Today, as part of the summer mini-camp that the 49ers have every year, coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media and fielded a few questions. Here’s a few highlights of what the coach said at the gathering about specific players.
On Trent Taylor: Shanahan said that Taylor had been battling some back issues recently, which were probably because of wear and tear from the offseason. Taylor had surgery not long ago, but the coach hinted that Taylor would be back in time for training camp.
On Reuben Foster: Shanahan said that Foster had done one-on-one conditioning with assistant coach Ray Wright last week and that he would begin doing reps with the rest of the team today. He also pointed out that Foster had experience playing both the WILL and MIKE linebacker positions.
On Fred Warner: According to Shanahan, Warner has been repping at MIKE lineback in camp.
On Jimmy Garoppolo: The coach believes that Garoppolo doesn’t need to seek attention, and that he hasn’t changed his personality since the record-breaking contract he signed this offseason.
On Joe Williams: Williams has come a long way, according to Shanahan. Both his body and his mindset are improved, says the coach, and he believes Williams will have a chance this season. He went on to call Williams an “extremely explosive back” and said that consistency was the key.
On Jerick McKinnon: Shanahan admitted that the team has been cautious with his “ankle stuff” but that McKinnon has “been what we’ve hoped.”
On Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey: “They’re funny. It’s like two giant 12-year-olds hanging out together. But, I think they have a lot of fun together…They both had two very good college coaches. They’re both two very talented guys. They both are playing very close to their ability in the college level, which I think has a to do a lot with them and they were coached well.”
On Jimmy Garoppolo and Pierre Garçon: Shanahan said that his quarterback “saw a lot of film [on Garçon] from the cut-ups, but didn’t really know him as a person.” He indicated that the two are getting to know each other, as Garoppolo is getting to know the rest of the receiving corps, and that they have a lot of stuff they can talk about after practice.
On Weston Richburg: The coach explained that since the team does so much outside zone and not as much gap schemes in OTAs, Richburg has been doing well, especially when he works against nosetackles Earl Mitchell and D.J. Jones.
On Jimmie Ward: The team isn’t quite sure yet where Ward will be utilized (at nickel, corner or safety), but Shanahan said that he is excited about how Ward looked through all the OTAs. Ward is expected to put in an appearance at mini-camp on Wednesday.
On Adrian Colbert: Shanahan predicted that Colbert has a good chance of being the starting free safety this season, due in part to the reps he has had and his performance last season, especially after Jimmie Ward was injured.
On George Kittle: The coach stated that Kittle has a rare skill set, and that he also played in training camp and the regular season hurt almost the entire year. Shanahan also said that Kittle is “a tough guy who is going to play through things…he’s healthy right now, he’s moving great and it’s allowing him to get better in the run and pass.”
On Jeremiah Attaochu: “I’ve been excited with him. They’re trying a bunch of different things with him. I think he came in trying to isolate on some moves. We try to hold all judgment until guys put pads on because they’re very hard to block when you don’t have pads on….But, he’s gotten better each day and that’s to me a sign that it’s legit… I think the more he gets comfortable, the more he works.”
On Josh Garnett: According to the coach, Garnett took care of his body in the year he had off, and that where he is right now is much further ahead of where he was last year in OTAs.
On Jonathan Cooper: Shanahan said that Cooper would not be ready until training camp, as previously predicted.