‘Blatantly honest’ Shanahan takes blame for zero-blitz call

‘Blatantly honest’ Shanahan takes blame for zero-blitz call

originally appeared on

NBC Sports Bay Area

Four days later, the controversial zero-blitz play call made by Steve Wilks at the end of the first half of the 49ers’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night is still being discussed. As the 49ers look to move on from the Vikings loss and

focus on the Cincinnati Bengals
, the spotlight was once again on Wilks’ play call that resulted in a Minnesota touchdown when Kyle Shanahan addressed the media on Friday.

While Wilks had taken full responsibility for the call the day before,
Shanahan chose to shift the blame onto himself when asked about the conversations between the two coaches during the week. “Just about football, about what happened,” Shanahan said. “There was a time issue that prevented us from making that call, and that’s entirely my fault. I hold ultimate responsibility for everything. When I was asked two days ago about the call, he knows we couldn’t make it due to the time constraint, and I messed up by not calling a timeout to prevent it.

“However, I have no issue with the call itself in terms of our defensive strategy. I’m a fan of all-out blitzing. It’s just not something you can do in that situation. So we discussed it in that context – talking football, nothing else.”

In his previous conversation with reporters on Wednesday, Shanahan had been blunt in saying that Wilks “messed up.” In an appearance on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac Show” on Friday, 49ers general manager John Lynch was asked about the events of the week. “I think one thing that everyone in the Bay Area and 49ers fans should appreciate is that we have a head coach who is incredibly honest,” Lynch said. “If you were in our internal meetings, you would know how much faith he has in Steve. We communicated that as well.

“But both things can be true. You can have tremendous faith and still not agree with a particular call. Even in that quote where he shouldn’t have made the call, there was a lot of context behind why Steve made that decision and the chain of events leading up to it. He does have immense belief in Steve and all those things.”

Shanahan, Wilks, Lynch, and the 49ers are all hoping to put the controversial call behind them as they prepare to host the Bengals at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. A strong performance is needed by all parties involved to erase the bitter taste of defeat.


Charvarius Ward defends Wilks’ zero-blitz play call

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