SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After halting observe for a second time due to a brawl Tuesday, coach Kyle Shanahan referred to as for his group to huddle up.
He promptly delivered some selection phrases about what had simply transpired. Beneath the anger was a easy message about how Shanahan desires his group to play.
Bodily? Completely. Robust? In fact. Irritating? Certain.
However Shanahan desires the Niners to attract the road at throwing punches, which occurred twice in that Tuesday observe — particularly between star center linebacker Fred Warner and receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
“I would like everybody difficult one another,” Shanahan mentioned Friday. “I do not care how a lot crap one another talks; I do not care how shut they get to combating. They will do no matter they need to get themselves to be as intense as they need and produce one of the best out of one another, which occurs lots that approach. And it is the identical on the sphere.
“However when you throw a punch, you get ejected otherwise you get a penalty, and we delight ourselves on, I would like individuals to be irritants, I would like individuals to get as shut as they will to all that stuff. I would like individuals to get proper on the road the place they’re about to black out, however you possibly can’t black out on the soccer area otherwise you price your group.”
The issue this week for Shanahan’s group was that it occurred on the observe area amongst teammates. It was the warmest day of this camp and an extended, absolutely padded session, components that a number of gamers mentioned contributed to the scenario. And whereas fights are widespread at each coaching camp, this one occurred between two gamers anticipated to play important roles this season.
The largest combat — between Warner and Aiyuk — started when a late hit by Warner landed receiver Marcus Johnson within the concussion protocol.
One thing had already been brewing between Warner and Aiyuk, with Aiyuk telling media a number of days earlier than, in a semi-joking approach, that Warner was “annoying” and his insistence on persevering with to tear on the ball and contact guys after performs ended was “irritating.”
Warner countered that he believes Aiyuk is able to take the subsequent step in his profession and he’s doing what he can to assist him take his sport to a different stage.
“Particularly with Brandon, I selected him out,” Warner mentioned. “I feel he’s able to make that subsequent step into taking part in at an elite stage. I’ve gotten after him slightly bit … as a result of I understand how a lot he has in him. And I do know if I nag him slightly bit, he’s going to get sick and bored with that and begin to maintain his personal. … He is began to actually acquire that mindset of understanding he’s a guy and he’s succesful. I am making an attempt to get one of the best out of him. That is it.”
On Friday, Shanahan mentioned he’s high-quality together with his gamers pushing each other, and he trusts them to do it the best approach. However incidents like Tuesday’s have to achieve a pure stopping level.
“I like the depth of it,” Shanahan mentioned. “I do not suppose you need to combat to be intense, although. Scuffles are scuffles however then they result in different stuff. I feel that is why we have got a guy in protocol as a result of he took an pointless shot on somebody which led to the large combat after which we had a bunch of haymakers and stuff thrown in there, which solely break palms.”
The Niners made it by way of the remainder of Tuesday’s observe and all of Wednesday’s with out additional incident. Within the interim, Shanahan has hammered residence the purpose that his group could be bodily with out resorting to fights.
“I feel our group is fairly robust,” Shanahan mentioned. “I feel we’re fairly bodily. I feel it likely voted on who could be probably the most bodily group on tape final 12 months, I feel we would win most of that, and we did not get in a single combat final 12 months. So, I do not suppose that absolutely pertains to toughness.”