49ers HC Kyle Shanahan (10.7.19)

Opening comments:

“The injuries for tonight, all we had was [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice. Possible knee sprain. We’ll have to take a look at it tomorrow. That’s it. Go ahead.”


T Mike McGlinchey came out a little bit.

“I wasn’t told anything specific. We would have left him in if it was close. We just took him out to take care of him. I saw him limping a little. I think just some wear and tear in the game.”


How instrumental has Kyle been in this rushing attack and what worked so well running the ball tonight?

“It helps when you get explosives. The first play to start that out, to get 80 right there is obviously a big lift and helps your stats when you get that. But, having the lead. The defense playing that well, being able to run that much. Some of the looks we did, I thought we blocked hard. We played very physical and it seems like the backs all hit the right hole.”


You weren’t happy last year with how you came out of the bye and this year made some tweaks. How much do you think that impacted and what’d you think of just the way your team came out?

“Who knows how much it impacted it? But it was a much better game, obviously. I think we have a better team too. It’s very important to our guys. They worked extremely hard all week. Any time you take some time off, there’s some rust to work through and I thought the guys knocked it off pretty fast.”


Did you get the sense that they were really itching to get back into a game having to wait so long?

“Definitely. It was a long two weeks. Especially, because we felt like we had some good momentum. It really hit us yesterday, spending two Sundays in a row watching other teams play. That was the first time I’ve had to do that. Two weeks in a row of doing it without playing. Having to wait until Monday Night was a little long.”


You guys are 4-0. The hype machine is probably about to get started now. What are your thoughts on how to handle that? What do you tell the squad?

“The same way you handle 0-5. You don’t pay attention and you just go to work. I think we’ve got the right guys. I think today was a little lopsided game, but the league is too hard to be overconfident. Every week is a tough week and we’ve got a lot of work to do. Still got some guys who are waiting to get back from injury and that game by no means was perfect. I thought our defense played four great quarters, from the first play to the last play. I think our special teams, obviously struggled. I was real disappointed how the offense finished in the fourth quarter.”


You guys have talked about how DL Nick Bosa is close to making plays, he just has to finish. Was he just finishing or was he substantially better tonight than he’s been?

“Well, he got to play a lot more. So, I think he had more opportunities. He hasn’t been playing a ton. He’s been playing situationally, and tonight, I think he got to play a lot more. I’m not sure what his stats were or how many sacks he had, but every time I looked up he was there. That’s how it was in practice for us in training camp for the times he was healthy. Obviously, I think he’s getting a lot more healthy so it’s good to see.”


Do you plan to play him more?

“Yes. Yeah.”


You mentioned Friday, that the defensive line had been good in the first three games but that there was another level. Was that another level tonight?

“It looked like it. I think I saw what all you guys saw. You always wait until you see the tape and you can see it all, but every time I looked up those guys were around the quarterback and just how fast we were playing. How hard we were playing. The way they played in the fourth quarter looked the exact same way as the first quarter. So, that was exciting to watch.”


Were you at all surprised how quickly Nick Bosa has become an impactful player and how many different ways he’s able to have a mark on the play?

“Not really. Just because I had to go against him in practice and quickly he definitely pissed me off a lot in practice for an offensive coach. Then I get a look at the tape and have mixed emotions because trying to decide which one I was happier with that day. But, no he’s been doing it consistently in practice and he’s been working his tail off to get healthy. I’m not sure yet, but it didn’t seem like he had any setbacks tonight. Hopefully he’ll continue to get better.”


What’d you see from CB Emmanuel Moseley tonight?

“From what I saw, he played a lot like we expected. The game is not too big for E-Man. He’s very competitive out there. He started out with us just how physical he plays and how hard he goes on special teams and he came over and got a lot of playing time on defense and it looked like the same guy. He’s always going to play physically, not turn anything down. And when I did see them challenge him, especially on that go route by our sidelines, there’s no hesitation and he tried to get after it.”


You said after Week 1 that these are the best kind of games because you’ve got to win but you could still coach the guys pretty hard and get on them. Was this another example of that tonight?

“Yeah, I think so. We had a pretty good lead there in the fourth, but anytime you have four penalties on offense trying to finish running out the clock. We had the dropped slant and just we went backwards a couple times with the turnovers. I just felt like I really wanted to finish it and it didn’t seem like we totally did, but I’m not going to be too hard on the guys. The guys played their tails off, so I’m not trying to say that. There are definitely things we can get better from, but I’m definitely real proud of our team.”


Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett’s one sack came against T Mike McGlinchey, but in the first play of the game he ran right behind OL Justin Skule. How did Skule look in his second start?

“Felt good out there. I didn’t say his name very much, which is always a good sign for an O-Lineman. We’ll see tonight when we watch the tape and tomorrow, but definitely played good enough for us to win.”


Did you plan on playing RB Tevin Coleman that much?

“Yeah, we were going to rotate all three. I don’t know what it ended up at, but we wanted to get all of them in. We expected him and [RB Matt] Breida to get the most (carries). I don’t know how it ended up though.”


At what point did you decide that you would rely so heavily on the running game and sort of play your defense? Not just tonight, but just sort of training camp or the offseason?

“It’s something you always want to do as a coach. It’s the easiest way to win when you play real good defense and you can run the ball. It takes the pressure off a lot of people and doesn’t put you in a lot of risky situations, but also can help you get some easier explosives too. That’s kind of the goal always. You’re always trying to work to get that type of a team and it’s been like that so far, but we’re going to have a lot of challenges ahead of us. Especially if we don’t get Juice next week. That’s a big factor in our run game, so everything no matter what you do offensively, everything comes full circle. You’ve got to be able to do everything. There’s a matter of time that we’re going to have to throw more and when you do that, eventually you’ve got to come back and run it. In order to be what we want to be, we’ve got to be good at everything.”


There’s only two teams undefeated in the NFL, you’re one of them. What does it mean?

“It means it’s still early. It means we played four games, one less than most people. If you tell me that at the end of the year when the season is over, you’ll see me celebrating up here pretty hard. It’s going to be a short week and we’ve got to get to work on the Rams pretty early tomorrow.”


What was going on with the missed field goals this game?

“That’s something I’ll talk to them all about. I know, personally, I saw at least one rough snap that looked very hard for Robbie to get off. I know all the others weren’t perfect by any means. There’s three people involved in it. I know we had a block. It looked like they came off the wing, off the edge. So I’m not exactly sure, but definitely wasn’t good enough. It was probably one of our worst games in terms of, I don’t know about the whole special teams, but obviously in kicking. I think there was, what, three of them that we didn’t get? So, we’ve got to get better.”


What did you think when Nick planted the flag?  “What kind of flag did he plant? As long as it wasn’t an Ohio State flag or something. I’m cool with that. Hopefully it was a Niners flag and he didn’t offend anybody. Hopefully he enjoyed it. I’ve got no problem with it, but I didn’t see it so hopefully it’s not as bad as it could be.”


Can you talk about defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s performance? Just his game planning. You guys held the Browns 1-11 on third down. Under four yards per a play. Can you just talk about his game plan coming in? What was the objective?

“To win. That’s always the objective. They did a great job keeping them out of the end zone though, getting the turnovers, allowing our D-Linemen to try to stop the run and the pass where you can tee off, send four, not have to send too many blitzes. So, you’ve got seven guys in coverage. Saleh has done a hell of a job since he’s been here and our whole defensive coaching staff. They had a great plan today. I think they’ve had a great plan all year and the guys have been staying healthy and we’ve added a few new guys, which have really helped a lot and I think we’ve gotten better as coaches. We’ve gotten better as players and hopefully that will continue.”