There is one giant reason 49er Faithful should be cheering for the Packers to advance to the Super Bowl: to move forward in the hiring of Kyle Shanahan as their head coach. The faster the Falcons are eliminated from the post season, the faster they can start assembling a coaching staff in Santa Clara.
It would unfortunately give the Packers a fifth championship, matching the 49ers, but getting a staff together is imperative. Two important opportunities to see players that have declared for the draft are here: the Shrine game is this weekend and the Senior Bowl is the next. The 49ers already have scouts going to each event but knowing the vision of the general manager and head coach is useful knowledge as well as the ability for the head coach and general manager to sit in on meetings with draftees.
PFT also reported that Falcons director of football operations Nick Folk is someone that could be an option for the 49ers GM position. Green Bay eliminating the Falcons again, opens the window of hiring possibilities with candidates from Atlanta.
The Patriots and Seahawks (sigh) have an uncanny ability to find late round gems that perform beyond many people’s expectations. Part of that is the interview process that happens at these events as well as the combine. Immeasurables like how much heart a player has or a chip on a player’s shoulder can be unearthed during those meetings. Players like Julian Edelman and Doug Baldwin may not have the aesthetics of a first rounder but have been able to make huge contributions to their teams and a great scout/general manager can unearth those players during these events.
With the 49ers putting all of their eggs in one basket, the sooner they nail down a head coach and GM, the better. I’ve made the analogy once already, but I really hope the 49ers don’t end up without a date to the prom after rejecting several options. Getting stood up would really, really suck.