Kyle Shanahan is mentally scarred from the 2021 season when the San Francisco 49ers needed to dive deep into the working again depth chart attributable to accidents. The crew misplaced starter Raheem Mostert in Week 1. Then-rookie Elijah Mitchell was injured throughout Week 2, forcing the 49ers’ third-string working again into the sport.

That prompted San Francisco to hold 5 working backs on its preliminary 53-man roster this week. Undrafted rookie Jordan Mason stood out throughout coaching camp and the preseason, leaving the Niners with some powerful selections. JaMycal Hasty did not make the crew and was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars. San Francisco needed to do away with yet one more working again to make room for the offensive lineman they claimed off waivers, Blake Hance. That working again was final yr’s third-round decide, Trey Sermon.

The 49ers needed to carry Sermon again by way of the apply squad. Nevertheless, the Philadelphia Eagles claimed him off waivers. It harm Shanahan to lose two working backs he appreciated very a lot, but it surely says rather a lot about what the crew thinks about Mason.

The coach did not wish to lose Mason and knew that exposing the rookie to the waiver wire would imply doing so.

“We did not actually anticipate for [Mason] to be the place he’s at,” Shanahan admitted Thursday on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes present. “We thought we would be able to hold 4 backs and hold him on [the] apply squad. However the way in which he turned it on on the finish of camp and apply, after which what he confirmed in these preseason video games, we actually felt we had been going to lose him. And we truly know we had been going to.”

Which means San Francisco knew different groups had been serious about buying Mason, forcing them to decide on which of their remaining working backs they needed extra.

Nonetheless, Shanahan is worked up concerning the group they’ve now, which consists of Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, and rookies Mason and Ty Davis-Value.

“I take a look at our group of working backs and, 4 years in a row, we have used all 4 of our guys throughout the first six weeks,” Shanahan shared. “Final yr, we had been right down to our third working again in Week 2. Really, in Week 2, we had been placing a working again within the sport who I used to be calling him by [his] quantity, and so was Jimmy [Garoppolo] as a result of we did not know his identify but. So we had been asking the variety of the again if he knew the best way to run energy whereas he was within the huddle throughout a timeout.

“I am a little bit scarred from that stuff, so it is actually arduous for us to lose guys which have first- and second-down working potential. These are the issues that you simply actually worth as a result of you possibly can have these traits of fellows who’re good on third down, do some little bit of all the things, however while you lose that first- and second-down working again, for what we do offensively, it is a little bit powerful to operate.

“And that is what JP Mason confirmed a lot, I assumed, within the preseason, that he has the potential, like a few of our different guys—like Ty, like Elijah—to be a first- and second-down beginning working again. And that is one thing that we worth an excessive amount of.”

Javon Kinlaw

Shanahan was requested about his third-year defensive deal with, Jacob Kinlaw, who’s returning after present process knee surgical procedure final season. The coach acknowledges that Kinlaw has regarded so good within the preseason as a result of the large defender is lastly feeling good. That is a giant distinction in comparison with final yr when Kinlaw was simply making an attempt to handle to get by means of practices and video games with out struggling an excessive amount of from the ache.

“He is product of the appropriate stuff as a human,” Shanahan stated. “He is unbelievably gifted. And hopefully, he can string collectively some video games this season the place he would not have any setbacks as a result of if he does [last], the extra that man performs soccer, the extra he will be an enormous downside for the particular person in entrance of him.”

Drake Jackson

The 49ers had been shocked to land defensive finish Drake Jackson within the second spherical. They noticed the expertise and athleticism of a top-10 decide and figured he would not be accessible by the point San Francisco made a variety.

After watching his school movie, Shanahan understood why some groups had issues over Jackson. There have been some inconsistencies.

“However we nonetheless did not imagine he was going to fall to us,” Shanahan stated. “After which when he did, we stated, ‘Alright, we’ve got an opportunity to have that gifted of a man.’ Since he is been right here, I believe what you guys can see within the preseason video games and what we see at apply every single day, he’s precisely that gifted, and that is actually cool to see—somebody who can transfer like that and do this stuff, for the place we obtained him.

“However that is nonetheless what it’s. He is obtained to point out that he can keep wholesome, that he can play, and do it down in and down out as a result of the expertise is a reality. I am actually excited as a result of he is rose to the problem of how we apply right here, how our D-line goes, how arduous they go, and it has been actually encouraging to look at him discover ways to do this and never fade from it. Form of step proper as much as it.

“That is why I believe he will appropriate a number of issues at this degree that he did not fairly do in school. And if he does, I believe all people’s going to see that expertise repay.”

You may hearken to your complete dialog with Shanahan beneath.