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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan, DeMeco Ryans, Brock Purdy preview 49ers-Seahawks Week 15 matchup

Dec 13, 2022 at 4:34 PM

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and quarterback Brock Purdy spoke with reporters as the team prepares for its Week 15 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Opening Comments:

"Alright, the injuries for today, guys who won't practice. [DB Tarvarius] T Moore, knee. [QB Jimmy] Garoppolo, foot. [DL Hassan] Ridgeway, pec. [DB Samuel] Womack [III], protocol. [WR] Deebo [Samuel], ankle, knee. [DL] Kevin Givens, knee. The rest of these guys will all be limited. [RB] Christian McCaffrey, knee. [DL Arik] Armstead, foot, ankle. [DL] Kerry Hyder [Jr.], ankle. [CB] Ambry Thomas, ankle. [QB] Brock Purdy, oblique, rib. Go ahead."

Define limited on a day where you don't do much on the field.

"They'll be more limited than everybody else, I guess. Everyone can jog a little bit. They won't even do that."

Can you say what the rib element of that injury is?

"It's just something that connects here. There's a number of them and it's not right."

Do you feel that he's still on track to play Thursday night and what kind of advice do you give quarterbacks going in to play Seattle the first time?

"We'll find that out as these two days go, we don't have much time, but we're not going to try to figure that out today or tomorrow. It'd probably be on Thursday where we'd have the best chance to know. Going into Seattle, like you tell anyone on the road, but Seattle I don't think I've ever been anywhere louder than there and we know how their fans are. We know how that stadium is. You have to be ready for it, you can't expect to hear, not just at the line of scrimmage, but also in the huddle a number of times and it's a big difference playing there."

Can you get the acoustics going in Levi's Stadium more so than the practice fields?

"I'm not sure. I don't know. It's a good question. We'll find out."

With Brock, is it a pain tolerance issue or is there a potential that he could do something to make it worse if he plays?

"No, it's just can he play with it? If he plays, he won't be able to make it worse."

How has he been as far as the getting play call in and getting it out to the players and that process?

"He's done a good job of it. The more he does it, the better he gets. We only had a couple off last week, which is pretty good. We don't make it very easy."

You're facing a team that has such an obvious statistical target on their back in terms of the way that teams are running on them, how is that approached? Each game has its own individual personality, you just prepare yourself for them to be better that night?

"We always, regardless who we play, have a goal to try to be 50/50. I thought Tampa Bay was one of the better run defenses we had seen on tape and I think they were up there statistically too and then you just never know how the game's going to be. If you break some long ones, how many runs you get attempted. I know their numbers are struggling, but it's really never been that way when we played Seattle, they're a tough group to run the ball on. I know they haven't been this year statistically, but usually when you are struggling and I know them meeting us here in two days, I know that's something they're going to try to take away and it's something they've done a very good job of there in the past."

From a production standpoint, we can see what Christian brings to the offense. When you sit down and watch tape, how do you see him elevating the offense in terms of maybe what pops up and opening things for other people, things like that?

"I think it limits a lot of stuff people want to do versus us. Anytime you have a commitment to the running game and ways that you can think of how to stop that, but at any time one of those runners can be out on a pass, not just against corners, but also linebackers and safeties and some of the things you can do formation-wise and when you have other guys in there, you can hand the ball off to too, I think it limits guys on what they want to get away with. You can always get the right run calls and stuff to stop some things, but if you have that call on the wrong thing, how bad of a position that could put somebody in in coverage. I think Christian does it a lot, I think a number of our players do and you kind of just have to simplify things for the defense when it's like that."

The word was that Deebo will return at some point during the regular season, is there a specific timeline for him as far as weeks?

"There's four weeks left in the season. I think they told me three-ish is our expectation, so right in that area."

The conversation that you had with Brock in the locker room after the game, is that normally a conversation you would've had on a Monday, but because everything was so condensed this week that you wanted to debrief him?

"Yeah, a little bit and guys got out of there fast. I think everyone was in a hurry because of the short week and I went into my press conference a little late. I think I stopped by when I came back. I think that's when it was and it just seemed empty and he was sitting there by himself and I wasn't going to see him yesterday with how the day went. Not too much at least, so I wanted to talk to him about the week and how he did in the game, how he was feeling and what was coming ahead."

You touched on how great LB Dre Greenlaw's play was in the conference call the other day. I'm curious, when he was drafted as a fifth-round draft pick, did you see things in him right away that indicated to you that he could be this kind of player or did it just sort of happen that way?

