49ers

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan cracks jokes about Robert Saleh, Washington

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan cracks jokes about Robert Saleh, Washington

SANTA CLARA -- Kyle Shanahan brought his A-material to his press conference Wednesday afternoon inside Levi’s Stadium.

The coach of the unbeaten 49ers covered a myriad of topics after pacing his club through the first practice of the week in preparation to face Washington on Sunday at 10 a.m.

Shanahan drew big laughs early in his press conference when he was asked about the good and the bad of serving as offensive coordinator in Washington during four seasons in which his father, Mike, was the head coach before getting fired.

Here’s a rundown of Shanahan’s comedic moments:

A little good, a lot bad

What was the best part of his time working as an assistant coach (2010-13) with Washington?

“Being able to work with my dad and being around some other good coaches,” Shanahan answered.

What was the worst part?

“Everything else.”

On blackout moment from Saleh, Sherman

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh received national attention for a fist-pumping moment on the sideline during the 49ers’ goal-line stand at the end of the first half against the Rams. Saleh later said he blacked out in that high-intensity moment.

Shanahan said many folks have made him aware of Saleh’s reaction, which was captured on the TV broadcast.

“I’ve been sent all the memes and everything,” Shanahan said. “It’s what I expect. I mess with him all the time. That’s his style. He has a cleanly shaven head every single day he talks to you guys. (He's) very tan and lifts (weights) a lot. He knows what he’s doing. He enjoys game day, too.”

When asked if ever blacks out on the sideline, Shanahan said he does -- but it’s usually directed at an official.

“People can tell on my face when I do, and sometimes I get fined for it, so you try not to black out as a coach,” Shanahan said.

“Players do it, too. I mess with (Richard) Sherman. I think he’s done it at the coin toss the last couple weeks.”

Sherman apologized last week to Baker Mayfield after originally saying the Cleveland quarterback did not shake his hand at the pregame handshake. Video later surfaced that showed the two, in fact, shook hands.

Shanahan compares Saleh to Gandi

The intensity and enthusiasm Saleh shows on the sideline during games is what he’s like the other six days of the week. In fact, Shanahan said Saleh reminds him of Gandi.

“Saleh is a peaceful giant. Saleh is very relaxed and peaceful. He’s not like that very much. That’s rare,” Shanahan said. “He’s not a guy who’s going to mess with anyone. He’s a very good teacher. He speaks to everyone with a lot of regard, a lot of respect. But it’s cool to see him like that because he’s not always like that.”

However, Shanahan was reminded that Saleh also stressed the need for “extreme violence” from his defensive players. Saleh wears a rubber wristband with those words inscribed.

“He knows what it takes,” Shanahan said of the phrase. “He just wears a bracelet. It’s not like it’s tatted on his face or anything.”

[RELATED: Washington coach: We 'need a lot of help' vs. 49ers' D-line]

Saleh had his own press conference after the 49ers’ win over the Rams. Shanahan received credit for signing off on that, which is a rare occurrence for a coordinator after a game. When asked why he did it, Shanahan said it was the idea of 49ers vice president of communications Bob Lange.

“Just because Bob asked me when I was walking into the shower, and it seemed like it made sense,” he said.

Why Donte Whitner disagrees with Patrick Mahomes over Super Bowl preparation

Why Donte Whitner disagrees with Patrick Mahomes over Super Bowl preparation

Patrick Mahomes is preparing to play in what he hopes is the first of many Super Bowl appearances as the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The reigning NFL MVP has two weeks to get ready for a clash with the 49ers and the NFL's top defense on Feb. 2 in Miami. While Mahomes will be deep in the lab over the next two weeks, trying to discover any weakness the 49ers have, the Chiefs star is cognizant of the pitfalls of overpreparation. 

"I don't think you can spend too much time watching film," Mahomes told reporters Wednesday. "I think you can spend too much time trying to dissect every single thing. I think there's times where you're playing a team like [the 49ers] where they are playing certain coverages, they play them really well, and you just have to go out there and execute. That's the biggest thing."

Donte Whitner, who played for the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens, doesn't think Mahomes has the proper view on preparation.

"I totally disagree with that," Whitner said on "49ers Central." "I've always been taught that you want to watch as much film, you want to find that one thing or that one detail that might be able to make you make one play to help the team win the football game. So if you have 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense picking up that one tip then you're going to be better off than if you don't. So I don't believe in being overprepared. I don't think that we were prepared last time we went to the Super Bowl. We wish we were overprepared."

Sure enough, the 49ers fell behind the Ravens 28-6 in New Orleans before mounting a furious comeback that ultimately fell short.

There should be little doubt that Mahomes will be grinding over copious amounts of film during the next two weeks. The 49ers' defense has hounded some of the NFL's top quarterbacks this season but did look vulnerable down the stretch. Ever since getting healthy during the playoff bye week, though, the 49ers have looked like the dominant defense we saw during the first two months of the season.

[RELATED: Five moments that defined 49ers' road to Super Bowl LIV]

Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid will need to be on their A-game in order to find consistent success against the 49ers in Miami.

Something few have been able to do this season.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).

How Andy Reid's path to Super Bowl 54 began at San Francisco State

How Andy Reid's path to Super Bowl 54 began at San Francisco State

It's been a long road back to the Super Bowl for Andy Reid.

The Kansas City Chiefs head coach is one of the winningest coaches in NFL history but was 1-5 in conference championship games before Patrick Mahomes led KC to the Super Bowl with a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game. Reid only has one other Super Bowl appearance, a loss to the New England Patriots as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

But long before he was calling plays for Mahomes or Donovan McNabb, Reid's coaching career truly began in the home of the team that awaits his Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV -- the 49ers.

After he spending time as a graduate assistant at BYU in 1982, Reid was hired by Vic Rowen to be part of a three-man coaching staff at San Francisco State University. Reid's job at SFSU not only was as a coach, but also to teach classes, sell hot dogs to fundraise for the football program and travel to games by bus, with some of the trips being 10 hours away. And he did it all for $22,000 a year, according to The Miami Herald.

Reid was part of the staff for the now-defunct program from 1983-1985 before moving onto Northern Arizona University as the offensive line coach.

The Chiefs coach is aware that his time spent in The City helped launch his coaching career and send him on a path that saw him coach at Missouri, the Green Bay Packers and the Eagles before landing in KC.

“It gives you that respect factor (for) where you are now. And you appreciate it. You don’t take it for granted,” Reid said in a 2016 interview with the Kansas City Star. “You feel very privileged to be in this position.”

Reid's rise through the coaching ranks can be tied to his time at San Francisco State. Rowen was a mentor to famed BYU head coach LaVell Edwards and he got Mike Holmgren hired onto the BYU staff while Reid was still a grad assistant for the Cougars. Holmgren later would pluck Reid from the staff at Missouri to be an offensive assistant with the Packers. 


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[RELATED: Five moments that defined 49ers' road to Super Bowl LIV]

Reid has come a long way from his time selling hot dogs and coaching in the Bay Area. Now, he has the Chiefs in their first Super Bowl in 50 years, something that might not have happened if it weren't for his time with the Dons.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).