Shanahan confident Greenlaw learned lesson from interception mistake originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SANTA CLARA — Dre Greenlaw’s fourth-quarter interception sealed the 49ers' 24-21 divisional round playoff game win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night at Levi's Stadium, but his attempt to run the football back for a potential touchdown had everyone on the edge of their seat, including his head coach.
There was some lighthearted joking between players and even by Kyle Shanahan at his postgame press conference Saturday night, but on Monday, he shared that there also was a lesson learned.
“I think he’s glad it ended the way it did, and I don’t think he will ever make that mistake again,” Shanahan said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “We didn’t get on him too hard, but he could tell how big of a deal it was after.”
Greenlaw had a standout performance, snagging two interceptions in the second half, including the one that sent the 49ers to their third straight NFC Championship Game. The linebacker also led San Francisco with eight total tackles — two solo, one for a loss.
The Arkansas product also was effective in coverage, allowing six catches on eight targets for only 25 yards, giving him a team-high 87.7 Pro Football Focus coverage grade.
“We are very appreciative he made the play,” Shanahan said. “But stuff can flip very fast and you can ruin some of the best plays ever if you give the team any more of a chance. And the way that game was going, man, we didn’t need to give them any more chances.”
Greenlaw was available for the game against the Packers after being sidelined since Week 17 with Achilles tendonitis. He played all 67 defensive snaps while making the two game-changing interceptions.
While Shanahan loves his linebacker’s spirit and instinct to make big plays, he knows Greenlaw needs to stay situationally aware of when to simply go down to end the play.
"Hopefully he learned his lesson and hopefully we won’t ever have to deal with it again,” Shanahan said.