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Kyle Shanahan’s quiet confidence

His words were standard but the new coach’s bearing was excellent.

Kyle Shanahan’s press conference Wednesday was kind of boring. And I’m pretty happy about that.

During years of writing about Chip Kelly, I always enjoyed his press conferences. He was unpredictable and often funny or sarcastic. You might see him mock a reporter, or tease one in a friendly way, or go off on some tangent about philosophy or a goofy dumb movie.

None of that helped his teams win, though, and as his early success faded, a defensive feistiness became common. The amusement of writers is less important than winning football games.

That’s what I liked about Wednesday’s presser. Shanahan was cautious and measured in his comments. You have to fit the scheme to your players, he’ll have to study more tape on draft prospects, tempo can be useful but these things go in cycles. Blah blah blah.

But at every moment, he radiated quiet confidence. Not cockiness, or thinking that he’s smarter than everyone else, but a sense that he knows what he’s doing and what he has to do, and it’s well within his range.

That’s pretty remarkable for the 37-year old head coach of one of football’s most storied franchises, but Shanahan has a remarkable resume. He grew up in a football family connected at the highest levels, played wide receiver at Texas, and started coaching in the NFL (as a quality control assistant under Jon Gruden) just two years after graduating.

By the time Jed York and the 49ers hired him, he had worked for five different NFL franchises — four as offensive coordinator. (It also helps that the Rams hired Sean McVay, who is six years younger, first.)

But a long list of jobs doesn’t give you a sense of belonging. Experiences can break someone as much as make them. Watching Shanahan, though, I don’t see any bluster, or reaching, or scars. I just see a guy who’s done the preparation, knows what he has to do, and is rolling up his sleeves to do it.