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Transcript - Postgame at San Francisco 49ers (Aug. 29, 2019)



Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 | Levi's*®* Stadium | Santa Clara, Calif.

**Transcripts provided by 49ers Communications**


Opening comments:

"It was good to close the preseason out with a win. I thought the way that group finished last week in the fourth quarter, I thought they started the game and the day like that. We had a heck of a first half. Second half we had some turnovers. We'd like to have those back, but other than those plays I thought the defense stepped up and did a good job in the second half, and some of those young guys played well. We'll go back and watch the tape, make some tough decisions tomorrow, [Los Angeles Chargers General Manager] Tom [Telesco] and I, and go from there."

Los Angeles Chargers S Nasir Adderley had an interception and a couple other plays on the ball. What did you think of his debut?

"He's a little rusty. He hadn't been on the field. He put himself in position, after interceptions, he came away with one of those, but as long as they're players on the field, he'll make all of those plays."

You said he was way behind. Is it impressive to you at all that he was able to come out and make the plays he made tonight?

"Well his ability to break on ball, I mean, you don't have to be too far behind for that. He showed me he can break on the ball, and he has excellent ball skills, but that's where he was just a little rusty."

What did you think of the two quarterbacks?

"[Los Angeles Chargers QB] Cardale [Jones] played, he was consistent. I liked the way he competed, led the team down the field, scored, I think 20 points in the first half. I think [Los Angeles Chargers QB Easton] Stick started a little slow with the turnovers, but what I like about him, is that he came right back and threw a very important ball for a first down. He just doesn't flinch. It doesn't bother him. It's good to see that in a young player in that position."

How hard would it be to keep three quarterbacks? If you don't, obviously, you're going to have to have them clear waivers before you put them on a practice squad.

"Well we've kept three quarterbacks before. We did, I believe, my first year. Like I said, Tom and I will sit down and look at the roster, and we'll make those decisions in the morning."

Thoughts on your running game tonight?

"Better, it was better. The running backs ran hard. They came in and I think we used four of them, and it didn't matter who was in the game they all ran hard. You always have to contact the one-on-ones but then again, when they're running like that the offensive line is creating holds for those guys to run through it to get that momentum, to get to that second level. I thought the running game was better."

With the quarterback, is it just who's a better player or do you have to weigh who's more likely to clear waivers if you want to put them on the practice squad?

"Right now we just have to find the best players and the guys that we think are going to help us in the long run. It's going to be tough to do."

What did you think just tonight and the preseason of Los Angeles Chargers S Adarius Pickett?

"You know what, he really showed up last week. He played a physical ball game last week and today. I liked the way he finished up. He's going to make it interesting."

Did Los Angeles Chargers DE Isaac Rochell get injured?

"He came out in the first half. We took him out. He was a little more winded, yes, but I don't think it's too serious. We had guys that we wanted to play anyway so we took him out. He could have gone back in but we took him out."

Los Angeles NT Damion Square, did he not play because of injury or was that just the same as the other guys?

"No. There were some guys tonight that did not play because I didn't feel like I needed to see them. You had about 22 guys that didn't play tonight, and so that's just part of the deal for this game."

You include him in that group, guys that you just didn't need to see?

"Absolutely. Absolutely."

What happened with Los Angeles Chargers LB Jatavis Brown?

"He bounced back. He's fine. I mean, it looks scary on the film, but he got up and basically trotted off the field. He's going to be fine."


Take me through that touchdown rush you had tonight.

"I tried to make a play, and [the 49ers] did a good job of cutting me off in the endzone, so I figured I'd try to take it in myself. I was joking with the team that I saw the moon twice. I'm glad I landed safely and scored a touchdown."

With four first half scoring drives, what was working for this offense tonight?

"We always try to start every drive by saying, 'Hey guys, let's start off strong.' It was a testament to that. The first play of the game was a 25, 30-yard run. I felt that let the guys get comfortable first."

You explained earlier in the week from your rookie year to now the comfortability in this offense. If you could just speak to where you were versus where you are now.

"I'm light-years ahead from where I was. That's just a testament to the coaches staying on me and believing in me."


That pick you had. Walk me through it.

"The whole thing was kind of jacked up. We were running around all over the place. We were trying to communicate what was going on. I saw him open, so I was running next to him and then I happened to get in front of him and the ball was right there. As soon as I got past him, I just tried to get as many yards as I could."

Jacked up plays can be the best because of other opportunities.

"I'm not going to lose sleep over those. I have to make up for it. I have to improve each day and just get back to work."

How good did it feel to be out there tonight?

"It felt great, especially with all of the adversity I've faced the last couple of weeks. Dealing with this hamstring issue, I felt great out there and it was a blessing to be with my teammates and celebrating with them. It's different when you're out there. I'm very excited and thankful."

