Kyle Shanahan: You don’t need to fight in practice to be intense or tough
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan got to watch a pair of fights between wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and linebacker Fred Warner in practice on Tuesday and he hopes he doesn’t see any more scuffling between his players this summer.
The second of the fights was touched off by Aiyuk reacting to a big hit that Warner put on wide receiver Marcus Johnson and Shanahan said on Friday that Johnson is now in the league’s concussion protocol. Shanahan referenced that injury while discussing his desire to see the same level of intensity without the fisticuffs in future practices.
“I love the intensity of it, but I don’t think you have to fight to be intense, though,” Shanahan said, via 49ersWebzone.com. “Scuffles are scuffles. Then they lead to other stuff. I think that’s why we had a guy in the protocol because we took an unnecessary shot on someone, which led to the big fight. And then we had a bunch of haymakers and stuff thrown in there, which only breaks hands. I think our team is pretty tough. I think we’re pretty physical. I think if most people probably voted on who was the most physical team on tape last year, I think we’d win most of that, and we didn’t get in one fight last year. So I don’t think that totally pertains to toughness.”
Warner said he’s “gotten after” Aiyuk at camp because he thinks it will help the wideout take the next step as a player. Shanahan said he wants “everyone challenging each other” and is fine with players going “right on the line to where they’re about to black out,” but that they need to stop before crossing it and hurting the football team.