"He stuck out pretty early. He was a linebacker we liked a lot. I think we had a third-round grade on him and we didn't think we could go for a linebacker that early and similar to [TE George] Kittle. We liked Kittle a lot too, but we couldn't go up there where we thought they were going to go. And I think Greenlaw we got in the fifth, so he ended up falling a little bit less than we expected and we felt very fortunate to get him there. We had just brought in [New York Jets LB Kwon] Alexander, that's why we didn't totally need a linebacker at the time, but we felt fortunate in the fifth round that he was available, so you could see right in camp that we got a much more talented linebacker than it seemed in the draft. And when he got on the field in base, he was making plays and then when Kwon went down, it gave him so much more reps and he only got better when that happened."

Did you ever cross paths with former college football head coach Mike Leach?

"I never did. I've met him before. I met him a long time ago in Indianapolis, just got introduced to him, but he's been so cool to watch over the years. When I was at Texas, we always went against him at Texas Tech and he beat us a number of times and I was always so jealous watching that offense, being a receiver. Watching [Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach] Wes Welker have like 25 targets at the end of the game. I definitely wouldn't have gotten that though even if I was there, but it was just so cool to watch it. All the people who have followed him kind of done stuff and I was real sad to hear that this morning."

How do you think his offense has influenced the game?

"I think it just showed everybody that anything's possible. They used to look, at that time, it looked way different than what everyone else did, I used to always think it was so cool just looking at his call sheet and it just being an index card. Which basically is just the same thing as writing a few things on your hand, but the way he did it, the way he owned it, the way it worked everywhere he went. I think a lot of people tried to be like him and do things like him, but it didn't seem like everyone did it as consistently or as well."

With Deebo, we saw him very emotional the other day, obviously, he was being carted off and it's not something you've seen from him a lot. Was there a fear when you saw that that this was it for the season and what is probably the obvious level of relief that it isn't?

"I didn't see exactly how he got bent. I was too flustered and talking to the ref and the situation and then there were so many people around him, I didn't get a chance to see him crying like that. I saw it when I got home, the highlights on SportsCenter and saw how scary it was and how worried he was and I was able to talk to him after that and really understand where he was in that moment, but I think a lot of guys are like that and some guys handle it differently. I can imagine being in that situation, everyone watching you, you kind of just want to hide because whether you cry, whether you're mad, whatever it is, I feel like the emotions are always equal with all those guys, what they put into it. And when that stuff happens, you never know if you're done for the week or the game, the year or your career. And so, lots of emotions go through that for those guys because it's not just our season, it's the livelihood of those players."

How ready are those guys other than WR Brandon Aiyuk to step up and for WR Jauan Jennings to become an every down receiver and for the other guys to have increases in their roles too?

"I think the other guys are more than ready. I think those guys love the opportunity. They're always wanting to be out there more. They're mad I'm not in five wides every play, so those guys relish this. I know they did a hell of a job versus the Rams, even that week we thought we were going to get Jauan, we ended up not getting him towards the end of the week and a number of guys had to step up, so our guys will be ready on Thursday. We had to go do that last year, I believe without Deebo versus Seattle. It'll be the same thing this week and I know our guys are ready and excited for their ops."

WR Danny Gray had his first reception the other day. Is it a normal process getting a rookie receiver ready to play? What's kind of distinguished his first year in the NFL for you?

"I think Danny has gotten the urgency that he's had, he has really been picking it up here in these last six week. The opportunity hasn't been there for him. He had a little bit more earlier in the year. Those opportunities have gone away, but his play has gotten a lot better, so we felt it's a matter of time where he can help us out there and he's doing things the right way and he's gone in the game a hair more. B.A.'s conditioning's been so well, that's why he hasn't gotten as many reps, but he got there at the end of the game, caught a slant verse zero in some tough weather. He's been doing a good job in practice and he's been waiting for this moment and we'll see if he gets more ops."

With WR Ray-Ray McCloud, I know he isn't the same size as Deebo, but can you use him in a similar way that you use Deebo?

"Yeah, you can use them similarly. They're definitely different bodies, I think that's pretty obvious, but don't tell Ray-Ray that. He gets extremely offended. If you put Deebo in any run and you tell him that he can only do these, but not that one, you're going to have to prepare or make time for an hour meeting with him later, because he's going to convince you otherwise. And that's why he has been such a good football player his whole career. You hear about how he was in high school and college and Ray-Ray is a bulldog out there and he doesn't think about his size."

