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What Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, Sam Darnold, Steve Wilks said after 49ers’ 8th training camp practice

Aug 4, 2023 at 3:55 PM--

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San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, and Sam Darnold, and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks spoke with reporters after Friday's practice, the eighth of training camp. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Brock Purdy

How's everything been feeling so far getting back? You had a lot of reps today. "Yeah,

today was good. Good high day, a lot of good reps. Just the full speed, the pass rush, the linebackers going a different direction, and just everything, going through reads and stuff. It's been really good for me to just get my eyes on moving parts and going through progressions and stuff, so it's been good."

How's the endurance on your arm feel?

"Yeah, it feels good. Second day in a row of throwing and everything, just like I've been doing really the past month. Arm feels good, feels like I can continue to keep going. Like we said before, we have a plan of, 'hey, we're throwing, two days on, one day off.' So just sticking to that and going from there. But, arm feels really good."

Does head coach Kyle Shanahan keep you off balance a little bit with some of the ways he calls plays in practice like you may not know what's coming at a time?

"Yeah, I feel like they do a good job of challenging me with just play calls and everything like that. He doesn't do anything like extremely out of the ordinary. It's just the flow of the game, how he calls plays, so when he's calling plays off script for me it's a good challenge at practice and so it's stuff that I have to continue to work on and chip away at. But, it's early in camp and these are things that we've got to continue to just work on."

Kyle had said that maybe a couple weeks into camp you would be able to have no restrictions, you could go three days in a row. Is that still kind of the plan or the hope? Could that happen as soon as next week?

"We'll see. We've got to finish out this week first and then sort of talk about some things and go from there. But as of now we're just doing the two days on, one day off and going from there and throwing and see how I feel. I feel great. So, we've just got to just see where we're at the end of this week."

For you mentally, are there any sort of big hurdles or boxes like taking the first hit, things like that, that you're looking forward to just kind of getting out of the way at this point?

"I don't know. For me I feel like normal when I'm out there, so I feel like I just got to get into a rhythm and play and go through progressions and just play quarterback. And it's not really, 'hey, I have to get tackled here just so I feel good about my arm.' There's nothing like that, that goes through my mind. So, I just play football, I go through my reads, and I feel normal. So, it's not like I'm out there timid or scared about a certain hit or anything like that. So honestly, I feel good."

DL Clelin Ferrell caught you on the arm the other day and Kyle admitted that he had a lump in his throat just for a second. To you, it was nothing?

"Yeah, I feel like as a coach, a teammate watching, yeah, they might be scared about that, especially how things ended last year with my arm. But, honestly for myself, it's just football. I wasn't even thinking about it. He hit the ball out of my hand and I was going through to finish the throw and the ball ended up being on the ground. It's football, you know? And so, was I mad at Clelin or anything like that? I told him, 'Dude, it's football. I get it. We're in a competing environment. Things happen.' But for myself, was I scared about it? Was I timid after that? No."

Not timid so much, but 'Alright, I got through that.' Not even that?

"Honestly, I wasn't even thinking that. Yeah, I was more concerned with the read and hitting the open guy and all that kind of thing. And then he hit it and I was like, 'Oh, shoot, he got through.' I wasn't even like, 'Oh shoot, he hit my arm.' Nothing like that. So that's just the honest truth."

How do you approach training camp? Do you look at it clinically or do you go at the end of the day, 'Oh, today was a good day or a bad day?' Do you label it like that as far as just how you performed and what you saw and how you were able to deliver the football?

"Yeah, I just look at it as a process. The first day you come in, you're not going to be all pro and be killing it right off the get go. It's like a process of the formations, the operation, getting on track with guys, the receivers being on time and in rhythm. And so, then from there you progress. And so, where we're at in camp right now, for me it's like, yeah, if you have a good day, great, but I have to continue to try to stress myself and get to another level. If it's a bad day and you wish you would've been better, okay, good. But again, you've got to continue to try to get to the next level the next day. And so, it's a long process. So, that's how I look at it, that way it keeps me levelheaded. I'm not too high and I'm not too low with some things. I just understand I have to keep growing and keep climbing."

How were your throws the last two days?

