When the San Francisco 49ers joined the NFL coaching search a few weeks back, speculated future coach Kyle Shanahan was on their radar, but he was on a lot of radars. All sources pointed to him being most interested in the Denver Broncos job.
The Broncos instead hired Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. If hired to the 49ers, Shanahan will be the final head coaching hire in the 2017 NFL coaching search.
So what happened? Shanahan was considered one of the more splashy hires of the 2017 coaching search. A return to Denver, where his father Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls was forecasted by many. Well, according to Mile High Sports Radio’s Les Shapiro, Shanahan was indeed the front runner for the job. From the MHS article:
“He [Elway] thinks the world of Kyle’s offensive acumen,” Shapiro said during The Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports Radio. “He wanted to get back to those days of Mike Shanahan going up and down the field, and he knows Kyle is an offshoot of, is a prodigal son (an actual son) of his father; and knows offense very, very well.
“John kept thinking ‘this offense sucks, and I want to get back to being what we’ve been in the past, to being what we were when I was the quarterback.’”...
....“If John Elway, I know this for a fact now, felt this team was in a rebuild, and felt he needed to bring a different culture into that locker room and into the meeting rooms, Kyle Shanahan very well could have been your head coach right now,” said Shapiro. “John Elway felt that they were still on the track to go to the playoffs, and even get to and win a Super Bowl again. Because they’re not in a rebuild, because they don’t need to change the culture any, Vance Joseph was the guy to come in and keep things going.”
Putting it that way, it makes total sense why Vance Joseph got the role. It sounds like Kyle Shanahan would be a bit more of a culture change than Elway wanted, not to mention he’d stumble a bit. If anyone remembers when Jed York and Jim Harbaugh ‘mutually parted ways’, then-general manager Trent Baalke stressed how they were reloading not rebuilding. That turned out to be the opposite due to the amount of retirements and other departures to hit the team at the conclusion of the 2014 season. However, the 49ers did keep some sense of consistency by promoting Jim Tomsula, elevating quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst, and making other moves to keep some consistency with the previous regime.
Who knows what the staff would have looked like with Shanahan in Denver. Maybe there would have been some changes? It sounds like Elway wanted to be sure to keep things going the way they were and didn’t want the atmosphere to change too much.
Luckily for the 49ers, that’s exactly what they need. Reading the above should make fans optimistic. Kyle Shanahan will definitely have growing pains as a new head coach, but a change of scenery is exactly what this team has been wanting and will get. They will have growing pains no matter who is the head coach, so why not grow with the coach.
Again, this is all if they officially hire Shanahan.