Posts Tagged ‘Intensity’

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t happy with the fights at his team’s practices this week.

Shanahan had to halt practice twice Tuesday after players threw punches at each other, including star linebacker Fred Warner and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Though the 42-year-old coach says he appreciates his players’ toughness, he thinks they’ve crossed the line.

“I want everyone challenging each other,” Shanahan said Friday, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “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.”

The biggest fight this week was between Warner and Aiyuk. It began after a late hit by Warner sent wideout Marcus Johnson into the concussion protocol, Wagoner notes.

“I love the intensity of it,” Shanahan added. “I don’t think you have to fight to be intense, though. Scuffles are scuffles, but then they lead to other stuff. I think that’s why we’ve got a guy in protocol because he took an unnecessary shot on someone, which led to the big fight, and then we had a bunch of haymakers and stuff thrown in there, which only break hands.”

Warner believes his toughness against Aiyuk will help the pass-catcher improve ahead of his third NFL season.

“Specifically with Brandon, I chose him out,” Warner said last week. “I think he’s ready to make that next step into playing at an elite level.”

Seth Jones sees his head coach in a new light.

Five games into his tenure with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the young defenseman offered his perspective on John Tortorella, whose fiery personality has been more than evident both behind and away from the bench.

“I think people may have mistaken his intensity for … He just wants to win, that’s pretty much the bottom line,” Jones told Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

“He wants you to work hard, sometimes it doesn’t matter about the scoreboard, he just wants to see 100 percent effort when you’re out there and you’re doing what you can for the team to win.”

While Tortorella appeared to have been at odds with Ryan Johansen, who was sent to Nashville in exchange for Jones, he’s pushing the right buttons with the blue chip blue-liner.

Deployed by Tortorella in all situations, Jones has averaged 24 minutes per game with the Blue Jackets, recording an assist in each of the past two contests.

Consequently, Columbus is riding a two-game heading into Wednesday’s game against Washington.