Expected San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media on Monday at Super Bowl 51 Opening Night, and we have a partial transcript of his hour. Matt Maiocco was sidled up next to him for the entire session, and you can listen to more of what Shanahan had to say in Maiocco’s podcast.
Here is the transcript provided by NFL Communications
(on the interview process) "I got a chance to interview a few weeks ago during our first bye week, did that with a number of teams. Last week, I was able to do my second one. On Friday and Saturday, got to meet with Jed (York), came in, spent two good days with him. Had a few GM candidates come in: Jerry McDonough, George Paton and John Lynch. All did an awesome job and spent two days with all of those guys."
(on John Lynch) "John, I think, has been interested in it for a while, just talking to him. John is a guy that I've developed a relationship over the years. He's a guy that lives and dies football. He's a very smart guy who, I think, really wanted to get back into it, where he could compete on Sunday and there's actually a winner and loser at the end of the game. Just had some talks together and got him in. He did a great job this weekend, along with the other two guys too. Obviously decided to go with John so I'm excited."
(on the challenge of juggling the interview process and coaching) "The way the NFL makes it, it's not as hard as you think. I didn't realize it until I got into it, but they make it to where you can't do both. They only set a few days where you can talk to these guys. Those days that you're allowed to talk to them, they both were bye weeks. This Friday and Saturday, we had the days off. My kids were upset with it because I had two days off and didn't totally get it off. I had to spend it interviewing and doing all this stuff. I had two days designated to the San Francisco stuff and since then has been designated to Atlanta."
(on how common it is for commentators to reach out to coaches after calling their games) "Not always. John is a guy that I have a lot of respect for just as a man, as a person and also from his football knowledge. Any time that he sees something that he feels he could help, or anytime I have a question, he's one of the people that I reach out to."
(on hearing from anyone at the University of Texas) "I got a number of texts in my deal that I have not caught up to, so I apologize to anyone because it's it at 250 right now and I probably won't get to it until after the season. I have bunch of people, friends from Texas, a bunch of guys that I went to school with. They've all been reaching out and hopefully I run into them at some point this week, but most likely not."
(on what he learned during his time at Texas and from Coach Mack Brown) "I think it's just being in a big-time football program where winning a national championship was everything. We didn't get to do that when I was there. I believe we won it, it might have been the year that I left or two years after I left, but they ended up doing it. Just being part of something that they had such a good players. They always had a top-five recruit when I was there. Being able to be around guys like Roy Williams and Chris Simms and Cedric Benson, people like that, prepares you a little bit for the NFL. Just dealing with those guys on a day-to-day basis with the expectations of winning."
(on if he was at Texas with Tom Hermann) "I was."
(on his impression of Tom Hermann) "Tom is a great dude. I think it was great hire for them. He'll do a hell of a job. Tom was a GA when I was there. I transferred there from Texas, so I had a year that I was ineligible. I spent my first year there on the scout team where Tom coached it. I had a good relationship with him. When I was in Houston coaching for the Texans is when Tom was a coach at Rice. He's a guy that I've golfed with a number of times over the year. Good dude."
(on returning to Houston) "It's great. I love Houston. I love Texas. Great people, great food down here. It was weird, driving to Rice University today, I got to pass by my house. It was right there on Greenbrier. It was the second house, I got to point it out to a bunch of people. I wish I could have stopped by it, but that's where I had my first two kids with my wife. I had a lot of great memories here in Houston."
(on what he learned about coaching in the NFL while in Houston) "Really coming in here with (Gary) Kubiak. He was a first-time head coach. We were coming in, I think we were taking over a, I want to say, a 2-14 team. We had the first pick in the draft. Just really seeing the patience and stuff you need to build it up. Kubiak did it the right way. We improved each year. It took us some time, but we got a competitive team, got them to the playoffs. He was a great guy to work for, a great owner to work for and I loved everything about Houston."
(on transition to a head coaching position at this point in the calendar year) "To go there, mentally, nothing is set in stone, first of all. I'm not going to BS you guys. I'm excited about a lot of the stuff that's going on. I feel very encouraged. Nothing is going to be set in stone until I get a chance to sit down and make something official, which isn't allowed until after the season. Once I do get that opportunity and things work out, it's something I've waited for my whole life. I've thought about it almost every day. If it does happen, that's something I will definitely take advantage of."
(on the Atlanta wide receivers) "Receivers are huge. You never stay healthy throughout the year. You have to use all of them. You need guys with different traits, especially when you have a guy like Julio Jones, people can take away because they need to. They're going to eventually have to double him and take people out. When you have guys spread around with different skillsets, whether you have a big receiver, a quick receiver, a fast receiver. Some guys win with intelligence, some with their hands. We have a very diverse group of guys that allows us to do different things and attack coverages. A guy like (Eric) Weems, who has been around forever, you don't truly appreciate Weems until you get on a team with him. He's as good of a leader as I've been around. He's as good as a special teams player as I've been around. If anybody goes down on offense and we need him, he always keeps up with the scheme, keeps up with the game plan, never hesitate to use him."
