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Kyle Shanahan provides final updates ahead of 49ers-Commanders Week 16 matchup

Dec 22, 2022 at 3:07 PM

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after Thursday's practice, providing final updates ahead of the team's Week 16 matchup against the Washington Commanders. Here is everything he had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Opening Comments:

"Alright, [QB Jimmy] Garoppolo is out. [WR] Deebo [Samuel] is out. [DL] Kevin Givens, out. [CB] Ambry Thomas, questionable. [DB] Tarvarius Moore, questionable. [CB] Charvarius Ward, questionable. [DL] Kerry Hyder [Jr.], questionable. [RB] Jordan Mason, questionable."

What happened to Jordan?

"Hamstring. It was a little tight on him yesterday."

How's Deebo Samuel coming along?

"He's doing good. Saw him there running on the side and seems like he's right on track."

When did Jordan Mason suffer his injury?

"I think yesterday, he said it was just feeling too tight, so we took him out of practice and we were smart with him again today."

How far along is Mooney in concussion protocol?

"Last steps, but we're not sure. We'll have to find out tomorrow."

There are a lot of stars on this team and there doesn't seem to be a lot of the ego, is that something that you talk about or is it just naturally what's happening with the people you brought in?

"People have to have that. If you want to talk about it, I think you can make it stronger and make people believe in it more, but you have to have the right people to actually be that way for it to be real. I think just the way we practice, the way our guys compete all the time, I think the style we play with helps it, but it starts with the right people."

How did Brock make it through the week? Obviously, you didn't mention him, so he is cleared, but how did he look?

"Good. He was able to do everything. He took it a little easier at the beginning of the week, but still made the throws and got better each day and I know he feels better today than he did yesterday and that should continue up to Saturday."

How did DT Javon Kinlaw get through the week and is he potentially coming up this weekend?

"Yes. Yeah, I expect him to be up. He had a real good Thursday practice that was on a Wednesday and everything was light today, but he had a good week, no setbacks and I'm real excited to see him out there."

How has DL Arik Armstead elevated a defense that was already playing really well while he was gone?

"Armstead is huge for us. Just the type of size he has, the way he plays, how good of a player he is, that was one of our biggest concerns with him going down early in the year, I was real worried about it and we were able to play real well while he was out and getting him back makes us so much stronger. Not just what he does, but anytime you have the push and stuff on the inside, it always helps the edge players so much more. I think everyone knows how good our edge players are and when you have him going in the middle, it's changes the whole D-line."

So many of the real dominant interior guys are like 6'2, 6'3, lower center of Gravity. 6'7 is a great thing when he's going end, but how does he sort of get past the gravity thing?

"He's got the size to push and if he tries to play as low as he can. He is a guy who can bend well for how big he is, but when you're that big and you have that type of push, you don't always have to get under people. [Baltimore Ravens DL] Calais Campbell is similar to me in that way. There's a few guys like that, but I think that's sometimes why maybe he doesn't always flash to everybody because you're not going to get under guys and make them miss and things like that, but that's why he affects every play. Quarterbacks feel him, his size out there in pushing the pocket and even when he doesn't get on the stats sheet, quarterbacks know they can't step into a throw, it's a huge difference.

Were you able to address the team yesterday about the Pro Bowl results or was that something for this morning?

"I didn't. I don't like them being the one to address them because I don't like having to address all the guys that got screwed, so I know how happy some people cheer and I don't want to look at the other guys who are crushed, so I kind of let them find out naturally. [General manager] John [Lynch] gets the email or whatever early, he might tell some guys on the side. I try not to make it too big of a deal in front of everybody just because I think there's a number of guys who should have been in there who weren't."

Such as?

"Such as [LB Dre] Greenlaw. Without a doubt, because I didn't see him anywhere and I truly believe [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] would've been a starter. I'm not sure what the list is, but I know he was one that surprised me, but Greenlaw's the biggest one to me."

How would you assess Greenlaw's play this year?

"I think he's had a Pro Bowl year. I think he's been great. I think he's played at that level, always when he is played for us and missed a little bit this year, not much, has been able to stay healthy. He fought through some injuries early on and when he has been playing healthy, I think he's played as good as anyone in this league."

How does that work? I know it's one third coach, do you fill out an entire ballot or what is that process on your end?

"Our offensive coaches fill out for the defense and our defense fills out for the offense and then I have to check it all just to put my signature on the end and usually I agree with them on most people, every once in a while, I'll fight them on something, but that's really how we do it."

Is RB Elijah Mitchell on track as far as the original timeline?

"Yes. Yep."

What's the biggest improvement Dre has made since last season?

"Being healthy. I think I've stated it a few times, but the last game of the year the game versus the Rams when it was an elimination game, when it was our season would be over or go to the playoffs, that was one of the best games I've seen a linebacker have. And to play at that level after not playing throughout the year, continuing in the playoffs, but just to really build his body up the whole right way throughout the offseason to get it fully healthy, to go through some of the stuff that he had to, to train the right way, to practice the right way and not lose his aggression, to not change who he is and to figure out how to get his body to be able to handle it to me is why he is reaping the benefits now."

If J.P. can't play or is limited, is RB Ty Davis-Price next in line for carries and obviously he hasn't been playing much in the backfield, if at all. Where is he kind of in his progress?

"Ty just kind of missed his opportunity early on. There was a great chance after Week Two in the Seattle game that he was going to start or at least finish the game with the bulk of the carries verse Denver and he got a high-ankle sprain in Week Two in the second quarter, but finished the game then was out for a month and during that month was his opportunity. That's where [Miami Dolphins RB] Jeff [Wilson Jr.] really got the bulk of the carries. That's where J.P. got really good at special teams. When Ty came back is when Elijah was healthy and he wasn't getting those over Elijah. Then we had Christian and Elijah, J.P. had already made his role as the third guy for special teams and that wasn't going to change. Then when Elijah got hurt, Ty got an opportunity to get up, but he was behind J.P. at that moment, so he missed his opportunity because of the injury. I do feel he is a lot readier now. He's waiting for that op. If J.P. doesn't go, he should get some more carries this week."

I know your job is more obviously looking ahead than looking behind, but the record of teams after they play you is not good at all and I'm curious whether you think that that's a factor of physicality you play with on both sides of the ball?

"I don't know, but it is a record we're aware of and it's one we think's pretty cool. I think they're 0-12. I don't think anyone's won."

Kansas City.

"They had a Bye Week the week after they played us. Yep. I'm talking about the next week that no one's won. They won two weeks after, but that wasn't the week after, so it's pretty cool stat. It could be a coincidence, but we like to think not so we'll take it that way."

You've been asked about playing Washington before and some of your experiences good and bad from working there, has enough time passed where that's not as big a deal, an emotional thing for you?

"Yes, my issues will never be different. They are what they are and that's not changing, but I have no problem with there. I love [Washington Commanders head coach] Ron Rivera, I think he's awesome. I respect the hell out of him. I love [Washington Commanders general manager] Martin [Mayhew]. I think Martin's the man. I know those guys are really trying to do it the right way and I've been really impressed with what those two have done in there these last couple years and haven't got to see them on tape really until this week and I can see why they're where they're at. They're a good football team and I respect the people in charge."
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