49ers Notebook: Shanahan loved Friday’s practice; Menihu impressing; Niners “not there yet”

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are working off a short week, preparing for Sunday’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The team played on Monday night in Mexico City, not arriving back in the Bay Area until Tuesday, around 6 am

Players were given Tuesday off but returned to work on Wednesday with a light practice, which was held on the Levi’s Stadium field and didn’t begin until after 4 pm—very late for a 49ers practice. The team held another light practice on Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Fridays are typically the lightest sessions of the week. But this week, the team went full-speed during Friday’s practice. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how he felt about the final practice of the week.

“I just loved the practice that we had,” Shanahan told reporters. “The main thing that we’ve had to adjust was just getting back so late and being on the short week. Today was the first day that we took a full-speed rep. We usually don’t do that after Monday night games. We always do it slow on Wednesday, but we always do full speed on Thursday.

“This was the first time that we waited all the way until Friday. I felt we needed to, but because we did that, we had more full-speed stuff today than usual. So I was curious how they were going to be after not doing that all week and having Thanksgiving yesterday.

“Those guys came out, and they were going. You can tell they’re feeling good, and you could tell they’re excited and ready to go for Sunday.”

49ers ‘not there yet’ despite impressive outing

The 49ers put together one of their most complete games of the season on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. The talented offense, loaded with stars like wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, running back Christian McCaffrey, and tight end George Kittle, is finally starting to click after struggling earlier in the season. “Usually, it takes care of itself unless you have a bunch of drastic injuries,” Shanahan said. “I think we had a few at some key positions early in the year, starting with the quarterback, the most important part. Also, with the running back, losing Elijah [Mitchell]. So you got to do some adjustments and stuff.

“But I also think in all those games, it wasn’t that we weren’t capable. I [just] thought we weren’t very consistent. When you’re not very consistent, you don’t get as many opportunities.

“I didn’t think we had many games where we just laid an egg in terms of not being able to move the ball and stuff. But we didn’t score enough points. And, to me, that’s just everyone working together and trying to get consistent. I thought we have been doing that more in the last month or so, but it was nice to finally fully put a game together last week.”

Shanahan added, “Yeah, I feel like we are getting better. The more we play together, the better we do, but we’re still not there yet, at all. We’ve got to keep making sure we’re getting better because if not, you’re going to end up worse.”

Omenihu has impressed

On Wednesday, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans praised defensive linemen like Charles Omenihu, saying that star pass rusher Nick Bosa could not do the things he does without his supporting cast.

“Yeah, Charles has done a really good job over the past couple of weeks,” Ryans said. “Sometimes those inside guys, it goes unnoticed how much presence they bring. And Charles, with the length that he has, he’s able to utilize that length to really make it tough on the quarterback. So, Charles, he’s done a great job. He’s getting better each and every week. He’s applying pressure to the quarterback.”

San Francisco acquired Omenihu via a trade with the Houston Texans on November 2, 2021.

According to Pro Football Focus, Omenihu has 14 total pressures over the last two weeks. That’s tied with two players for the most in the league over that span—Von Miller of the Buffalo Bills and Bosa.

“I think Charles has done a real good job,” Shanahan said. “I think he helped us out last year when we got him. I know we did that right at the trade deadline. I think, especially toward the end of the year, he started making some plays for us, going back to the Dallas [playoff] game and everything.

“He’s even better this year, more used to what we do. He’s put in a lot of work. He’s been huge as this year has gone, especially missing some guys, not having [DE] Samson [Ebukam] last week.

“The depth of our D-line is very important to us, to keep all those guys fresh. When you have some talented dudes you can roll in there, you can keep making plays.”

On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers finished up their last of three practices this week. They’ll depart Colorado Springs, where they have spent the week to get acclimated to the altitude, for Mexico City on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers and Arizona Cardinals play on Monday night at Estadio Azteca, where the elevation is about 7,200 feet above sea level. The team had to practice indoors on artificial turf the last two days due to some snowfall this week. “It’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said after Saturday’s practice. “We made it through it, and I’m happy we did it now. … Everyone would rather be on nice, soft grass, but most of the places I’ve been at this time of year, there isn’t soft grass. We’re fortunate to have

The San Francisco 49ers are holding their three practices this week at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, about an hour south of Denver, to get acclimated to the altitude. On Sunday, the team will travel to Mexico City for Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at Estadio Azteca. Which quarterback will the 49ers defense face when they take the field? No one is really sure. Both Cardinals quarterbacks are day-to-day with injuries. Kyler Murray is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out this past weekend against the Los Angeles Rams, while McCoy is working through a knee injury suffered in that game. Both

The San Francisco 49ers have won three consecutive games and are probably feeling pretty good heading into their Week 12 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. No one is overlooking the 4-7 team, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been impressed with New Orleans’ defense, understanding that the 49ers’ seventh win of the season won’t come easy. “Just starting with their defense, they look like a [Saints head coach] Dennis Allen team,” Shanahan said. “They’ve been, to me, one of the best defenses in the league here over the last five or six years. I don’t think their numbers are quite there as they usually are, but I think a lot of that has to do with they’ve been missing about seven starters a number of these games. But they are as tough, and physical, and as sound

The San Francisco 49ers continue practicing at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. They moved Friday’s session, the second of three this week, indoors. Weather forced the change. It snowed overnight, leaving the outdoor fields in less-than-ideal conditions. On Thursday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the frigid temperatures would not force the team indoors. The only thing that would do so is snow. So the team held a longer-than-normal practice inside, where it was still cold, but players didn’t have to deal with the wind or wet surfaces. The 49ers will hold one more practice on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, the team will

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