49ers

Shanahan: 'We have to figure out how to finish one'

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AP

Shanahan: 'We have to figure out how to finish one'

Editor's note: 49ers Game Plan airs Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area.

SANTA CLARA – Three days after the 49ers’ crushing overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the team put together what Kyle Shanahan described as its best Wednesday practice of the season.

Shanahan, who sat down Thursday for an interview that will appear on “49ers Game Plan,” said he believes his team has responded well after the frustration of an 18-15 loss to Arizona to re-focus on facing the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

“You can usually tell how guys are after a loss by how hard they work,” Shanahan said. “I haven’t seen the guys step back at all. I think they’re putting even more (work) into it with each practice they have. I think we’re getting better and I think it’s a matter of time.”

Shanahan and the 49ers are still searching for their first victory of the season after going 2-14 in Chip Kelly’s only season as head coach. The 49ers are one of only four teams in the NFL to head into Week 5 without a victory.

“I think winning can become a habit,” Shanahan said. “When you get into these tight games, which most NFL games are, there are very few plays that separate a win and a loss. When you get into that fourth quarter and it’s tight and you haven’t won many of them, it’s hard to believe you’re truly going to. The only way you change it, is you start winning. True confidence is from having success that you’ve experienced. If you haven’t had that, it’s just talk.

“We’ve put ourselves in position to do it, which is close and it’s a step in the right direction. But it’s definitely not enough. We have to figure out how to finish one out.”

On Sunday, the Cardinals took advantage of miscommunication among the 49ers’ defense for Carson Palmer’s 19-yard walk-off touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald in overtime. It appeared 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman was late in relaying the defensive call to safety Jimmie Ward after throwing a shoe off the field. Ward did not get into position in time to prevent the touchdown pass.

“You got to make those plays in a moment of truth, and you’re not going to get a lot of opportunities,” Shanahan said. “Those opportunities have been there, but we’ve come up a little short.

“You can’t count on the other team to mess it up if you want to win consistently. You have to go do it yourself. You've got to make it happen, and we haven’t done that, yet. But I expect to do that Sunday.”

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”