What jumps out at you about Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith and was he a guy over the last 10 years that you looked at and thought, if he got a chance, maybe?

"I think when you come out of college and you're drafted that high, I don't think anyone disagreed with his throwing talent and the stuff he did in college. Quarterback, it's so hard to play in this league, depending on the situation, depending on your experiences and X's and O's and what you've done, the talent around you, so you never really count anyone out, especially with ability. I've never known him personally, but I know that he's talented. I know he has had good games and he's been given this opportunity this year and the way he came out, everyone noticed right away and he really hasn't wavered all year and I'd like to say I'm happy for him because I'm happy for anybody to do stuff like that. I wish he did it in another division or a different year, but hopefully he'll struggle Thursday."

With Purdy, part of what's made him so effective is his ability to be off-schedule and do stuff after he's rushed. With a rookie quarterback, I assume that can make a coach nervous. Do you put parameters on him or at this point, do you trust him to kind of make plays?

"When there's not a play there or the rush comes, there's never in the history of, at least me coaching, where you put parameters on guys and say, don't react, just sit there and get killed and we'll punt it. It's always a reaction, sometimes it's to not take a sack and bounce pass it to someone, throw it out of bounds. Sometimes it's to break a tackle. Sometimes it's just to have an unbelievably accurate throw, but there's lots of different skillsets that the 32 guys have to choose from when things do break down. And Brock, since he's been here and on his college tape, one thing he does have a knack for is his foot quickness in the pocket. Knowing when and how to get out of there. Now if guys are just doing that as their first read and they're looking for off-scheduled plays as people are sitting in front of him open, waving their hands, that's when you start to talk about a guy because it's really hard to be successful that way in this league. It's a matter of time. What's cool about Brock is I think he's made those plays when he has had to, when there's been a rush in his face, when something's flashed, he's had to escape and he's been able to extend some plays, keep them going and it's led some big plays for us so far."

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Is the Seattle offense a bit different than what you guys were facing in Week Two where it gets more pass-oriented with Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith and what he can do?

"Well, I think the offense from where it's changed from when we first played these guys, it's opened up a lot more. I feel like they're taking a lot more shots down field and completing a lot. They're a very explosive offense with [Seattle Seahawks WRs] DK [Metcalf] and [Tyler] Lockett. Those guys can, they can take the top off of defense, so we have our hands full. They're always a tough matchup. We know this team is going to come out, they're going to play physical, they're going to compete. It's always a fun matchup when the Niners and Seahawks get together."

DL Nick Bosa just said he thinks it's a little more of a rivalry right now with the coaching staffs than with the players. Would you agree with that?

"Not for me. For me, it's the next game that we have to win, so I don't see it as much as a rivalry as like, this is our next opponent. They're in our division. We know how much this game means for where we want to go down the road, so it's a big game for that reason because it's the next one."

You guys are obviously a little banged up on the interior of the defensive line right now. What's your just state of confidence in the guys outside of DL Arik Armstead?

"Yeah, I think with our D-line, the cool part about it is we have a lot of guys who've played a lot of ball, a lot of guys that we move around and try not to max those guys out, try to keep them as fresh as possible. And I think that's how we are effective as a defensive line because we want to come in waves. It's a D-line by committee and that's always been how we operate, so the guys who we have, I feel like they can go out there and play well for us."

What have you seen from DL T.Y. McGill since he's been here?

"Yeah T.Y., he's shown up. He's made some plays where he's explosive. He plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage a lot., so he has flashed and made some plays over the past few weeks and I'm excited to see where he can continue to grow, continue to learn and make even more plays in our scheme, but he's made a few plays and I've been pleased with him."

Former NFL CB Richard Sherman was on a conference call this morning with Prime and somebody asked him who's the 49er you think should be in the Pro Bowl that hadn't been there before? Big play LB Dre Greenlaw came out of his mouth before the question was asked. Just curious in what you've seen from Dre this year. You talked about him a couple weeks ago, but he had another huge game. Where is he at in his evolution as a player?

"I think Dre is playing as one of the best linebackers in the NFL right now, his game. First off, when you talk about the speed that play where he's running down [Miami Dolphins WR] Tyreek [Hill], show me another linebacker doing that. The interceptions he's made, just his play is just all over the field, the tackling ability in space. He's probably one of the most confident guys in space in tackling who I have confidence in when the ball is thrown and there's a lot of space. If Dre is out there, there's no doubt in my mind that he's getting that guy down. Dre is playing with very high confidence, he's playing fast, physical and I love the enthusiasm that he's playing with out there, because he's making a ton of plays, which creates that enthusiasm. He is all over the field making plays each and every week for us, and Dre is having his best year of his career. He just has to keep going."

