Coach speak; 49ers Shanahan and Seahawks Carroll on Sundays game

The Seattle Seahawks(  8-5) will try to make it ten games in a row when they travel to the Bay and take on the San Francisco 49ers (3-10) Sunday afternoon ( 1:05 PT) at  Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The Seahawks have won nine consecutive games against the 49ers including the December 2nd  Sunday  43-16 win at CenturyLink Field. The last time the 49ers beat the Seahawks was  December 8th at Candlestick Park in  San Francisco  (19-17).

Here is what both coaches had to say during their weekly meetings with the media regarding Sunday’s clash. 

SAN FRANCISCO  HEAD COACH  KYLE  SHANAHAN

(On getting a win over the Broncos in the wake of Tony York’s passing)

“It was huge. I mean, it was such a tragic thing that happened in the day before the game and it just felt so good because I knew how hard it was going to be for the Yorks, the parents especially, not coming to the game. Jed (York) came, which was very impressive.

He definitely didn’t have to and we wanted more than anything to win that for them but it’s not something that you want to tell them or anything in case you don’t, but the fact that we ended up pulling it off and being able to at least present a ball to Jed at the end of the game and give him that moment – it would’ve been hard to do that if we didn’t win and I’m just very glad we won for that reason.”
 
(On getting the win as a team)

“Any time you win, it helps and we played real good football in all three phases for the first half. We slowed down offensively in the second half but the defense kept going and played very strong, didn’t have any let-down and (offense) was able to finish it on the last drive. I thought it was a good team win and hopefully something that we can carry over to this week.”
 
(On playing an opponent twice in two weeks and what they can take away from the first game)

“We’ve just got to play a lot better. Obviously, you can see what the score was. Turning it over and not getting any turnovers, we need to run the ball better and we need to stop their run better so it’s pretty much Football 101 in terms of why you win and why you lose so we need to do that stuff better. Playing a team twice in two weeks is a little different but it can be fun, too. Especially the way it went for us, it was a bad feeling for us and I’d love to get another chance at them.

To be able to do that ten days later is something you’re excited about and you know scheme-wise, nothing’s really changing. It’s about going out there and playing football and this happened to me a couple of years ago. 2015, I think, we played Carolina in Atlanta and got shut out and we had to play them ten days later. It was their 16-0 year and we were able to beat them two weeks later and give them their only loss. I’ve done it once and that was a good feeling but it is a little unusual.”
 
(On George Kittle)

“The most impressive thing is what he’s been doing after the catch. I think he’s having such a good year because he’s been able to stay healthy. I mean, he has been banged up, especially through the middle of the year, but he was able to play through it and still play at a high level, which he struggled with last year. He’s been taking care of his body great. He hasn’t slowed down and the aggressiveness he’s doing once he gets the ball in his hands is – we get the ball to him quite a bit but the reason that it’s a different year and a special year is because of what he’s doing after the catch, which is all him just being aggressive and making plays.”
 
(On Dante Pettis)

“He’s finally healthy, and he hasn’t been healthy all year. He kind of came into the year banged up and we had to shut him down for a month and then when he came back, it took him a while to get back into the groove. We lost (Marquise Goodwin) the day before the game at Tampa so that was the first time Dante got thrown out there a lot.

We didn’t have enough guys to sub him or anything. We just had to throw him into the fire and he had to play the whole game and he got better as the game went and had some good plays in that game but then he carried it over to Seattle, where he had a couple good plays again. We gave him the same situation last week versus Denver. The main thing is getting more opportunities because he’s healthy and by no means has he been perfect, but he’s doing some good things and hopefully he can continue to get better.”

SEAHAWKS  HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL

(Opening Statement)

“We’ve got to make this turn around coming off Monday night and get going. Our week starts quickly, and the game comes even quicker, so everybody’s going to jump to it and make sure that we can get on track – get a good plan started and all that. You could say that it helps that we just played these guys a couple of weeks ago, but we do everything exactly like it’s a brand-new game and start all over again. In our minds, we just have to have to hustle on to catch up and get rolling. The Niners played really good last week against Denver.

