Kyle Shanahan talks urgency of NFL when it comes to rookies


Kyle Shanahan talks urgency of NFL when it comes to rookies

SANTA CLARA — There’s a definite learning curve for rookies in the NFL. And the 49ers have players in various stages.

Coach Kyle Shanahan pinpointed the progress of several of the team’s first-year players. Some of which have taken some time to become productive.

“These guys are straight out of college,” Shanahan said. "And they’ve had a lot of success their whole lives. Sometimes they take some time to be ready for the NFL.”

In the 49ers 2017 draft class there was some success, like drafting George Kittle in the fifth round. And some misses like Joe Williams and Reuben Foster. 

[RELATED: Jullian Taylor talks NFL Debut]

There are similar results for the team in 2018. First-round pick Mike McGlinchey has already developed into a solid right tackle, and is the heir apparent to the left side when Joe Staley decides to hang up his cleats.

Others have taken a bit longer to develop. 

Running back Jeff Wilson played the majority of the offensive snaps in Seattle after Matt Breida re-aggravated his ankle injury in pregame warmups. Wilson ended the day with 15 carries for 61 yards and eight receptions for 73 yards. 

Shanahan had hoped to have him ready a few weeks earlier. 

“We were hoping he was there a few weeks ago when Raheem [Mostert] went down, and he wasn’t quite ready, but I think his urgency changed a lot after that week," Shanahan said. "He came back after that Bye week, the urgency went way up and the results showed in practice and it carried over to the game.”

[RELATED: Jeff Wilson thankful for pow-wow]

Another draftee who has recently upped his productivity is receiver Dante Pettis.

A knee injury in Week 4 kept him off the field for a few weeks and stunted his development. In his breakout game in Seattle, he caught five of his seven targets for 129 yards and two touchdowns. 

“I thought Dante came out pretty ready -- always want them further along than they are," Shanahan said. "But, when he had that injury, I thought he got set back a lot. Dante works hard, but sometimes guys have got to learn how urgent the NFL is.”

While Wilson’s turnaround was after a heart-to-heart with his coach Bobby Turner, the impetus for Pettis’ improvement was Shanahan. 

“I’ve been definitely riding the heck out of Dante because we believe in him a lot," he added. "We know he has a lot of ability and I’ve told him the last couple of weeks, he’s taken a huge step forward, but don’t get that confused with you’ve arrived. It’s just a couple of steps forward.”

Safety Marcell Harris has also gotten a fair chance on the field after Jimmie Ward was placed season ending injured reserve. 

“I think he played like it was one of his first full games starting,” Shanahan said. “He showed some potential and things like that, but he hadn’t been in that situation where he’s had to make that many tackles in a game for over a year.

“He didn’t get to play his last year at Florida. So, I thought he was a little bit rusty, but it was definitely expected. You’ve just got to take some of the good with the bad as he works through that stuff, just kind of like we have with Dante the last couple weeks too.”

Shanahan also detailed why rookie Tarvarius Moore saw more snaps on special teams than on the defense. 

“There’s only two corners out there,” Shanahan said. “So we’d have to sit down one of the other two and we don’t think that’s been right here the last few weeks. We’ve had a couple of packages to get him out there, some dime packages, which he’s done.

“He’s really stepped it up on special teams this year. He’s got to work through some stuff out there, at corner, I’d like to get him that opportunity to work through it, just like Marcell got his opportunity yesterday. I think Tarvarius will.”

It was about this time in the season in 2017 when several rookies started standing out, like Ahkello Witherspoon and Adrian Colbert. Shanahan says that's natural. 

“It just takes time, just the inconsistency. Happens a lot with rookies." 

How Jimmy Garoppolo's impact on 49ers' offense goes beyond numbers

How Jimmy Garoppolo's impact on 49ers' offense goes beyond numbers

Despite the 49ers finishing with a 13-3 record and advancing to Super Bowl LIV, few NFL pundits seem willing to give Jimmy Garoppolo any credit for the team’s success.

The quarterback needed just eight pass attempts to defeat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, as San Francisco rode a dominant run game and suffocating defensive performance to a 37-20 victory.

Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd isn’t among the detractors and voiced his support for Jimmy G ahead of a Super Bowl showdown with reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

“He carried this team in the middle of the season when they fell apart physically,” Cowherd said on "The Herd" this week. “I’m not a stat guy, I’m an eye guy. Watch the games.”

The success of the run game for the Niners this season didn’t necessitate a lot of pass-heavy games, but Garoppolo still finished eighth among qualified NFL quarterbacks in passer rating.

[RELATED: 49ers taking entire staff to Super Bowl]

When the 49ers have ended up in a shootout this year, Garoppolo has stepped up.

When they’ve needed him to just manage the game and make the occasional throw downfield, Garoppolo has stepped up.

No matter what the scenario, Garoppolo has delivered and this 49ers team wouldn't be anywhere near the Super Bowl without his steady leadership guiding the offense.

Jimmy G now has the chance to solidify himself among the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks when he and the Niners take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami for Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.

49ers taking entire staff to Miami for Super Bowl 54, Jed York reveals

49ers taking entire staff to Miami for Super Bowl 54, Jed York reveals

The 49ers will fly to Miami on Sunday to play in the NFL franchise’s seventh Super Bowl. Despite this being a semi-regular thing, CEO Jed York isn’t treating it that way.

York said Friday that he’s bringing all full-time staff to Miami for Super Bowl week and treating them to the game. He even mentioned bringing interns.

That’s, you know, a lot of people on the 49ers’ dime.

“We're taking a lot of people. We wanted to make sure that our entire staff had the opportunity to go,” York said in a meeting with local reporters. “Everybody from [head coach Kyle Shanahan to general manager John Lynch] all the way down to interns, everyone's been a part of this, and we wanted to make sure they're there to help and also celebrate the moment that hopefully gets us over the hump."

That’s an unusual benefit for support staff outside football operations, one that will allow everyone involved with the 49ers to enjoy a week basking in the team’s achievements leading up to Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium.

[RELATED: Jed York felt 49ers could reach Super Bowl when they drafted Nick Bosa]

The 49ers are trying to win their sixth Super Bowl title, which would tie them with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for the most in NFL history. The Chiefs are currently 1.5-point favorites in this clash of Titans.