49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan – Media Availability – January 9, 2022

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan – Media Availability – January 9, 2022


(On his feeling going into the locker room)

“It was fun. I kind of led up the entire game, just trying to get back into it the way we did it, with how many guys were down and just how many guys had to step it up. I was just so proud of everybody in that locker room. They never stopped fighting and they had to – that’s a really good team. I was just so proud of the guys.”


(On if he thought they had a chance when they were down 17 points)

“Yeah. I mean, no, yeah, no, I didn’t (laughter). Yeah, you always do. It really helped scoring at the end of the second quarter, that was big. It helped winning the coin toss, which we haven’t won many this year. So, it timed out right with that three points for us to start with it. Once that first drive in the third quarter happened, it was kind of ‘alright back to normal’. They came out really well. I thought our D was playing really good. They were just so good. Stafford was unbelievable on third down, especially in that first half. Offense, I think it took us a little bit to settle down, want to hit ’em with some play actions and stuff. Their front was just tough, but our guys settled down and did a hell of a job.”


(On what 49ers QB Jimmy Garappolo show when playing through the injury and bouncing back from the interception)

“(49ers QB) Jimmy’s (Garoppolo) always been pretty good at bouncing back from picks. It’s tough when you’re trying to run the ball a ton, so you don’t get in too much of a rhythm. You’re trying to do that when it happens. Gosh, he made some big plays… and then that one at the end, down in the red zone, that pick that happened between him and (49ers TE) George (Kittle), it was real tough, but to come back and lead us down there, however many ever yards it was like close to, I think it was a little over 80, to tie it up, send it to overtime. He was unbelievable.”


(On how resilient the team is)

“Our guys are real resilient now. I’ve been very proud of them and I’m just glad that we get to go into the tournament and be a part of it because regardless of what happened today, I was (going to) be very proud of those guys. Our goal every year is to get in the tournament, so you got a chance of the ultimate one and it’s real hard when you have a season where you lose four in a row. In most places when you lose four a row, it’s tough to keep guys together. And just the character in our building, and the players, and just everyone around it makes it easy, and you can just focus on your job and keep fighting. That’s what our guys have done all year. They’ve just kept fighting, not worried about anything else. In the meantime, I think we’ve done better each time doing that. And we’ve been able to overcome some injuries too.”


(On 49ers T Trent Williams’ prognosis and why go with 49ers OL Colton McKivitz as left tackle)

“It wasn’t an easy decision. (49ers OL) Colton’s (McKivitz) just been really doing real well in practice here the last month. Nothing against (49ers OL) Jaylon (Moore) at all. We planned on rotating them. We felt like we didn’t get – the way the game was going – really enough in the first half to give them a fair opportunity. In that opening drive of the third, we just felt like he had settled down and we weren’t (going) to put Jaylon in late, so we just stuck with that. (OL) Trent (Williams) is as much of a soldier as we have on our team and he did everything he could to play today. He was heartbroken when he couldn’t. He got up here early in the morning and wasn’t able to do it. He wasn’t healthy enough and I’m just glad that we’re giving him another chance to come back and have another one.”


(On if the throw to 49ers WR Deebo Samuel was the best he has seen from Garoppolo)

“Oh yes. Yes. I thought it was an unbelievable throw. Jimmy, just for him also not to get rattled in there too. I mean, he’s not ever from a physical standpoint, but you never know when you’re (going to) have the time to block when you’re not. Sometimes you (got to) get rid of it quick. Sometimes you can hold on to it and let it develop. That’s really tough with that front and some of the players they got, and some of the coverages they mix in, and the patience he had on it, the poise, and then (49ers WR) Deebo (Samuel) being unbelievable as usual.”


(On if he felt that Garoppolo’ thumb injury affected him and if he considered mixing in QB Trey Lance)

“No. I mean, we had a pretty good idea. Jimmy had a good week. You can ask him. But I don’t think it – just from my eyes – it had an effect on him at all. How he looked at practice this week looked good too. If he would’ve been hurt or something like that, or something happened in the game, then I wouldn’t have hesitated.”


(On the message to the team at halftime)

“I mean, it was great. It made it a lot easier coming in after that field goal, which was huge. I thought the defense, I just said to them, ‘You guys have been playing unbelievable.’ We just (got to) figure out how to get off on third down, which is a big deal and then offense – I just thought it was great that I didn’t have to say much because we finished with the field goal. I think we had like 15 plays there in the first half. I think it was like five runs, 10 passes. (We) couldn’t get it going. (We) had some bad sacks. I think we had a penalty didn’t have some very good down and distance, but we finished with points and we knew we were starting with the ball. So that just allowed you to focus right away that if we do our job would be one score real fast.”


(On if running for ten straight plays set up the throw on the trick pass)

“Yeah. It’s (going to) be hard to set it up more than that. That is the hard thing to do. I mean, you run it 10 times in a row and that is when it’s set up. But there’s also a risk too that why mess up a good thing? We’re running it pretty good right now, but you always (got to) make that decision when you wait too long and you end up with three points, and you feel like you (got to) get seven somehow. (49ers WR) Jauan (Jennings) was great in how he sold it. Got them all to crack replace and Deebo just to have the poise to attack like that. And I mean that that’s earned with what Deebo does all the time. I mean, when Deebo comes around the corner and he’s running very hard, those people don’t (want to) sit back there and wait for him to tackle him. So those guys (got to) come up fast and for him to have the poise to attack and make it look like a run and really be able to get hit while he was throwing, it was huge. And Jauan made it a little scary though, but he eventually caught it.”


