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Kyle Shanahan, 49ers players critical of Eagles staff member getting chippy with Dre Greenlaw

Dec 3, 2023 at 6:36 PM--

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While there were a number of highlights that took place for the 49ers in their 42-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the most memorable moment might have come when things got heated between 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw and Eagles senior advisor to the general manager/chief security officer Dom DiSandro.

The incident happened in the third quarter of Sunday's game with the 49ers holding a 21-6 lead. Greenlaw made a physical tackle on wide receiver DeVonta Smith near the Eagles sideline, which resulted in Greenlaw getting a 15-yard penalty. The tackle also prompted Eagles players, coaches and DiSandro to approach Greenlaw in Smith's defense. DiSandro put his hand on Greenlaw and gave him a slight push, after which Greenlaw poked DiSandro in the face. Both Greenlaw and DiSandro were ejected from the game.

Following the game, 49ers players Nick Bosa and Fred Warner as well as head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters about the incident and made it clear they weren't too happy about the fact DiSandro put his hands on one of their players.

"Oh, yeah. That's why I tried my hardest not to lose my mind," Shanahan said. "Hopefully I didn't embarrass myself too bad. I didn't get to see it all from where I'm at, but when I start hearing people explain it to me and stuff and I just can't believe someone not involved in a football game can taunt our players like that and put their hands in our guy's face. And from what I was told, Dre did it back to him, and I was told that he kind of mashed him in the face a little bit, so he got ejected."

Both Warner and Bosa said they didn't get a good look at the play, but they knew enough to say they didn't like DiSandro's involvement.

"Absolutely," Warner said. "I mean, that should never be in question, like one of their guys interacting with a player on the sidelines. So it is what it is."

Bosa added, "I definitely don't like when other people get involved. I don't know exactly what happened."

Wide receiver Jauan Jennings also gave an opinion on the incident, saying he didn't get why DiSandro felt the need to interact with Greenlaw.

"It was a little weird. A little weird," Jennings said. "He don't even play football, so I don't understand what's his beef with Dre. Like, you're a sideline guy."

The altercation fired up the crowd and the Eagles, who moments later scored a touchdown to cut their deficit to 21-13. The 49ers quickly answered with a touchdown of their own to open up a 28-13 lead, silencing the crowd and killing the Eagles' momentum in the process.

"I loved how we rallied after it," Shanahan said.

The 49ers wound up not missing Greenlaw a whole lot either, thanks to backup Oren Burks coming in and getting the job done in Greenlaw's place.

"(Greenlaw) was talking to me saying he didn't do anything and then I'm seeing their sideline waving bye to him and all this other stuff," Warner said. It was such a big loss in that moment to lose him, but I can't speak enough to how big OB was -- Oren Burks coming in and doing what he did, ade some big plays for us in there when he came in and replaced Dre. So that was another moment where we had to make an adjustment and stand up."

There wasn't any frustration on the 49ers' end for Greenlaw getting into it with DiSandro, but Bosa nonetheless said it was something Greenlaw needs to steer clear of in the future.

"Dre has been really the enforcer for this defense since we got here in '19, and that's what makes him who he is, so we're not going to knock him for being that," Bosa said. "But within that situation, he knows he can't do that, and it was a perfect learning lesson at this moment. Down the road, I don't think he'll make that mistake again."

DiSandro was filmed after the game greeting Eagles players as they left the field and reportedly said, "You know we'll get them back." The Eagles and 49ers may well meet again in Philadelphia down the road in the playoffs, which would make DiSandro part of the storyline once more.

In the meantime, there was no complaints on Shanahan's end for how Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni handled the incident after the two of them spoke on the field.

"Yeah, he was awesome," Shanahan said. "He wasn't a fan of what happened on the play either, and he handled it with total class and was real cool."

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