Coach's Corner 12/31/06

Check out the transcript of Mike Shanahan's post game press conference following the teams' 26-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Mike Shanahan

"We had some opportunities early to put the game away. I think we had the ball three times inside the five yard line and we weren't able to get touchdowns, field goals. Obviously, San Francisco did a fine job in keeping us out. They should get a lot of credit, but obviously, very disappointing that we weren't able to put it away early."

On how the team missed the injured defensive players
"Anytime you're running short, it's tough, that's part of the game."

On consideration for keeping QB Jay Cutler out after halftime
"If he wasn't well, we wouldn't have put him in. The doctors felt like he was ready to go in; that's why we went in that direction."

On the challenge of RB Tatum Bell's fumble – would he have challenged the challenge if he had a time out?
"No, anytime that it calls for a challenge, regardless if it's what they're challenging, if they see something on that play that felt was right or wrong, then they would go in the direction that they saw on the replay. So, what I thought would happen is you couldn't tell if he picked it up after the whistle was blown."

On if he got an explanation of the ruling of the challenge?

On using three timeouts in the third quarter
"I don't blame it on the quarterback, I blame it on me. I have to get it in there a little bit quicker. We had a few different types of formations with a few different variations. With different directions we could go, so that's coaching your own players there."

On QB Jay Cutler's performance
"I thought at the end of the game he made some big plays. I thought they (SF defense) stepped up and got a good pass rush when they needed to. We just couldn't get it done when we needed to get it done."

On his opinion of QB Alex Smith's performance in the overtime period
"I take my hat off to him. He found a way to win. They didn't have anything at stake. They were playing for pride, and came in here and did the things they had to do to win. It all starts with the quarterback, and he did a very good job."

On LB Al Wilson's absence – effect on the defense
"We knew Al wasn't feeling very good, but we had him dressed, but I didn't feel very good about playing him, for obvious reasons. But you have to give him credit. They have a running back that averages 5.5 yards [RB Frank Gore per carry] for the season: you know you have your work cut out for you. He's obviously very talented, and he did a great job."

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