He's so explosive that he's had some issues on occasion with being able to pull up in time because he's so quick to the ball, but he hasn't had one of those in a while. Is that something that he's sort of learned how to play in terms of his role?

"A few penalties, they'll slow you down. He's played smarter in those situations, most of the time those plays will come up when he's been around the quarterback and Dre is running as fast as he can to get there, and he just has to play smarter, which he's done over the past few weeks. He's played smarter of knowing when to ease up and when to be able to just jump over the top if that's the case. You can't say enough good things about that linebacker core we have with Dre, [LB] Fred [Warner], [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair]. Those are three of the best linebackers in the NFL, so we're fortunate to have all three of those guys because they bring it each and every week. They're playing physical, they're playing fast, and they're playing with exceptional effort each and every week leading our team."

QB Brock Purdy

How are you feeling?

"I feel good. Just taking it one day at a time, getting as much treatment as I can, but overall, I feel pretty good.

Is it limiting you physically or is it more just getting through the pain?

"Honestly, I haven't been out to practice or tried to throw a football or anything yet. So, it's basically how I feel when I'm walking around and trying to do movements and stuff in the pool. Yeah, I can still jog and run and do all that kind of stuff, but I haven't tried playing football yet."

What was it like Monday morning when you woke up, adrenaline was gone. Was there pain, anything like that?

"Just sore. When I got into the treatment room, they just did some tests and stuff on me and whatnot. Yeah, it wasn't like excruciating pain or anything like that. It's just where I was at, just sore after a game."

RB Christian McCaffrey was saying after the game that when he first got here you were helping him run through plays because he was just learning the offense. He was talking about how grateful he was that you were doing that for him. Conversely, what was it like for you? What did you learn about him during that time? Here's this big star and he's relying on me to run plays with him.

"I mean, [quarterback coach Brian] Griese knows the McCaffreys, so I think Griese might have told him, hey, get with Brock, he's the backup, he can help you with anything just so you don't have to take any of [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo]'s time or anything like that, so I always open to helping out Christian. Just the way he went about things and studying and how serious he is with literally everything that he does, I'm like man, this is what greatness looks like. This is why he is the way he is, but yeah, it was pretty cool. We would always sit down and go over the scripts together before the game. Literally, he wanted me to read every single play, he would say where he's lining up, what he's doing, his assignment, it's wild. And I was like, that's insane, but to see how fast he learned stuff when he got here and has been able to know our playbook already inside and out, it's been wild to see, so it was definitely cool to have him sort of take me in in a sense too, like just giving me advice about the NFL and how he's had such a great career and everything like that, so he's been awesome."

As a follow up to that, the offense has really taken off since Christian McCaffrey got here. When you're out there with him, how do you feel the defense, like the gravity of Christian and the attention that's made to him?

"Yeah, I feel like they always have to account for him because he can do so much. He doesn't just run the football. He can do stuff out of the backfield, he can line up out as a receiver and make plays that way. Literally there is so much, he's like a Swiss army knife. So, I feel like they always have to account for him. And on top of that you have [TE] George [Kittle], [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A., [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud], [WR] Jauan [Jennings], so we have all these weapons and then Christian can do everything, so I imagine it's sort of a nightmare being a defensive coordinator trying to plan for Christian."

Jimmy described it as, McCaffrey sees the field like a quarterback. In your time with him was it like, oh my God, you're just like a quarterback in that way?

"Yeah, no doubt. Even just being in the huddle and his presence and like sort of taking command and charge when I'm getting the play call, he does a great job of just keeping everyone under cool, being calm and collected, but then also within his routes, he knows what we're reading, where he's supposed to be. Sometimes being receiver, you see things differently, but that dude, he sees it as a quarterback first and then runs it, so he definitely does see it as a quarterback. It's nice."

How quickly were you able to put the aftermath of a pretty incredible day behind you and move on? It became such a big story and everything with your family and it was everywhere and everybody was talking about it, but how did you kind of get through that and move on?

