Regrets, Kyle Shanahan has a few. Then again, since he’s 0-1 he might as well mention them.
The 49ers rookie head coach admitted he probably went for fourth downs too often in Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, and he wishes he’d have controlled his temper a little better as well.
The 49ers failed to convert three fourth-down attempts against the Panthers, and twice in the first half it backfired.
After taking a sack while failing to convert a fourth-and-4 from the Panthers’ 44 (after they took over on Jaquiski Tartt‘s acrobatic interception), they allowed a quick field goal. Then a fourth-and-1 from the Panthers’ 45 was stuffed, and the Panthers got another field goal on the board before halftime.
“Looking back at all of them, the first one is the one I regretted, when it was fourth and 4,” Shanahan said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I think there was about three and a half minutes left (in the first half). We were down seven. Tartt just made an unbelievable play on a pick. I thought we were moving the ball pretty well and came up short there on third down, and I just, I believed we were going to get it. I had a lot confidence that we would and it just didn’t work out. But, definitely looking back on that, I wish I did punt because I think it would have made it a lot harder for them to go 90 yards.”
He might have gone for another one in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get a timeout called, which caused him to go off on down judge Hugo Cruz as he was called for delay of game. Shanahan was once fined $25,000 for berating an official when he was a coordinator in Washington.
“And if he (Cruz) was here, I would apologize to him now,” Shanahan said. “He’s trying to do his best just like I am. I was just frustrated. I wanted a timeout and I yelled it as loud as I could three times and he just didn’t hear me. I was mad at him for it. It’s not his fault. He’s focused on the game, too. Hope he has no hard feelings towards it.”
Coupled with the fact his team was physically overwhelmed, beaten soundly and lost a key player to injury (linebacker Reuben Foster), it was debut to forget for Shanahan. But he sounds like a guy who’s trying to hang onto the lessons, and learn from them.