"Last two days, I'd say were pretty good. There's some things that obviously I have to learn from and get better and some things that I can continue to build off of and have confidence in. So, for myself I feel like I could be better in some areas, just playing faster with the game and stuff, get into a better rhythm and sort of just get in and out of the huddle better in the operation. I guess for me the last couple days I feel like can be better."

What have you seen from QB Brandon Allen?

"Yeah, I think Brandon's doing a great job going through reads and you could just see the veteran in him. I feel like he's been in situations a lot throughout his career and you could tell when he is out there, like he knows where to go with the ball and he's very smart and he's confident. Brandon, he goes out there and lets it rip, so he's doing a great job."

Was your reaction when you heard about the Iowa State athlete sports betting scandal?

"Yeah, that's sort of sad to hear. I played with a lot of those guys and stuff. Feel for them. And at the end of the day, they're going to end up doing what they have to do and as a program as a whole, hopefully, they'll move forward and be just fine. [Iowa State head] Coach [Matt] Campbell does a great job with leading those guys through adversity and they got a great culture there, so they'll be just fine."

Coach was asked about your progression, and he just happened to say Brock's the real deal. Just wondering what that means to you in terms of a vote of confidence? I don't know how much you pay attention to when he has press conferences, but he rarely uses words like that in statements like that.

"Yeah, I appreciate that. But for myself, I know what I have to do. I have to get better in areas and keep chipping away and keep growing as an offense and keep pushing this offense to get to the level that we want to be. We all expect a lot of great things and high things out of ourselves this year, and so that's where I'm at. I'm trying to just continue to get on pace and on track with the receivers and skill guys and timing and go from there. But yeah, the bar and the ceiling here is high and we all expect that out of ourselves. We expect to be great. And yeah that's how I look at it."

QB Trey Lance

The other day in practice, you missed a throw to WR Deebo Samuel and then I noticed after practice it seemed like you went through that exact same route, maybe four, five, six times. Is that something where you just like I made a mistake, I want to conquer it and correct it and try to rectify it before moving on?

"Yeah, for sure. I mean, most of the throws, if it's something I didn't feel super comfortable with then that would be the case. It was just a weird look, felt like he didn't get his head around right away, and I should have just let it go. I didn't trust it. So, that's on me. Definitely just try to continue to keep getting better."

How has it been learning to trust your body? With all the recovery that you've had, different injuries, is it something that's a process for you?

"Honestly, super thankful and super blessed to be healthy. I feel 100-percent and don't even really feel my ankle or think about it out there at practice at all."

Do you feel like maybe even more so than your first three years here that the entire room is kind of bringing everybody along? Helping everybody out?

"Yeah, absolutely. And I credit that to our quarterback staff, [offensive passing game specialist] Klint [Kubiak], [assistant quarterbacks coach] Klay [Kubiak] and [quarterbacks] coach [Brian] Griese have done a great job, like you said, bringing guys along and I think our quarterback room, as you guys can see, is playing at a real high level."

Do you guys have fun in there? Or is it all just business?

"No, it's a ton of fun. We've got a fun group of guys, so it's been a ton of fun to get to know those guys, spend time with them in the building, outside of the building and just get to know them as people."

I actually meant more trust with your receivers as you're going through the process.

"It's been awesome getting reps with a ton of different guys, getting reps with a bunch of guys I'll get reps with in the preseason. So, super excited for that. It's been fun to watch these guys grow as well over the past three years. Seeing how well Deebo, [TE] George [Kittle] and B.A. [WR Brandon Aiyuk] specifically are moving and catching the ball."

How has the way head coach Kyle Shanahan runs training camp practices changed over your three years and what little surprises does he throw in for you?

"They really haven't, schedule-wise, I think that's the biggest thing that dictates it. Going to Vegas next week will be different for us having a Week 1 joint practice rather than Week 2. But for the most part, it's been pretty consistent."

You mentioned a couple times that you guys get along and see each other outside the building in the quarterback room. Are there things you guys do?

"We do dinners for the most part. It's hard during camp, but as we get going into the preseason for sure, we'll get more time to spend together."

