Opponent Conference Call: 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

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  • I neglected to mention Pete Carroll's response to the word "rival". He provided an insightful response in today's press conference ..... a view and orientation many fans are unfamiliar with.

    Excellent press conference.
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  • "The pass-rush defensive end position under 49ers coach George Seifert was called the “Elephant.” You remember such players as Fred Dean and Charles Haley thriving in the role during the 49ers' glory days.

    And that was the name of the position when Pete Carroll worked on Seifert’s staff as defensive coordinator in 1995 and '96.

    But at some point soon after Carroll left the 49ers, he changed the name of that spot to “Leo.” And that’s what the position is now called in Robert Saleh’s scheme with the 49ers.

    On Wednesday, Carroll was asked about the origin of the “Leo.” He said he did not remember why he uses that term, but he did recall why he changed it from “Elephant.”

    Carroll recalled a story dating to 1996, when the 49ers used their top pick in the draft on Israel Ifeanyi, a pass-rusher from USC. (Ifeanyi was selected in the second round, but the 49ers did not have a first-round selection that year.)

    “We brought him in the day we drafted him, and he called his father in Africa,” Carroll said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “He said, ‘I’ve been drafted into the NFL and they want me to play elephant.' I never thought that father could ever understand what his kid was telling him right there: 'I play in the NFL, and I’m now an elephant.' "

    Carroll added, “So, in time, we adjusted the word. That’s all.”
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