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Kyle Shanahan ranks middle of the pack until he gets more experience

Thinking he might improve after this year!

The San Francisco 49ers have one year under their belt with head coach Kyle Shanahan, and it was hard not to come away impressed. The team started slowly, but finished strong after acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo at the trade deadline. It’s easy to focus on winning six of their final seven games, but Shanahan deserves credit for keeping the team focused even as they were losing nine straight to open the season.

Although things went well, it has still only been one year. It is no surprise then that Shanahan is not getting a ton of love in head coach rankings. Recently, Sporting News columnist Bill Bender ranked him No. 20, specifically because of his limited head coach experience. Here’s what Bender had to say about Shanahan:

It’s hard to contain the excitement for the 49ers after their five-game win streak to end last season and the arrival of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan, an innovative offensive mind much like his father, is at the center of that revival. We didn’t put him higher because we need to see more when the games matter at the start of the season.

It is worth noting that second-year Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay ranked No. 12. Bender noted Shanahan’s wins being at the end of the season when they supposedly matter less. I get that with the win over the Rams to close out the season, but their wins over Tennessee and Jacksonville were against teams with something to play for those weeks. It was only two of the wins, so I suppose that’s why we see the discounting.

Fittingly enough, these rankings arrived the same day Odds Shark posted new odds for first NFL head coach to be fired. The list includes 12 coaches, and it is not surprising Kyle Shanahan is not included. However, I did find one name particularly amusing.

I’m always fine laughing at Pete Carroll’s situation in Seattle, but I’m not talking about him. I’m talking about Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. Earlier this offseason, the Raiders hired Gruden, signing him to a ten-year contract worth $100 million. He has not coached a single game under his new contract, and he’s already getting odds to be fired!

Opening odds are not so much predictors as ways to drop in some money across the board. My guess is they view Gruden bets this year as a sucker bet that is effectively free money for them. But it’s still funny to see them taking bets on Gruden in year one of his ridiculous contract. And as a 49ers fan, potential Raiders dysfunction most definitely entertains me.