49ers' Kyle Shanahan explains not calling timeout late in first half

49ers' Kyle Shanahan explains not calling timeout late in first half

Reporters didn't wait long to ask Kyle Shanahan the question that had people on social media scratching their heads: Why didn't he use a timeout towards the end of the first half?

With 1:53 left in the first half of Super Bowl LIV, and the score tied 10-10, the 49ers stopped quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs' offense on third-and-14. The 49ers had all three of their timeouts, but Shanahan opted not to use one. 

The clock went from 1:47 to 59 seconds left as the Chiefs drained 48 seconds and punted the ball into the end zone. To no surprise, Shanahan was thinking of Mahomes and the Chiefs' electric offense when making his decision. 

"They had three timeouts, and it was 10 to 10. The last thing we're going to do there is allow them to get the ball with three timeouts left, especially with their quarterback and the offensive speed, and go down and score before half, Shanahan told reporters after the 49ers lost to the Chiefs, 31-20. "Felt good at 10-10, especially with us starting with the ball [in the second half]." 

Shanahan called two run play for only five yards on the 49ers' first two plays after the punt. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did later connect with tight end George Kittle on a perfect 42-yard pass, but the referees called a controversial offensive pass interference on Kittle. 

"I thought it played out all right," Shanahan said. "I thought we should have got points, but they ended up calling that PI on [George] Kittle."

The Kittle penalty ultimately changed plenty for Shanahan and the 49ers. Had running back Raheem Mostert gained big yardage on his first run after the touchback, Shanahan would have went into full two-minute drill mode. 

But Mostert rushed for only 3 yards on his first carry when the 49ers got the ball back, and 2 yards on his next run. 

"We did consider it, but where we got the ball and the fact it was 10 to 10 and they had three timeouts -- if we would have gotten an explosive run on the first one, we would have," Shanahan further explained.

Clearly, Shanahan's general manager John Lynch didn't agree with the 49ers coach's decision. Lynch was calling for a timeout from his luxury box, but Shanahan wasn't in sync with the GM.

[RELATED: Kittle, Shanahan react to controversial Super Bowl PI call]

In the end, Shanahan and the rest of the 49ers will have to accept their decisions from the Super Bowl loss. There will be sleepless nights, there will be second-guessing, however, none of it will make a difference. 

The 49ers still are searching for their first Super Bowl title since January 1995.

Old 49ers-Odell Beckham trade idea shows NFL draft was better route


Old 49ers-Odell Beckham trade idea shows NFL draft was better route

NFL draft season prompts plenty of outlandish trade scenarios to fill airtime and word counts, many of which never come to fruition.

Dallas Morning News reporter Joseph Hoyt dug up one such scenario Thursday, and it's a (hypothetical) trade the 49ers are (hypothetically) glad they didn't (hypothetically) make.

The 49ers would've had to pay a pretty penny for then-New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the proposal put forth in a "Good Morning Football" segment nearly two years ago. Beckham was months away from signing a contract extension, so San Francisco would've traded a lot of draft capital for a star entering the final year of his contract. The picks the 49ers made in those slots formed the backbone of the 2019 NFC Champions.

Beckham's arrival would've changed things, though. The 49ers would've entered the season with arguably the best receiver in football as well as George Kittle, who'd emerge as arguably the best tight end. Kittle might not have set an NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end playing alongside Beckham, but he surely would've benefitted from the extra attention opposing defenses paid the receiver rather than him.

Do they still go 4-12 that year? The 49ers were 3-5 in games decided by six points or fewer in 2018, and Jimmy Garoppolo (torn ACL) missed all but one of those games. Beckham crossed the 1,000-yard threshold in just 12 games catching passes from Eli Manning in 2018, so it's -- at the very least -- conceivable he could've moved the needle in at least one of the 49ers' close losses.

[RELATED: Why 49ers should trade down from both first-round picks]

The 49ers would've picked no higher than No. 4 overall with a 5-11 record in 2018, and any additional wins would've dropped them further down the draft order. Acquiring Beckham under the parameters "Good Morning Football" put forth likely would've prevented the Niners from selecting all of Mike McGlinchey, Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel, but not all three of them would necessarily be Giants, either.

San Francisco would've been a better team in 2018, thus pushing the 49ers out of the slots they used to draft Bosa and Samuel. That's a different opportunity cost to consider than trading all of those players straight-up for one of the game's best receivers, but it's one the 49ers probably are glad they didn't have to pay.

2020 NFL Draft: Why 49ers should trade down both first-round picks

2020 NFL Draft: Why 49ers should trade down both first-round picks

The 49ers had only six picks in the 2020 NFL Draft before trading Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. San Francisco owned the No. 31 pick, and no others until the fifth round.

That trade brought in the No. 13 pick, but the 49ers probably aren't done dealing. Trading down to acquire more, much-needed draft capital is the likeliest scenario.

While much of the 49ers Faithful drool over what the top wide receivers in the draft would look like in coach Kyle Shanahan’s system, it's far from a given that the team will use that first pick on a receiver. For one, the 49ers still don't own any picks in the second, third and fourth rounds. For another, receiver is one of the deepest positions in the draft and the 49ers arguably have a bigger need.

Joe Staley is under contract through the 2021 season, but the veteran left tackle was understandably emotional after the 49ers' loss in Super Bowl LIV. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey indirectly indicated that Staley’s decision to return for the 2020 season was not set in stone.

The 49ers would be best served in hedging their bet that Staley returns and using one of their first-round picks on a left tackle. Even if Staley returns, the 49ers will need a replacement for him in the not-so-distant future. 

The draft's top tackles likely will be taken before the 49ers' first pick, but there still should be quality options available in the 20s or later. The 49ers could trade down, while Houston's Josh Jones or USC's Austin Jackson is still available, and then acquire another pick.

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Let's say trading the No. 13 pick nets the 49ers a first- and early second-round pick. Dealing the No. 31 pick would also come into play.

The 49ers drafted Deebo Samuel No. 36 overall in 2019. Samuel proved to be very productive in Shanahan’s system, catching 57 of his 81 targets for 802 yards. He ranked second on the team in receiving yards only behind First Team All-Pro tight end George Kittle. 

Shanahan's staff had an advantage in getting to know Samuel while at the Senior Bowl, but they have shown that a second-round receiver can become a key contributor. 

[RELATED: Buckner's exit could influence 49ers to trade down in draft]

Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson's draft trade value chart lists the No. 31 pick as worth a mid-second-round pick and a high third-round pick or a high second-round pick and a mid-fourth-round pick, among other permutations. Trading both first-round picks could give the 49ers three additional picks in rounds where they currently have none.

The 49ers would end draft weekend with nine selections in this scenario, as opposed to their original six. They'd also have fresh, valuable talent at important positions on their roster.