(On the way the Rams ended the game, running the ball three straight times to make 49ers burn a timeout)

“No, I think that was pretty smart of them. I mean, I know you always look in hindsight when it’s over, but no. I mean, odds of going that far when you got to get a touchdown is pointless compared to a field goal just to tie and send to overtime. No, I probably would’ve done it the same way.”

(On Rams Head Coach Sean McVay celebrating with team when Rams were up 17 and if it was noticed on the 49ers sideline)

“No, you don’t see that stuff unless you’re watching TV usually – or you saw it, but you probably saw it on TV also.”


(On how easy it was for them to go with Garoppolo over 49ers QB Trey Lance)

“It was really easy just because of what Jimmy made me feel throughout the week – just how he was talking, how he was doing. I felt very confident with him and I was really happy with what (49ers QB) Trey (Lance) did the week before. If Jimmy was going into that game to where he felt he couldn’t play up to his ability, then I would’ve gone with a different decision. But he isn’t a 100%. He is hurting, but he still was able to play at 100% of his level. So, that was kind of why the decision was easy for me.”


(On 49ers CB K’Waun Williams being inactive and what that does for the defensive backfield)

“It was tough, just missing all those DB’s this week. (49ers CB) K’Waun (Williams) (was) out all week and he just didn’t feel comfortable not preparing the same way as usual and going through the whole process and (49ers CB) Dontae (Johnson) with what he’s been and how he’s stepped in and helped us at every position. I can’t tell you how proud of Dante I am. What he’s been through this last month and to go in there and start a nickel for us today versus as good of a slot of receivers there is in this league, as good of a cornerback. And then when we lost (49ers S Talanoa) Huff (Hufanga) early in the game, we lost our dime package. So, Dante had to go back and play safety which then brought in Queze (49ers CB Darqueze Dennard), who we just got this week for our practice squad because the COVID flexes and there’s lots of people like that today. Colton – I think was his first time being activated this year and guys were just – everybody was really unbelievable. We needed everybody.”


(On his thoughts playing the Dallas Cowboys)

“Not much yet. They haven’t been on our schedule and I really wasn’t looking at any of that stuff. So, someone just told me that a little bit ago and I know they’ve had a hell of a year. I know they got really good players and they got really good coaches. So, we’ll enjoy tonight and then we’ll get on the film first thing in the morning and find out whether it’s Saturday or Sunday. But, hopefully we get two days to prepare and put in a good game plan for these guys on Wednesday.”


(On how tough it is to beat a team like the Rams six straight times)

“It is tough to beat that team once. I mean, that’s a really good team, with really good coaches, and they got the players and everything. It’s not a coincidence that they’ve only lost four this year. I know that was six in a row for us, but I mean, each game’s its own game and that was a battle. They’re not easy to beat. They’re tough and we’re proud of our guys.”


(On 49ers WR Jauan Jennings)

“Jauan Jennings was a man today. I love Jauan. You guys see the passion he plays with, we don’t want to tame it, but you have to a little bit. The fire that he brings to the game is unbelievable, and the way that he blocks is the same way he runs routes, it’s the same way he catches and the same way he does everything. It was a big deal losing (49ers WR) Mohamed Sanu earlier this year. I thought he was playing one of the most consistent out of our whole wide out group the time we lost him, but it was good because it gave Jauan a little more time to get ready. He had some setbacks there in training camp and once he got his opportunity he has never looked back. He’s gotten better each week. He was huge today.”


(On how big the contribution was from 49ers K Robbie Gould and losing 49ers P Mitch Wishnowsky)

“So big. Losing (49ers P) Mitch (Wishnowsky) is an issue and they have a good punt returner and good return team. (49ers K) Robbie (Gould) hit that one, and we had that good role. Robbie was huge today, he kicked off really well there at the end, kicking it out of the endzone, making it much tougher for them to get that field goal at the end. I was real proud of those guys. It was huge and hopefully things will go well for Mitch this week. Hopefully we’ll get him back.”



“So much. (Inaudible) has definitely made a believer out of me in the second half of the season and I would not have believed he could have with how it started off. That sounds kind of harsh, but it’s not. It’s a huge compliment. It took him some time, but when he got his opportunity, which was from injuries, he was ready, and he competed. He just showed a lot of what’s in him. Watching him these last five games, I feel like I know the guy a lot better than I did before and he’s shown us that he is someone we can count on. I think he’s going to do the right stuff and continue to get better.”


(On if it sounded like a home game)

“It does, it usually does here in LA, just the way the calls seem, it always has when we’re here. It’s so cool to go to opposing stadiums and see half of it red. I didn’t know how it’d be here in SoFi, but the Coliseum was always some of the best experiences. Here I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first time here with fans, but when we came out at the beginning of the game and I saw the same thing that I saw at the Coliseum, it helped. That was pretty cool.”