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Why Trent Williams complained to Kyle Shanahan at 49ers practice last week

Dec 30, 2022 at 7:54 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't use to enjoy having loud music blasting during practice. I'm talking really high-decibel levels of volume coming out of the speakers. It was something that head coach Dan Quinn did in Atlanta when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator there.

"It drove me crazy at first because he did it like twice as loud as we do it, which is very tough as a coordinator when you're trying to coach people and everything," Shanahan told Matt Kolsky and F.P. Santangelo on KNBR Friday morning. "So sometimes it would drive me crazy at first because I'd be trying to coach, and I'd be like, 'Man, never mind, guys. Let's just wait until we get inside. You guys can't hear me.'"

However, Shanahan carried over the practice tradition when he took over as the 49ers' head coach. The only difference is that the music wasn't quite as loud as Quinn had it in Atlanta.

"As long as you can keep that without taking away the coaching, I think you should always have it," Shanahan added. "We keep it a little bit lower when we [prepare to] play road games. As soon as we break the huddle, we turn the music up real loud so we can't hear at the line of scrimmage, and that's better than [the] typical crowd noise."

When beat reporters took the field to watch last Thursday's practice, the last one before the 49ers' Christmas Eve matchup against the Washington Commanders, they noticed something different during the early portion they were allowed to observe. It wasn't the coach's usual preferred style of fast-paced hip hop. It was more festive.

Shanahan had ordered Christmas music to play during the session.

The coach has been trying to do that—play Christmas music at that last practice before the holiday—for six years now, and the team's D.J. has failed him miserably.

"He's not very good at Christmas music," Shanahan shared. "After like four songs, he puts everyone to sleep. So I really challenged him hard this year. He made it about seven songs before [tackle] Trent Williams was complaining and asking me if we can put something else on, and I wouldn't adjust.

"We kept the Christmas music going, and it kind of ended up hurting practice because, again, he failed. There was only like five exciting songs, and everything else put us to sleep."

The impact of the music at practice didn't seem to carry over into the game against the Commanders. Or maybe it did. The 49ers didn't get on the scoreboard until later in the second quarter. Regardless, San Francisco beat Washington 37-20, winning its eighth consecutive game and improving its record to 11-4.

"It's actually harder than people think, too," Shanahan admitted while explaining the challenges of putting together a good Christmas playlist. "... We got Christmas at home Sunday, and I was in charge of our mix. And about a half an hour into it, I felt the pressure because I ran out of all good songs. It's a lot harder, I feel like, once you have to do it."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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