Really played an explosive game early in particular and controlled the score the whole time – played really good football. If you look at their numbers, their numbers are really good across-the-board. Offense is highly ranked, the defense is highly ranked and they’re good in situations and all kinds of good stuff. We can see all that and we’re going to respect the heck out of that. It’s a big-time opportunity for us. It’s a championship matchup for us, so we’re looking forward to it.”
 
(On Mychal Kendricks)

“Mychal’s going on IR. He needs to get work done on his knee. He got caught in a situation (where) he just got hit on the outside of his knee and it’s got him. In unbelievable fashion, he finished the game. It was early enough – he fought through it the whole time. It’s just been such a difficult season for (Mychal). My heart goes out to him. He wants to be part of this thing so badly. He doesn’t get to this time around. We’re looking forward to getting him back next time and keep him with us.”
 
(On if Mychal Kendricks’ injury was a broken tibia)

“There’s a little nick in there or something. There’s a couple of things that they’re going to work on. It’s not a terrible knee injury, but it’s going to take a little bit. It’s at least six to eight weeks kind of a situation, so we’ll just have to wait it out.”
 
(On if Mychal Kendricks’ injury will require surgery) “Yes.”
 
(On K.J. Wright’s injury status)

“K.J. went through the walkthrough today. I watched him run yesterday and he looks good. He’s getting close and this would be an important week to just kind of work him back in. Hopefully a couple weeks from now, we’ll get a chance to get him back.”
 
(On if K.J. Wright will play in Week 15 against the 49ers)

“Not unless something changes. I can’t tell you that right now.”
 
(On Doug Baldwin)

“He went through the walkthrough today too. We’ll see how he does this afternoon. We’re just going one day at a time with Doug and never expecting anything other than he may pull off another one of those miracles and get back and play. His mind is set on doing that. We’ll see how he makes it through the week. I can’t tell you right now.”
 
(On what Bradley McDougald has brought to the Seahawks this season)

“Well, it’s been consistency and he has been very productive. He has been a playmaker from the first game out and he’s been able to put himself in situations and make plays that other guys don’t make. He’s a really good guy in coverage and he continues to come through. The Carolina play that he made, the fourth down play in the end zone, along with the numbers of other in the last few weeks. He continues to make things happen and he’s having a fantastic season.”
 
(On what Bradley McDougald’s versatility allows the Seahawks to do with other players in the defensive secondary)

“It does give us some choices. He can play free safety and strong safety – and he plays in the dime package as well because it comes easy to him. All the coverage situations that we can put him in, he’s very comfortable with it. He’s at corner playing his background and you can see it. He’s got really good coverage instincts. He allows us to move other guys around too because of that.”
 
(On if it helps on a short week that the Seahawks just played the 49ers in Week 13)

“It could, you know, but, it’s relative, so it doesn’t make a difference really. We’re not looking at it like that, we’re just going right back after it all over again – start the process. We’re not trying to bank on what happened before, we’re just going to go start this thing off. It’s a new game. See if we can put together a great plan, carry out a great week of work and get ready to play really big-time ball again.”
 
(On how much Doug Baldwin’s absence in Week 14 against Vikings affected the Seahawks)

“I think a guy of his stature is going to affect you some. His experience and the chemistry with Russ (Wilson) and our history with him, he’s a fantastic player. Other guys have to do what they do well, they’re not going to be able to do Doug. I don’t know that it had anything to do with the game in particular, but you could certainly turn to that, as you have. If he’s out there, he might’ve made a difference in the throwing game.”
 
(On Tre Flowers’ mental state overcoming rookie struggles throughout the season) “He truly has. He’s been really strong-minded about it. He started working his mentality way back in April when we got going. Getting ready to be able to see it’s always about the next play. His focus has been really good.

You can see when technique doesn’t change from being affected by what has happened before. He’s been very, very consistent. He’s just a good, tough minded guy. Again, I go back to he’s played a lot of football, played a lot of football in college – three and a half years as a starter, that adds up. He just has a real good mentality about him. He’s tough, he plays tough and he’s not going to let anything get to him. He’s been really good that way.”
 
(On Austin Calitro filling in when neccessary)

“He really has done it and he’s done it well for us. He played really good against these guys last time out. He’s been able to be really consistent with is run fits. We really don’t have any problem with him playing at all. We were excited to play Mychal (Kendricks) last week to give him a chance to get out there, but Calitro could easily have swapped in. We feel like we have a guy that we’ve developed as a starter stepping up and we’re fortunate in that.”
 