What do you get out of these joint practices with the Raiders, last year with the Vikings?

"Yeah, just going against a different defense, seeing different looks. For our offense and defense, it's nice to be able to go against someone else for sure."

Do you do any like prep work as far as understanding the kind of coverages you're going to see? Do you go in game planning a little bit?

"No, we don't game plan. I guess that's more of a question for Kyle. But, preseason games typically over the last two years, you don't really game plan. Definitely going in having watched some tape and at least know what to expect, not necessarily going in blind."

Your situation's a little different than your first two years here. Is there less pressure, like in a good way?

"I guess I wouldn't put it that way. For me, nothing's changed the last three years. I feel like I've attacked it the same way. I feel like I'm in a much better spot, myself personally this year, than I have been the past two years. But mindset-wise, mentally for me, I feel like if I'm not putting that same pressure on myself in practice, then the game's a lot harder."

QB Sam Darnold

How's camp going? Do you kind of see the improvements? Do you feel them when you're going through the offense and going through the film after practice?

"For sure. There's ups and downs to every camp, but I feel like we're continuing to improve in the areas that we need to. At least from the offensive perspective, can't speak much on the defense, but I think as a team we're improving every day. It's all about watching the tape and whether you have a good day or a bad day, it's how are you going to watch the tape and get better from it."

How do you feel that you've grown and improved your game since coming here?

"Yeah, I feel like just everything's very clear and concise with how we read the plays. And I feel like I've been making good decisions. I've been taking care of the football, but I've also been making quick decisions, I think. So just have to continue to improve and study the way I have been and keep up the good habits that I've been working to improve throughout camp."

Where are you in the process of fully learning the offense and how difficult is that with this particular offense? And have you ever been exposed to anything quite like it?

"Yeah, I mean, this is my fifth offense, I think, throughout my career. It's definitely, there's a lot of shifts, there's a lot of motions, a lot of different concepts as well. So, it's just about getting used to it and hearing it, visualizing it before you get in the huddle. And that's really it for me and being able to see what the defense is doing pre-snap and really focus on that as opposed to worrying about, oh, where's this guy again? And who am I getting the ball to on this play?"

How does the mindset of a quarterback change in a practice situation when you know you're not going to take a hit as opposed to a game situation where you most likely are going to take a hit?

"That's the difference. It's understanding the protection and when it breaks down. I think in practice, obviously, you want to be able to sit in the pocket and make the throws and go through your reads. But in the game, instincts at certain times have to take over and in practice you can go from your first read to your second read to your third and make the throw. Whereas in games more often you might feel a rush or especially coming off the left side you might feel something and it might make you flush. So that's something that we always have to continue to work on in quarterback drills to continue to feel the pocket and have smaller movements in the pocket rather than forcing our way out of it."

FB Kyle Juszczyk was talking about some of the differences in camp over the years, being with head coach Kyle Shanahan, but he said one constant is that you never know what play you're going to get sometimes, that it's going to be a play you haven't repped, you don't even really know maybe not that well, and he wants to see how you're going to do with it. Have you found that to be the case?

"For sure. Yeah. For instance, today, there was a play where we were just kind of lining up in the same formation, same motion and he just called a play that we hadn't ran in probably a couple weeks. So yeah, it's in those move-the-ball periods where it's realistic football, you're going first, second, third down, he might because he's just putting together everything in his head. He doesn't have a call sheet right there, so he's just calling a play that comes to his mind."

Is that different than what you've been through in the past?

"I've been through similar situations during camp where you do move-the-ball periods and the offense coordinator can just call whatever. Especially when you get through all the installs which we have. You get through all the installs and then everything's available in those move the ball periods."

What's been your history with joint practices and what are you looking forward to next week against the Raiders?

"It's nice to go against different scheme, different players. So that's always a bonus. Then all the competitiveness that comes along with it is always a fun thing for quarterbacks to enjoy."

I know it's your first camp with WR Brandon Aiyuk, but what is it he's doing that's making it so easy for every quarterback to connect with him?

"He is just crisp. He's very consistent in his route running. So, I think that's huge. And then obviously, we know what he does with the ball once he gets it after the catch. So, Brandon has continued to play at a high level throughout camp and that consistency is going to be huge throughout the season."