Now that you're a Charger, how excited are you for Week 1?

"I'm ready to get back to work. Come to the office and just get better."


With 58 yards in the first half, take me through that first half.

"It was a good game overall. It all started with the O-line, though, with those guys and their blocking scheme. They did very well with that for the whole night, pretty much. With those guys doing their jobs up front, that allowed us running backs to do our job. We could find the open hole down there."

We saw you have a lot of big runs last year. That 15-yard run from you though, may have been your best. Take me through that run.

"I would say it was kind of like a running drill, that kind of action. Once I saw that kick out action, I saw nothing but green grass, so I'm thinking of the endzone. It all started with our O-line, though. If it wasn't for those guys, I wouldn't have had those big runs."

What has this preseason been like now that you have a year under your belt?

"I've learned to just stay focused. Also, that I should just be thinking of getting better. Also, the different aspects of the game, not just running the ball, like how it goes from running the ball to pass, throw, catching, all of that."


What have you improved upon on the field?

"I've improved on my blocking, reading my blocks, understanding the scheme and understanding the playbook on offense. I think I've done a really good job of staying in my playbook, studying extra and doing the little things. If you do the little things, you'll get better."

How much better can you get?

"The sky's the limit. I will continue to work hard, grind it out and see where this game takes me."


You seemed sure in Kansas City that you would keep three quarterbacks. Is that still the case with you?


How did you think QB C.J. Beathard did tonight?

"I thought he did a good job, not perfect. Some good things, some bad. Decent job."

What about his block?

"It was awesome. It was good. It was cool, got to reverse the field and he turned into a fullback on the play and did a good job."

What did you see out of RB Jeff Wilson Jr.? Obviously, the 41 yard reverse field run, but got a lot of runs tonight: 20 carries.

"Yeah, we wanted to run the ball tonight, and he did a real good job in that first half. I think he got a little bit there in the third quarter, I can't remember exactly. Jeff ran very well, [RB Austin] Walter ran well. I thought the guys blocked for him good also."

Have you told the guys who's going to be the backup quarterback yet?

"No, I haven't."

When will you do that?

"Probably by Monday."

Why did you bring QB Nick Mullens in for one drive in the second half?

"The plan was for them both to start the same amount of quarters. C.J. had six and we wanted him to get six. I was going to debate on how long to keep him in, but after he got hit a few times in protection, I just pulled him out."

You had WR Jordan Matthews playing a lot of special teams today. Is that kind of what he has to do in order to make that 53? Will he have to do more in that phase of the game than he ever has?

"I mean, I wouldn't look too far into that. We had a bunch of guys out today. We ended up sitting [WR] Marquise [Goodwin], we had [WR] Trent [Taylor] out, [WR] Jalen Hurd out because of injuries. We didn't want to play the guys too long on offense, maybe see the second half, and I think [WR Kendrick] Bourne got in for a couple plays in the second half. I don't think Jordan did at all in the second half, but those receivers were doing so much, we had to spell those guys a little bit with gunner work. When I saw those guys in the fourth quarter, I got Jordan out of there and then I ended up seeing Bourne the next series, I got him out of there also."

How solidified is that battle to make the team at receiver in your mind?

"It's not. There's a lot of things up in the air, especially with some of these injuries that have been a little more serious that we've found out over the last week than we thought previously. It still is up in the air. We've got to decide on whether we're going to go with six, whether we're going to go with seven and it's something we are going to be looking into hard over these next 48 hours."

I know you said an update on Jalen Hurd would be coming next week, but do you have any idea now?

"Yeah, it's a little more serious than we thought. Still don't know for sure, but we thought we would have a better chance at Tampa and now that's not looking as good."

Is that something where you have to consider a list for him?

"I don't think we'll have to consider a list, but just we're not as confident he'll be available Week 1 now. Still we aren't for sure, but I was a lot more optimistic about that two days ago."

General Manager John Lynch said on the radio yesterday that RB Jerick McKinnon had a setback. What can you tell us about where he stands right now?

"What John indicated is about all I can say. I can't get into the exact details of it, but it wasn't the type of two days we were hoping for for him. Just getting feedback from him and stuff like that. We're looking into a number of things here over these two days and we'll have to make a decision on that Saturday."

Considering the setback, what is the likelihood of you guys keeping a fifth running back on this roster?

"Are you counting fullback?"

No, I'm not counting FB Kyle Juszczyk.

"We're not going to keep five halfbacks."

End of the preseason, can you compare this year's preseason to last year's preseason, how you feel about the team?

"I feel a lot better. We thought coming into this training camp we had a better team than we've had the last two years. Felt that way consistently throughout practice and I felt that way consistently throughout these four games. By no means have they all gone perfect, but I've been happy with the style we've played with. I think we've played more physically. I think we've gotten better in some areas and I expect that to continue throughout the season. I do think we've had a better team out here in the preseason than we have in the past."