"Yeah, I think [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] did such a good job of just getting everyone's attention after the game. Like, man, we can celebrate this next week after we get through this Thursday night game. It's a quick turnaround, our bodies have to recover as soon as possible, and then we have to be able to literally play another game in four days, so I feel like it started with him and his leadership, getting everyone's attention has been great, but for myself, yeah, that's the thing. I don't want to get caught up in all this noise and then all of a sudden we play Thursday night and I'm not prepared like I need to be. So, it's definitely been a challenge in terms of getting the body right and then moving on and now we already have install meetings and everything and getting ready for Thursday, but at the same time Seattle has to do the same thing."

What's the most daunting atmosphere you've ever played football in in your life?

"Probably Norman, Oklahoma. Yeah, against [the University of Oklahoma] OU. Every time we went down there, it was always a great game, and those people just, I feel like were breathing down our necks. It was 90-plus thousand people, so you really can't hear yourself think or anything. So that was probably one of the best environments I've ever played in."

Do you think it prepared you for what you might encounter in Seattle?

"Yeah, I think this is probably the most hostile environment that you could probably play in. Either here or Arrowhead, so I'm excited for it. All these guys have played here a bunch of times, so just hearing them out, what's good and what's not in terms of communication and operation. So, we'll be ready to roll for it."

You have the opportunity to win the division if you win the game. Is that a point of conversation or is that something that you just know if you take care of business then it comes with it?

"Exactly. I think it just comes with winning. If we win the game and just do our job and just look at it like it's another game and do our thing, then we'll be just fine, but [Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] has made some points like where we're at in terms of the standings and whatnot, but it's not something that we talk about all the time. It's something that he hits on it and then other than that, we just play our game and play football and we want to win every single game."

I guess it could be a good thing to be hard on yourself and very demanding and have high standards. What have you learned about maybe finding a balance between beating yourself up and just having a little grace?

"Yeah, I played four years of college football and the first couple years for myself, they were fun. Whether we won or lost, I was having fun with football, but then as I became an upperclassman and a junior and a senior, I took more responsibility and I feel like I just added unnecessary pressure on myself just because I was so hard on myself. So that definitely helped me with where I'm at now in terms of enjoy what you're doing, be real with yourself, how can you get better and all that kind of thing. But at the same time, if you're hard on yourself 24/7, it almost becomes detrimental to your game, so finding the fine line of being real, being hard on yourself, but enjoy what you're doing and winning and all that kind of thing too. I feel like my years of college have helped me with that."

How do you approach this week from the standpoint of getting your body right and getting your second NFL game plan that's designed solely for you but playing on a Thursday night and being in tune with it mentally on top of everything?

"I feel like this is part of the game. A lot of the guys have said, welcome to the NFL in terms of you get banged up a little bit, you have to be ready to roll in four days. You have to learn another install, you have to memorize plays, you have to get guys going around you, so this is it. This is the best of the best. And for me, I look at it as a challenge. I can prove to myself that I belong here and I can play here, and I can do all these things. The challenges of being banged up and having to go out and perform, especially in a crucial part of the season where, it's going to take what it takes, there's no regrets moving forward or anything like that I want to have down the road. I want to make sure that I give everything I have right now. And so, it's a great challenge for myself."

With that in mind, how helpful has it been to have someone like Brian Griese, who's been in a very similar situation?

"Yeah, Griese has been awesome. He's literally played our position. He's been in the NFL for 11-plus years as a player, and then obviously all the commentating that he did, but he can relate to us quarterbacks, he does a great job of telling us about situational football, where we're at in the game or just even in meetings, talking about his career and what it looks like to be tough, what it looks like to be real with teammates, so he's done a great job of just pouring out to us everything that he has with his experiences, and it honestly has helped all of us, like [QB] Trey [Lance], Jimmy, myself, all the quarterbacks now in the room, so, we're very thankful for Griese and his experiences."

Guys have talked about the sort of swagger and confidence you play with. Correcting guys that are veterans and not being afraid to do so pretty bluntly. Where does that originate from with you and how do you play with that sort of confidence when you have guys done it for years?

"I've sort of hit on this before, but it's not something like I'm going to go out and be this guy just because I've played now. It just comes with the position. I know that everyone wants to win in this organization, and I want to do what it takes to win. And so, if that means getting guys attention in the huddle at practice or walkthrough, whatever it is I just want to do my part and being a quarterback, that comes with it. So again, it's not something I think about like, oh, I'm going to go out today and practice and show guys. It's nothing like that. It's getting guys attention and doing what it takes to win. And if that's jumping on guys that are veterans, if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. So that's how we look at it."
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