(On if Shaquem Griffin’s progression has been slower throughout the year)

“No. No, I don’t think that. I think that maybe it was the other way around – we threw him in there so early. We might have done that too early for anybody coming off of the big transition that he was making from the position play. I remember he was at DB just a couple years before and all of that. He’s doing good and he’s ready to jump when we need him. He’s way better schooled now than he was earlier, but he still hadn’t had a lot of playing time. It’s going to be a big offseason for him.”
 
(On what initially sparked the Seahawks interest in Jordan Simmons) “

The guys had seem him coming out of USC. Again, he didn’t have much playing time, so it was hard to evaluate him highly because he had been subject to a bunch of injury stuff. When we caught him playing for the Raiders during the preseason, he just looked like he was capable. We knew that he was 338 pounds and he moved well – maybe better than we thought a guy that big should move.

He had good flexibility to him. We just saw a lot of real positive things. We didn’t realize until we got him here that he’d really fit in and he fit in physically. He could do the things that he wanted to do, he could play big like we want to play. You can also see the potential for him too. He’s got potential to be a really good pass protector because he can move his feet and he can get it out of the stance. We had some hopes when we picked him up, but then as we saw him, he was able to elevate our expectations and sure enough, he’s playing now – which is remarkable journey for him. He has not had a lot of background in ball, but you can’t tell. He’s doing a really nice job. He’s still young, he’s a young guy playing. He still gets nervous and stuff, just like a young guy would be, but in time he’s going to really settle in and be a really competitive guy for us.”
 
(On how teams work out communication on drop-down day at the end of the preseason)

“It’s a big answer here because the scouts are working extensively at the rosters of the guys that are playing. We have guys responsible for every team and they are responsible for every player on the roster, all the way up to the ninety numbers. We’re constantly evaluating and plotting in preparation for that final cut down or whatever else could happen – the transitions that do take place. Sometimes you get surprised and somebody’s out there that you didn’t think would be. Immediately that hits the wire for us internally and everybody’s talking about. Everybody will sit down and guys will jump on to the film. John (Schneider) will call me and say, ‘look, I got a guy you want to take a look at. He might be able to do this and that.’ If it can keep the energy going for the guy, then we do. As we get closer to the fourth (preseason) game, we’ve already got a whole big draft list, almost, of guys we think are going to become available. Or, the experts on their teams have to kind of sense what the cuts are going to look like and who would be available. It’s a myriad of things that take place to get to the point where we would finally say if this guy is now available, we might jump on him. We also have to take a look at our roster. A lot stuff going on for that. It’s a very intricate time of the scouts and personnel working – John’s (Schneider) great at it and he knows how to anticipate has a good sense for what’s going to happen on other teams. So, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into that. It’s a really big science for us. It’s interesting you brought it up because rarely do people talk about that.”
 
(On what helped the Seahawks choose Jordan Simmons from the available linemen)

“He was a really well-balanced athlete and he was really big – he’s a big strong guy that moved well. We had good information on him coming from USC and felt like we had enough knowledge to get give him a shot. Really at the point, he’s just kind of getting a shot. We hope he can come through and he has.”
 
(On acquiring talent during free-agency and through trades)

“Yeah, absolutely. If you look too, we’ve picked up guys, we’ve made some transactions to get guys that we think kind of maybe on the bubble for another team that we think would fit us. John (Schneider) does a really good job – we’ve picked up some really important players over the years that have come in and helped us.”
 
(On the difficulty in evaluating the potential of player who didn’t play much in college)

“It’s a real different science for those two situations you’re talking about because one guy (David Moore) you’re looking at level of competition. The other guy (Jordan Simmons), you have a limited amount of information on. That’s where it comes down to the savvy of the scouts in the area and what they’re seeing and can they make the evaluation that could allow a guy that we can translate it.

There’s a lot going on. It’s just a good area of work that our guys do and we’re very fortunate of the experience with guys that we have. John’s (Schneider) ability to communicate with scouts, know what they’re seeing, know what they’re hearing, know what they know about the players and all of that stuff. It’s not cut and dry where you say this guy is this way or this guy’s another way. It’s just kind of the work that those guys do and the intricacies of it, it’s a lot going on.”
 
