Monday evening, I posted a poll asking people to rate the hiring of Kyle Shanahan on a scale of 1 (worst decision) to 10 (best decision). In spite of the Atlanta Falcons epic collapse in Super Bowl 51, people are still fired up about Shanahan. We had 4,076 votes, and the highest total went to “10,” with 37.59 percent of the vote. Next up was “8,” with 25.27 percent of the vote. 82.05 percent of the vote went with an “8” or higher.
This hire became a lot more interesting and scrutinized after Shanahan caught flak for not running the football late in the Atlanta Falcons ' 34-28 Super Bowl LI loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night. Shanahan mostly called a very good game, and he hung 21 points on a Bill Belichick defense (that prepared for two weeks), with all of the points coming in the middle two quarters. The 49ers being the last team standing after every other opening was quickly filled turned out to be a good thing, as they were able to interview Shanahan multiple times during the process and make sure everything was in place to land the talented offensive coordinator following the Super Bowl. Despite the late struggles in the Super Bowl, Shanahan looks like a quality hire.
I agree that the Super Bowl does add another element to the assessment, but not from a play-calling perspective. Aggressive vs. passive play-calling is certainly an issue, but how Shanahan responds to the media will be interesting this Thursday. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, but this organization is likely going to face some frustrating times over the next couple years. How he handles it will certainly be something that is worth observing while the team tries to turn things around.