You said you wanted to see more consistency out of Bourne and he gets a drop and then comes back with a touchdown catch, so how do you digest that?

"That's not the most consistent right there, but drops from Bourne haven't been too much of a problem. I do consider Bourne having some of the better hands on our team. So, that's definitely one that he should've had and hurt a drive. I think we went three and out on that drive. He's earned a little bit more with that in terms of how good his hands are."

Has WR Deebo Samuel earned the right to be in the conversation as a Week 1 starter?

"Yeah, he's earned the right to be in the conversation."

What did you think of G Josh Garnett today? Obviously, his first preseason action. What did you see from him?

"From what I saw, I thought he played well. I know he had a lot of energy, I know he was excited to play. From what I saw, we ran the ball towards him, I thought he did a good job and he ended up getting cramps there towards the end, but when he was in, I thought he played well."

What did you see from DB D.J. Reed Jr.?

"D.J. Reed, he fights. He can play at a number of different spots. He helped us out at safety last year, we moved him to corner this year. We know he's got to capability to play all five of those spots back there and that's why I try to get them to punt again and decline that, because he's got a chance to return a punt all times, too. We wanted to give him that opportunity there where we did twice. I couldn't do it the third time. Didn't want to get – hurt, but D.J.'s a heck of a football player, and we're glad to have him."

Did you get a sense of how severe DB Adrian Colbert's hamstring was and if that's going to impact-

"It didn't seem like it was too severe, but I know it was his hamstring, which has been bothering him the last couple of weeks. I know he tried to go and stuff, but it limited him today and that's why we had to pull him."

Jeff Wilson, 20 carries, seems like a lot in a fourth preseason game for a guy that's going to make the roster. Is that fair to say?

"No, it's not. I mean, it's that or throw and we had two guys, we brought back [RB Brandon] Wilds for the week to see what happened. But no, you want to run the ball a lot in this last game and when you block well and you run hard, you usually get more carries, so that was a credit to him."

Why did you choose not to play TE Ross Dwelley? Had he shown you enough?

"Yup, he's shown us enough."


How did you feel tonight?

"I felt good. It felt good getting out there, just running the offense and getting guys in there. Just getting the flow of a start and throughout the whole half felt good."

Did you know you were getting the whole first half?

"I didn't know I was getting the whole first half. I just knew I was starting and they would let us know from there."

Did it feel nice to finally get that full rhythm?

"I can't remember the last time I started, but it's been a while since I got to start a game. It felt good to do that and to just kind of go quarter-to-quarter and finish the whole half. It gets you a little two-minute drive in there."

Did you like the way you finished? It seemed like you got better and better as the half went on.

"Yeah. We had a touchdown right before the half. That's what you want to do right there is try to get one there, and we got that. There's obviously a lot of stuff to clean up, but I felt good about the game."


Do you sense that not only you, but San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard have been better this camp? Has the competition brought out the best in everybody?

"Yes. I think the whole room. We talk about experience and reps in the offense. We have both grown tremendously. I think you can tell by the tape, we both have had very successful camps and a lot to be proud of."

In terms of the offense as a whole, how much more comfortable is the collective, and how much do you think that will help you execute once the regular season begins?

"Yes. Definitely. I think we obviously have some new receivers who we are excited to see make some plays. At the same time, we have a great solid group core, or whatever you want to call it, that is ready to attack the season. We are excited with where we are headed."

At San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's previous stops they have talked about having another year in the system and how that helps. Are there any specific instances where you have seen this sort of experience pay off?

"I'm sure I can think of a few, but it is overall comfort. You are not worried about what is being called. You are just worried about how to go and execute it and how to put your other teammates in great positions to succeed and stuff like that. It is great, we are very comfortable in it and ready to put some points on the board."


Can you take us through that 41-yard run?

"It was just like a feel thing. I just felt the way the defense was flowing. They were flowing really heavy. I saw the defensive end on the back side, who was almost on the other side or in the center almost. I just made my decision to stick my foot and go backfield. To see the cornerback sitting there, then to see [QB] C.J. [Beathard] behind me and for him to take off just gave me that extra power. I was like, I have to put it in now. If C.J. comes out there and blocks for me in the fourth preseason game. That speaks to his character. I was just trying to make his block that much better."

Was it surprising to see him put his body on the line like that and make that block for you?

"No. That is the type of person that he is. C.J. is a selfless person and I kind of almost expected it. That is just the kind of guy that he is. It was just a great play."

Twenty carries tonight were you expecting that type of workload?

"No. It was just like play ball. If you are in, then you are in. If you run, then you run. I don't even worry about carries or yards. I am just zoned in and playing."

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