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Kyle Shanahan Attempts to Take Responsibility

Shanahan said there are tons of things he could do better.

This is what Kyle Shanahan said Monday on a conference call when reporters asked him about his coaching performance in the 49ers' 31-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals B-team.

Q: Now that you've watched the film and had time to digest the loss, are your feelings pretty much the same as they were immeditately afterward?

SHANAHAN: "I was pretty worked up last night for obvious reasons. Very disappointed out there during the game. Disappointed watching the film. I know that we can play a lot better football, that's for sure. I know we're a 3-5 team right now. I believe that we should be a better team than that record, and I know that starts with me. Just going through the film and everything, it's frustrating because a lot of those explosives we gave up on defense, we gave up 69 yards on three runs. Take away those three runs, and we held them to 2.5 yards per carry on 35 carries. But those three runs hurt us. Our offense had an opportunity I believe to score a lot of points, and we didn't get that done. If you would have told me they got 40 runs and turned it over zero times, we turned it over three times and only got 11 runs, that says a lot."

ME: You mentioned it's hard to win when you run only 11 times and turn the ball over. In retrospect, would you have liked to call more runs early in the game when the score was closer?

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SHANAHAN: "Um, no. Not in the first quarter at all. They put six defensive linemen on the field. I thought we did what we needed to do, we just have to be able to get it done and we didn't. The first drive, we were doing it, going right down there, and we ended up having a drop on a seam, which led to a third and long we didn't get. The next one, I think we fumbled on the first play after an explosive pass. Third one, I think we got down there and fumbled again inside the 10 on an explosive pass. Those are things I think you need to do. If you want to run it versus that stuff, you're going to be in third in 12. There's one way to get them out of it, and that's to take advantage of what they're giving, which I thought we did, and we did some good things on it, but you've got to do it all the way until you cross the goal line if you want to get rewarded for it, and that's tough to do when you fumble it."

ME: "Is there anything you think you could have done better in this game, or was it just a failure of execution?"

SHANAHAN: "Failure of execution starts with me. When plays don't work, no matter how it happens, that starts with the coaches. There are tons of things I could do better. Don't get misinterpreted by that. That's not even close to what I'm saying. Whether you're running the ball or whether you're throwing the ball, executing starts with coaching and leads to playing. That goes hand in hand."

Grant's takeaway: Shanahan said there are tons of things he could do better, but didn't list one thing. He never specifically mentions anything he should do differently. He speaks only in vague generalities when he takes responsibility for the 49ers' problems, but he's quite specific when he discusses his players' mistakes.