I want people to be annoying, not fighters

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan wants his players to step right into the goal line, but he doesn’t want them to walk with him.

Responding to Niners players trading punches — most notably linebacker Fred Warner and wide receiver Brandon Ayok — in Tuesday’s training, Shanahan announced Friday that he wants his players to be strong, be physical, so they are “annoying,” but he doesn’t want them to throw hands.

“I want everyone to challenge each other,” Shanahan said Friday via team text. “I don’t care how much bullshit each other talk. I don’t care how close they are to a fight. They can do whatever they want to make themselves move forward and get as tough as they want and bring out the best in each other, which happens a lot that way. It’s the same on the court, But once you throw a punch, you get kicked out or get a penalty. And we take pride in ourselves, I want people to be annoying. I want people to get over all of these things as soon as possible. I want people to go straight to the line where they’re about to pass out. But You can’t immerse yourself in football or it will cost your team, but I like doing it for other people.”

Much of the rhetoric on Tuesday stemmed from Warner’s self-professional attempt to push Aiok. With Ayuk standing up for himself, this eventually led to an altercation.

Shanahan was fine with Ayuk holding out for his illness.

“Sure, I understood what he was up against, so it didn’t bother me,” Shanahan said.

Basically, Shanahan wants his players to push their physicality, themselves, and their opponents to the extreme, but without going over it.

Football fights result in penalty kicks and hand kicks, so you better put down your dukes.

“I like its intensity,” Shanahan said. “I don’t think you have to fight until you’re tough. Brawls are quarrels, but then lead to other things. I think that’s why there’s a guy in protocol, because we took an unnecessary bullet on someone that led to the big fight. And then, it was done.” Throwing a bunch of haymakers and stuff in there, that’s only going to break hands. I think our squad is pretty strong. I think we’re very physical. And I think if most people voted probably who had the most physical teams recorded in the tape last year, I think we would win Most of that. And we didn’t have a single fight last year, so I don’t think that’s entirely about toughness.”

While Warner and Aioke went off in a confrontation that led to Donnybrook’s attack against the defense on Tuesday, it came after Warner dealt a questionable blow to goalkeeper Marcus Johnson. Johnson is now in concussion protocol, Shanahan noted regarding fights that lead to “other things.”

So, with the 49ers making headlines and some self-inflicted wounds this week, Shanahan sent his message: Stay strong and raise your hands.

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