Physicality, aggression and intensity are all qualities that come with playing in the NFL. It’s when tempers flare and fists start flying that drives San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan nuts.
On Tuesday, Shanahan stopped practice following a second fight that occurred in the day. According to ESPN, the head coach delivered a stern message to his team, hoping that some of the in-fighting would cool down.
“I want everyone challenging each other,” Shanahan said, per ESPN. “I don’t care how much crap each other talks; I don’t care how close they get to fighting. They can do whatever they want to get themselves to be as intense as they want and bring the best out of each other, which happens a lot that way. And it’s the same on the field.
“But once you throw a punch, you get ejected or you get a penalty, and we pride ourselves on, I want people to be irritants, I want people to get as close as they can to all that stuff. I want people to get right on the line where they’re about to black out, but you can’t black out on the football field or you cost your team.”
Shanahan said he loves the intensity his team is bringing to the field. But he doesn’t want that to result in penalties or ejections for his players when the NFL season rolls around.
Kyle Shanahan Understands Fights are Common
While you’d like to think everyone gets along and holds hands to sing Kumbaya at training camp, that’s simply not reality. Players are with each other for hours on end for weeks before the start of the season. There are going to be some spats.
We’ve already seen quite a few this preseason.
There isn’t enough time in the day to detail every single fight from training camp this year. However, we can point out some of the notable ones.
Even Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has gotten into it this training camp. Also last week, the star took exception to a late push from a teammate near the end of practice.
See? These things don’t constitute instant panic for teams. It’s just trying to find a balance between aggression and stupidity. Kyle Shanahan believed the 49ers were teetering with the line.
“I think our team is pretty tough,” Shanahan said. “I think we’re pretty physical. I think if most probably voted on who would be the most physical team on tape last year, I think we’d win most of that, and we didn’t get in one fight last year. So, I don’t think that totally pertains to toughness.”