What Shanahan said to 49ers after Aiyuk-Warner dustup originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA — After two scuffles on the 49ers’ practice field Tuesday, Kyle Shanahan stopped practice.
With the heat rising in both temperature and the on-field competition, Fred Warner and Brandon Aiyuk provided the impetus of the dustups. To avoid further conflict, the head coach huddled the entire team up to address the event and practice resumed without any other incidents.
Special teams coordinator Brian Schneider shared what Shanahan’s speech entailed after practice.
“A lot of things, number one, he loves the effort, but we have to play smart,” Schneider said. “Some guys were getting in scraps out there, so he loves the intensity and we just have to learn how to play. I think in the final drive there, Kyle was doing more to move the ball and really trying to simulate more of what a game is like. In and out and doing all those things right.”
A little extracurricular activity on the field is a natural part of training camp, with every player wanting to compete and prepare for the regular season. Still, Shanahan doesn’t want things to get out of control.
With several players on the ground in a pile during the second skirmish, there was a definite need to address the situation.
“That was a really hot day,” Schneider said. “We probably had our biggest practice today. The most we wanted to do. Obviously, that was our longest practice so, guys were getting after it and working.”
Warner has explained why he keeps Aiyuk in his sights during practice, wanting to get more out of the third-year wide receiver. There’s no sign that the All-Pro linebacker’s style of trash talking on the field will ever change, so this likely won’t be the last of the on-field conflicts as the competition and temperatures will stay at a fever pitch through the preseason.