(On the team putting up 250 yards rushing in each of Jordan Simmonss starts)

“Yeah, I think he played against the Rams and the Vikings, right? I mean those are two terrific fronts with really good players and highlighted players and he’s held his own. I don’t know about expectations, but we’re playing him because we think he’s going to do a good job and he’s been able to handle it and he hasn’t been perfect but he’s certainly shown that he can hang in there.

He was blocking (Ndamukong) Suh and (Aaron) Donald a couple of weeks ago and here he’s going against our guy from last year (in Sheldon Richardson).

It’s really a positive expression he’s made for our team and for his future with us.”
 
(On D.J. Fluker’s status) “Still coming back, not quite ready today. I’ll give him a chance to do something special by the end of the week and see how that goes.”
 
(On having more fun than most other teams)

It’s been an obviously well-connected group from the start, really, when we came back to camp and I’ve kind of tried to explain it to you guys but like, they’ve all sensed the opportunity to do something here and be a part of it. I think a lot of the guys that are here that weren’t here in the past have seen the kind of team that we’ve had and they have kind of a good, positive outlook with being part of this might be something special or might be something fun.

The whole mentality has been kind of very upbeat and looking to the future. A lot of hope and it’s kind of just fed off of itself and the newness is good. The freshness is good. We always have a good time here and I don’t ever want to coach this game if we’re not having fun. If we’re not having fun, I’m screwing it up because we’re here to play. You play football. You don’t work football. You play football and there’s something to that and it’s always been something that I want to make sure that the atmosphere is available for that and these guys are taking full advantage of it. It’s good leadership, good communication between the groups and they have really mixed a lot – offense to defense and defense to offense. It’s been a very fun group to watch come together.”
 
(On if the positive outlook is part of the vision)

“Yeah, I don’t think that there’s anything that you could find that’s more crucial than that. We talk about grit a lot around here and there’s elements of grit. It starts with passion and perseverance and resilience, and resilience comes from hope. You think that something is going to happen for the positive, and then you can hold onto that. That helps you hang through. It allows you to persevere. The more passionate you are, the longer and the deeper the battle is within you and we’re kind of living in a very forward-thinking, optimistic world around here and that’s the only way we look at it.

We know that something good is going to happen if we just keep battling and that mentality has been in this program since the start. These guys, they’re on it. They get it. It was 3-0 the other night and there wasn’t one guy that was concerned about how the game was going to come out. It was 3-0 at the first quarter and then the second quarter and then the third quarter and there was no margin for error at all there. I felt no tenseness, I felt no reservation in the way that they were approaching it. Everybody was going for it because I believe that they felt like we’re going to be able to take control of this thing and it’s going to turn out okay. Russell (Wilson) is a gleaming example of that mentality. He’s always been so upbeat and so positive and he carries the message so well.

Bobby (Wagner) is the same and that connection with what we think here as a coaching staff is pretty strong and there’s nothing more powerful than that, particularly to overcome difficult times and we weren’t looking real good a while back and it took us a while to find some kind of continuity to count on. Since we have, it’s helped us and we’re growing and we’ve got a lot of work to do here but we’re in the right mentality if you go ahead and make something happen. We’re looking forward to it.”
 
(On what he’s seen out of his team in the past month)

“We’re finding a consistency in our performance through the week that gets us ready for the performance on the weekend. We’re practicing really well, the guys are tuned in and into it in the meetings and the walk-thru’s and that all adds up to giving you a chance to be on it on gameday and there’s been a consistency about us that’s been different than earlier in the year.

You just have to earn that. You’ve got to work for it and earn it by the time you put into it and the focus you put into it and it’s coming through. All that does is give us a chance, you know? We haven’t done anything yet. If we can get another win here, then we’ve taken the first step for what this season can be all about. We’ll see what happens.”
 
(On Maurice Alexander) “He had a concussion. He got hit on the play he was in on, the special teams play, and I think his head hit the ground.”
 
(On Frank Clark saying that this team has moved on from the cloud of the Super Bowl loss)

“No, he gets to say whatever he wants to say. I trust Frank. I didn’t read it, but if Frank feels that way then there’s probably something to it in Frank’s mind. There aren’t many guys around here that wouldn’t understand that or have any reference to that. So, I guess? I don’t know. It’s a pretty good thought.”
 
