The San Francisco 49ers will make current Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan their next head coach, by all accounts. Shanahan will take over a team that was just awful in 2016, and one in desperate need of offensive help. He’ll take over a team that has been just as big a wreck on the field as it has been in the front office.
Throughout the interview process, it’s been reported that the 49ers were going to pick a head coach and that head coach would help pick the general manager. Personally, I doubt this was the original goal, but once the top candidates for the general manager position declined for various reasons and once Josh McDaniels elected to stick with the New England Patriots, the move made sense.
Jed York was looking at a landscape quickly drying up of quality head coaching candidates, and one in which the best general manager candidates wanted nothing to do with him or Paraag Marathe or the general 49ers dysfunction. It made sense to double down on Shanahan, give him whatever power he desires and make him feel like he can’t refuse the job.
By all accounts, he will not refuse the job and the 49ers have an offensive-minded coach not named Chip Kelly to lead them into 2017 and — hopefully — beyond. Shanahan has called some very good games with the Falcons, and his coaching acumen is clear.
Finding out what he can do without Matt Ryan and Julio Jones is the biggest question, of course, but anybody suggesting that the talent succeeded without some brilliant play-calling from Shanahan is just silly.
The Falcons offense throughout the regular season and the postseason has been many things. It’s been explosive and high-flying thanks to those aforementioned playmakers, but it’s also been varied. The Falcons shift formation plenty, they don’t tip their hand to what’s coming, and Ryan looks far more like an all-around weapon than he ever has.
Shanahan, at the very least, has put the Falcons offense in the very best position to win. Will they out-gun Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl? I sure hope so.
But it got me wondering how much the Super Bowl actually matters to us. Shanahan is coming to San Francisco. He’s taking over whether the Falcons dominate or get dominated. It’s difficult to take a single game and judge what an offensive coordinator honestly contributed, at least in exacting terms.
But for whatever reason, it feels like there would be a whole lot more optimism around here if Shanahan called a great game and the Falcons offense dominated. I’d just like to know from you, dear readers, if this is actually the case or if I’m just weird.