49ers’ sideline outbursts draw Kyle Shanahan’s ire

Kyle Shanahan said he understood the frustrations of an 0-7 record, but that shouting matches aren't the solution.|

SANTA CLARA - 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t like some of his players yelling at each other during the 30-point loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. He confirmed this at his Monday press conference.

“I didn’t see it, but I talked to our coaches first about it who told me some of the stuff you guys (reporters) were talking about. I talked to some of the players also. A lot of what it sounded to me like was kind of typical stuff when you are getting embarrassed like you were. Guys do get frustrated … But, by no means is that stuff that I want. I’m looking for guys to make differences on the field.”

As opposed to on the sideline. Here’s what happened: Safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Ray Ray Armstrong shouted at each other while they were on the field and after they went to the bench. And cornerback Rashard Robinson threw his helmet on the sideline. Safety Eric Reid and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley had to calm Robinson down.

Shanahan doesn’t respect those kind of outbursts.

“It’s not about getting in people’s faces and calling them out. It’s about people who are real and people who aren’t real. Some people just get in faces and call people out so all you guys can see it and people can say they’re a leader, and those are sometimes the furthest ones from it. People who are leaders are people who help people and make people better, make the team better.”

Shanahan expressed those beliefs to the team during his Monday meeting with the players.

“None of this stuff is easy,” he said. “Obviously, no one wants to be 0-7, but I think we have very high expectations of where we want our team and this organization to go. I see this as part of that process. I wish it could be a different process. I wish it could all be fun and games and easy for everybody, but I see this as a necessity to get to where we want to be.

“We’re just not trying to win enough games to make it look acceptable. We’re trying to build an organization, build it from the bottom to the top the right way so we can have sustainable success. In order to do that, you have to know exactly the type of people you’re dealing with. It’s not just players - it’s coaches, it’s everyone in this building.”

To give perspective on what is required to build a great team, Shanahan educated his players Saturday night about the 1981 49ers. Many players from that team attended Sunday’s game against the Cowboys because it was Dwight Clark Day.

“Got a lot of young guys, so you’ve got to tell them a lot of stuff sometimes,” Shanahan said. “I was just telling them how big of a team that was, because they were the first team to win a Super Bowl here, and they did it in ’81. I talked to them about the ’79 season when they were 2-14, talked to them about the ’80 season when they were 6-10 and then I told them how the ’81 season was what started it all.

“Talked to them about how I don’t think they just got to that ’81 season - I think they went through a lot of stuff in those two years prior to that, some hard work. They had to grind out and find out the types of people that Coach (Bill) Walsh wanted on that team. They went through a lot of adversity to get to that ’81 team. I kind of made some comparisons to that with what we’re going through right now. I’d like to say I feel further ahead than they were at that time.”

Are the 49ers further ahead than they were in 1979? That season, despite winning only two games, the 49ers offense ranked sixth in total yards and third in passing yards. Walsh built the foundation of a great passing game.

This season, the 49ers rank 20th in total yards and 17th in passing yards.

“I thought it was neat for our players to hear,” Shanahan said. “I think people do get down – the whole world is caving in. And I understand that. It does feel that way. But also don’t lose perspective. To me, it’s part of a process that’s very important. I wish it could be another way, but this is the way it is, and I feel I can handle anything. I really believe that. I’m hoping we have the right guys in our room who can handle it, too.”

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