Over the years, several offensive players have complimented Kyle's system by saying that he communicates it really well to where every position knows the full picture. Have you found that to be helpful in your learning of the offense that a receiver might know more about the whole system than at one of your previous stops for example?

"I think the biggest thing is, I don't want to compare it to any of my previous stops, but I think the biggest thing is just everyone understanding, because the receivers are very involved in the run game, which I know is huge in this offense for asking receivers to be able to block linebackers and block down safeties obviously and being able to understand the verbiage that allows us to do that and then have [T] Trent [Williams] or whoever on a corner. So, it's everyone kind of understanding their role in the run game. And that makes the pass game that much easier."

Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks

Opening comments:

"I thought it was another good day of practicing pads. [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] orchestrated practice today where we had a lot of situational stuff, which I thought was great to try to create some true simulations of game-like football. So, I thought the guys did a good job going through those scenarios and getting better today. And with that, I'll take your questions."

Guys seem to be blitzing a lot out there. Are you pretty happy with the way your guys are timing that up? Is it meeting your specifications?

"Oh, I don't think we're blitzing that much. You think we're blitzing a lot?"

More than we've seen in the past.

"Well, I think the timing has been great at times. You know, sometimes we're giving it up a little too early. But again, it's practice, we're working through the kinks, but most importantly I like just the effort, the way these guys are flying around getting to the football and our focus is always on the fundamentals and technique. So those are the things that I'm seeing that I'm really impressed about right now."

You've mentioned a few times the work that DL Javon Kinlaw has put in even since you've been here. When you watch the tape last year and then you watch him now, is he showing you more things just in terms of like having a deeper toolbox of moves and things that maybe he hasn't shown in the past?

"I think he's fresh. I think he's healthy. You're seeing a lot of explosion off the line, violent hands and really he's playing with a lot of confidence right now. I love when I see him, when the play is down the field, and he turns and runs about 30 to 45 yards down the field, it's phenomenal just to see a man of that size move the way he does. So, I'm happy right now where he is and hopefully, he can continue to progress."

You work a lot of one-on-ones with the defensive backs, but with CB Ambry Thomas specifically, was he someone that you identified when you first got here as maybe hadn't reached his potential and needed a little bit of extra?

"I feel like he definitely has the potential. And it's not just so much one individual, but he needs to progress and grow from last year. I think he has the skillset and we just really trying to hone that and just pull the best out of him along with all the others. So, my time, particularly during special teams, when I can grab one or two guys just to work on the fundamentals and technique is awesome. And then we have things that we orchestrate, [defensive backs coach] Daniel Bullocks and I, during the individual period that we try to separate safeties and corners. So, we're really trying to hone in on the specifics."

What are you seeing in the area of takeaways? A few of the defenders have said, you know, if you want to be a really good defense, you've got to get the ball. And I think S Tashaun Gipson Sr. has had a couple of interceptions during camp, and there might be two more, but there hasn't been a ton, but guys are getting their hands on the ball. What are you seeing in that area?

"Well, I think number one, you can't really stress it to the point to where if it's not happening now, we're close. It's going to eventually show up. So, Gipson got one today, which I thought was phenomenal. But we are close to the ball. It's something that we emphasize and talk about in the meetings. We have takeaway circuits, those kinds of things. But, I eventually feel like the takeaways are going to come for sure."

What have your impressions been of CB D'Shawn Jamison, the undrafted rookie?

"Very impressed, very impressed. And I think some of the receivers were talking about him the other day. He has definitely made strides from the spring and just came back and built on to his repertoire and just his toolbox. I think the one thing that he's doing with his technique, he's staying more square in his backpedal, which is allowing him to be able to see and visualize more of the field-route concept, see the quarterback, and he's doing a great job of breaking on the ball, his man-to-man technique, he's great at the line of scrimmage and he's doing a good job at the top end of the route, the point of emphasis that I talk about all the time, that's where we've got to win. So, you see him doing a lot of good things."

CB Charvarius Ward said he's watching him because he's so patient in his backpedal and he is like learning from him, which was striking because Ward is quite good and Jamison is an undrafted rookie. But I mean, is that an area?

