.

According to Pro Football Focus, Omenihu has 14 total pressures over the last two weeks. That's tied with two players for the most in the league over that span—Von Miller of the Buffalo Bills and Bosa.

"I think Charles has done a real good job," Shanahan said. "I think he helped us out last year when we got him. I know we did that right at the trade deadline. I think, especially toward the end of the year, he started making some plays for us, going back to the Dallas [playoff] game and everything.

"He's even better this year, more used to what we do. He's put in a lot of work. He's been huge as this year has gone, especially missing some guys, not having [DE] Samson [Ebukam] last week.

"The depth of our D-line is very important to us, to keep all those guys fresh. When you have some talented dudes you can roll in there, you can keep making plays."

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