(On the growth of the offensive line)

“Joey (Hunt) has played well (and Ethan) Pocic has played well when they’ve had their chances so we’re really excited about the group because there’s enough versatility here, and flexibility. Ethan gives us tremendous flexibility. He can play all five spots and Joey went in at guard. He’s played center.

Jordan (Simmons) could move out as well. George (Fant) can play both sides (and) he’s playing tight end. All of that just adds to the versatility of the group. They’re all connected, too. We wouldn’t feel bad about any of those guys being in the game. They all can play and carry their own. They’re smart, they know what’s going on and it’s a credit to the job that Mike (Solari) has done with these guys but it’s a very positive outlook for this group for the coming years, too.”
 
(On Rashaad Penny) “Yeah, after the game, his knee was sore. He had a sore knee so we’re going to rest him today and see how he goes and he’s had it all looked at and there’s not any issues with it, but he had a little bit of swelling so we’re going to take care of him.”
 
(On if Rashaad Penny’s knee injury is new) “Yeah, first time. He said he felt it at the restaurant after the game.”
 
(On if he encourages Rashaad Penny reversing field on runs)

“Heck yeah. No, he’s pretty good at it. If he gets caught for a 20-yard loss, then we’ll talk about it then but as long as – he’s got good sense. That’s not the first time that he’s run back across the field, you know? He was a great kick returner in college and he’s done all that kind of stuff. There’s a moment in there where you could doubt, like it ain’t looking so good but when you’ve got Tyler Lockett peeling back on a block, you’ve got a chance. Russell (Wilson), too. Russ decided not to block on that play, but he was available.”
 
(On Bradley McDougald and the safety group)

“He has been responsible for keeping that group together. He was the guy that had the experience that could speak at all. Only Shaq (Shaquill Griffin) had played a season so he was really instrumental in all of that. Tedric (Thompson) has played really solid football for us. He’s been a really good hitter and he’s had his plays during the year. What hasn’t happened is the big plays turning the ball over that he will do in time. He’s going to steal the football probably before this season is over.

He’s really good back there. The group has played pretty well. We’re really happy about Delano (Hill) getting in there and playing. He’s a really good athlete. We thought he was the best tackler in the draft when he came out. He’s been a guy that we’ve been able to move around now and we’re comfortable with him playing in situations and if he had to play regularly, he would do fine. It’s a good group and there’s some competition in the playtime there, which is always good too. I think they played pretty solid football for the limited amount of background that they’ve had.”
 
(On having leadership within each position group)

“It’s really important because these guys live together. When they’re here, they’re together all day long and all week long. Look at them on the bench during the game. These guys are connected. There’s always leadership. Sometimes, it’s better than others. We have particularly good direction from our guys and guys that are humble and they care about the people around them and they’re looking after the young guys. They’re watching them, not just in football but what’s going on around their worlds. These guys do a great job of handling their business on and off the field.

I think it has to do with the leadership, so it’s been a strong aspect of us. I know everybody says ‘oh, well you’re going to lose all this leadership, how are you going to be?’ I didn’t feel like that. I felt like we had plenty of guys that had already been factors as leaders throughout the squad and there’s been a few surprises. I think Bradley (McDougald) taking over as much as he did and as quickly as he did was a great surprise. (Jarran) Reed was a guy who we knew would be a guy that could be a leader and he’s stepped up. I think Frank (Clark) has been a surprise in how confident he’s been and how he’s been able to share his experience with guys and help them out. If we can just get any leadership in the linebacker room, it would be a little bit – oh, oh sorry Bobby (Wagner).”
 
(On if this is the best that Bobby Wagner has played)

“Gosh, Bobby has played great for years. When you’re out there enough, the opportunities come to you and when you’re on your game, then you can take advantage of it and that’s what you see Bobby doing. More than ever, we’re calling on him to do more than he had done in the past. We like the way he rushes the passer and blitzes and all that kind of stuff. Every once in a while, we give him a call that he gets to do that. It’s great to see that the big opportunities have come up and he’s captured them because that’s the kind of ballplayer he is and he’ll continue to do that.”

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