"I don't mean to cut you off. I don't think it's so much about, number one, I'll say this, we can learn from anyone, that's number one. And then number two, I think it's more the technique that they probably have played here in the past, that they weren't used to staying square. So now he's seeing a guy that came out of college that was probably taught that, and those are the things that I'm bringing and when he does it, he does it well. So those are the things that we're trying to get him to do. And I think right now, the times that he's in there, you're seeing progression and getting better. I'm talking about [CB Charvarius Ward] Mooney."

How does a player like Jamison who played in a big conference get passed over in the draft and were you instrumental in bringing him here?

"First question, it happens every year. You know, a lot of guys bloom late. A lot of guys come in, there are different things based off their system, how they taught the technique and whatnot. And I would say this, [general manager] John [Lynch] and his staff does a tremendous job in identifying certain guys down the line like Jamison. And once we were able to watch him on tape, what the scouts brought to us, we were very impressed and wanted to get him in."

Just wondering, now that you've had a couple of padded practices behind you guys, what do you think the chemistry is with you and your defensive players and getting to know them and them getting to know you and getting comfortable with your coaching style?

"I think it's a work in progress. I think we're moving in the right direction and I think Kyle does a great job of that. Once again, going back to how he orchestrates practice, we've done a lot of move-the-ball scenarios the last couple of days. So, these guys are getting a nice feel for how I call the game. Certain things that I like in certain situations, down and distance, personnel, we do a great job of two-minute situations in the evening. So, it's all been a great learning experience for me, but also for them so we can get to know one another."

For the other linebacker competition for the baseline backer spot other than LB Dre Greenlaw and LB Fred Warner, who's standing out there and what are you looking for from that position?

"Consistency across the board is the key for us at all positions. It's a tight race. [LB Oren Burks] O.B., Burks is doing a tremendous job. [LB] Marcelino [McCrary-Ball] made a great play at the end of the practice. And then you also see [LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles] Flan. So, I like the mere fact that when, when Fred and Greenlaw take a day off, I feel like we're not missing a beat. So, that's definitely encouraging. I'm excited about the backups and how they're performing."

How are the rookies? How are the draft picks? How are they fitting into that equation?

"I think they're making progress as well. When I was talking about [LB] Jalen [Graham] the other day, he's so athletic and that's what we loved about him coming out of Purdue. Could run, could cover in the slot, but he had a couple of plays the other day that were phenomenal for us as far as just being physical, coming downhill on an offensive lineman using his hand. So, that's always encouraging because that's what we pride ourselves on being a physical defense."

I know he's only been here for a couple of practices, but have you been able to formulate any thoughts on how DL Taco Charlton has come in?

"Well, I'll tell you this, Taco came off the plane and he just like made play after play after play the other day. And I was very impressed with that because, number one, we needed the reps, but he got in and made it seem like he had been here for a week. So, he's still learning the defense, it still is going to take him some time, but when he's in there he goes full speed, which I love. And most important, he's just continued trying to work on just the fundamentals that we talk about at that position."

You mentioned Gipson having an interception today. That was more in the curl flat area. S Talanoa Hufanga had another play where he got his hands on the ball but that was from the single high. So, how important is it for your safeties to be interchangeable in your defense and how do you feel about the versatility so far?

"I think it's very important based off what you just described because it could be any situation where Huf is down, Gipson is back and vice versa. Those guys do a great job of really when they are deep in the post, particularly Huf, making plays on the ball. Now he's got to finish that one today. And I told him that on the sideline. I don't think he had to jump, but he's shown that range throughout training camp and we just got to come up with those big plays."

How's the competition going on the other side with DL Drake Jackson, DL Clelin Ferrell, who will play opposite of DL Nick Bosa?

"I think that's exactly what it is, it's competition, it's tight. And I would say this really for the whole group, and I mentioned this with the staff last night, we're not going to see a separation or a change until we go against someone else. So, I'm excited about here in a week, I believe it is that we go up to Vegas and play the Raiders. So, we'll see exactly where we're at that point and hopefully guys can separate themselves."

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