(on the similarities on offense with his father's and Coach Kubiak's schemes) "I think we've all grown from different places. One thing we all have in common that the percentage of our runs are outside zone. We do some boot legs or keepers, whatever you want to call them off of that. After that, that's about it. When I got to Houston, it was my first time working for Kubiak. I spent all my time with Jon Gruden before that, so we saw offense totally different. We meshed a little bit during our time together. When I went to Washington that was my first time working for my dad. I thought we saw football similarly, but we quickly realized that after a few weeks, we saw it differently. We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway when I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to incorporate the zone read and stuff when we got Robert (Griffin III). It's always growing. We all originate from the same thing. You go all the way back to what's a west coast offense. Everyone, we use some of the terminology, so that's why I think some people say some of this is west coast. Everybody's offense is different. When you go different places, unless you're just running a playbook, it changes. Ours has changed every year. It was different from the beginning and it has grown a lot different over the years."
(on learning from his dad) "I've done with every head coach that I've worked with. I've worked for a number of good ones. Since I was little, anytime you have the chance to be around successful people who are good at what they do, you want to soak everything in. I've been fortunate in my life to be put around some good people. It started when I was at UCLA with Karl Dorrell and going to Tampa with Jon Gruden and the entire defensive staff they have. I've tried to soak up as much as I can my whole career knowing that someday I would get an opportunity. When you do, you want to be yourself. You take in all of your experiences and what you've learned from other people, but you want to develop your own opinion and your own way of seeing things. You hope to be around the right people who taught you how to do that."
(on if he anticipates that his dad will be part of his team) "I always anticipate asking my dad advice and stuff like that, just like I think anyone would in their profession if they had done the same thing and been successful at it. As far as him working in the building and stuff like that, it's definitely not been in the discussion. My dad is basically retired and I know he enjoys football, so I don't know what to use that word because he's working at it a lot. You can ask my mom. I've never envisioned him—we did our deal in Washington and I wouldn't take that back for the world. That was pretty much the end of it."
(on facing New England Head Coach Bill Belichick) "There's a fine line. I don't think there's much Bill and his staff hasn't seen before. They've seen a lot of football and they do it as good as anyone. The main thing is giving your players confidence going into the game knowing that when we do see what they're doing, you give our players the ability to adjust for us to go in a number of difference directions. They're as good as it gets, so we know it'll be a huge challenge, something that we're working at just like they are. When the game starts, it's going to come down to trying to put our guys in good position and enjoy watching them go."
(on if there was a moment when he was younger when he realized that he wanted to be a head coach) "I think I always wanted to coach my whole life, whether I said it or not. It's all I've known growing up around football. It's almost all I've been into since I've been little. It's distracted me from everything that I've done, especially school, things like that. I always tried to tell my mom to just be patient, it'll play out for us in the long run. Fortunately, it did. If I wouldn't have chosen football, I probably would have been in trouble because I was pretty one-track mind my whole life. For a lot of that, I was trying to play. When you're trying to play, you don't really think about coaching. Once I realized that my dreams were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that. That was pretty much halfway through college and I haven't looked back."
(on how it feels to coach the top-ranked offense in the Super Bowl) "It's cool to be here. I've been to the Super Bowl six times as a coach's kid and I remember all of them. I remember, I think the first one, I was five years old when the Broncos lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl. I think Phil Simms was MVP. I remember being in those games. I remember going to San Francisco and being in the one where Steve Young was the MVP. I remember going back to Denver when my dad was the head coach and being in those two with John (Elway). It's always been a great experience. Some of my best memories of my life are growing up, just being a family member watching what your dad does and all the people with him go to the Super Bowl. Now, to get here for himself and to be able to bring my own family; they're coming down Friday. That's the stuff that's pretty cool."
(on the differences between coaching in college and the NFL) "It's been so long that I've been in college, I was a GA for six months out of college so I know it's changed a ton. I'm not even sure how different it is. I think there's a lot more recruiting and satellite camps and all of those things if I'm saying it right. I know there's a lot more stuff in college now than what I remember. I miss being at Texas. UT is as cool as it gets and one of my favorite places that I've lived."
(on why he transferred to Texas) "I went to Duke. My goal coming out of high school was just to earn a scholarship. Duke was my only scholarship offer so I was going where I earned a scholarship. After a year of being there, back at that time, it's still definitely a basketball school, but they were even worse then than now. I know I wanted to go to a big-time football school. Mack (Brown) recruited me when he was at North Carolina, so I had a relationship with him. I thought, what was the opposite? I want to go to a big-time school that's totally focused on football. I had never been in the state of Texas at the time. I had a relationship with Mack from him recruiting me when he was at Carolina, called him and asked him if he can get me in the school. When he said yes, I packed my car up and drove from Durham to Austin. I took some buddies. I was a little nervous because I had never been there before. I knew nothing about it other than football was important. When I got there, I realized it was nothing to be nervous about. Austin was a great city. It was as fun as can be. Some of my favorite times of my life."
(on how difficult it is to win without a quarterback) "It always is. Look at the history of the NFL. Teams that don't have one of those guys usually struggle to be there at the end of the year unless they have one of top defenses in Super Bowl history, or NFL history. Everyone knows that. You need a quarterback to be consistently competitive. That's what everybody is looking for, coaches and personnel people. It's usually where it starts."