The drawn out affair that is the San Francisco 49ers head coach and GM search has led to numerous media folks speaking out about different candidates. Numerous people have some kind of professional relationship with one or more of the candidates, and radio hosts are always looking to fill air time.
The latest is from Bleacher Report analyst and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. He chatted on KNBR recently, and had plenty to say about Kyle Shanahan. It turns out, Simms and Shanahan are really good friends dating back to their time at the University of Texas. Shanahan was a wide receiver there, arriving the same year as Simms. The two of them and three other freshman players became fast friends, and it resulted in all of them getting the initials of each other. So, yes, Chris Simms has a Kyle Shanahan tattoo.
It is an amusing story, but it also provides some context on Simms’ comments about Shanahan. And it is no surprise he is high on Shanahan as a head coach candidate. He says Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, and Sean Payton have the three most creative offenses. Additionally, he points to the Shanahan history with the 49ers, and that they have “great respect and love for the 49ers organization.” There has not been much talk of that since Shanahan interviewed a week and a half ago, but it could be something in the 49ers favor as they try and get this situation sorted out.
Here is the transcript of Simms’ Shanahan comments.
On if Shanahan-49ers makes sense:
“I think it’s the perfect marriage. I think that’s what I really look at it. First of all, the Shanahan family has a great respect and love for the 49er organization. I mean that’s where, of course, Mike Shanahan made such a big name for himself, coaching Steve Young and that team in Super Bowl 29. But I think regardless, the best thing, Kyle is the best offensive coordinator, the best play designer, he’s the most creative offensive schemer in the game right now. And that’s saying a lot. Because Josh McDaniels — who I worked for, and played for and who I’m also really good friends with — is definitely right there. It’s Josh, Kyle Shanahan, Sean Payton for the most creative offenses in all of football.
On McDaniels citing family for not wanting to move to Santa Clara:
I think that’s truly legit. He’s been very wary of that. I was with him in Denver, then he went to the St. Louis Rams for a year, maybe two, I can’t really remember exactly. Then he came back up to New England. He does have four young kids. They like it up there, so they’re not desperate to get out fo town, they’re not miserable. He probably has the closest relationship in the whole franchise with Bill Belichick, as far as Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick. I think he’s very comfortable, and I do really think that is a part of the reason. He’s going to go, “You know what, I’m not quite ready yet. My kids are young.” He has a great relationship with his wife. So I think that’s a legitimate reason why he did not want to do it and move across the country.
On potential GM pairings with Kyle Shanahan:
I can’t say that there is one guy that sticks out to me. Listen, knowing Josh, talking to Kyle, I think they’re just looking for guys that they know they can have a a really good working relationship. Kyle’s looking for a GM that he knows can support him and look for the type of players that he sees that fit into his scheme and the personality of his team. That’s where like New England and Bill Belichick are unbelievable, because everybody is onboard and on the same page with Bill as far as what he’s looking for. And it’s about supplying that information to Bill Belichick. And I think that’s what a Kyle Shanahan is looking for too.
You know, he hasn’t even gotten a chance, I don’t think, to talk to too many of these GMs. Of course, he’s in the middle of trying to go to the Super Bowl right here. So, I think he has some names in mind. I think he would like for the 49ers to continue to interview GMs, so they can have some thoughts on their own, as well. So, when it does come time, if they want to hire a Kyle or not, whatever, they can have a conversation, you know, Jed York and company can kind of say, “Hey, look, we really liked what this guy said in the meetings, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, we’re gonna bring him in again now so you can meet him and you can kind of quiz him as well.
So I just think, there’s not one guy who jumps out to me right now, but I think it’s still very early in the process. And man, if I’m the 49ers, and watching that game last week, you gotta play the Seattle Seahawks twice a year, and I mean, Seattle was so lucky to not have at least 40 or maybe even closer to 50 points put on them by that Atlanta offense.
I just think he’s the perfect fit there. And as long as you give Kyle Shanahan time to develop, not only young quarterbacks, but just implement his system on offense and let him acquire the players that he needs to make the team successful, I just think it’s a no-brainer. I think this is a guy that understands the total scope of football, front office to coaching, all his years and experience being around NFL football come in real handy for a situation like this.
On Kyle Shanahan resigning from Browns because he didn’t want to be forced to play Johnny Manziel:
Well, he’s been extremely fortunate in a lot of those situations. Not even Manziel and that being forced on him to a degree. But think about the Donovan McNabb, RGIII, the way he acted. We all know it was RGIII’s fault now, but back then, Kyle Shanahan was getting lambasted because RGIII had this amazing rookie year and then he decided he didn’t really want to work or do anything else, and he blamed Kyle Shanahan. And everybody kind just jumped on. And that’s kind of what happened with the Donovan McNabb situation as well.
So, Kyle is well overdue. How about Kyle taught the guy who just got the Rams head coaching job, and that guys only been coaching offensive football for a year, let alone Kyle’s been doing it for 10 years with top five and top 10 offenses every year he’s been an offensive coordinator.