Making a generalization that Kyle Shanahan is basically Mike Shanahan 2.0 isn’t a bad assumption. Kyle learned under offensive coordinators that learned under his father Mike afterall. They both run a similar offense and there’s that whole generational thing. Rex Ryan was similar to his dad Buddy both in personality and defensive scheme.
San Francisco 49ers tight ends coach Jon Embree has worked under both of the Shanahan’s and was Matt Maiocco’s latest guest on the 49ers Insider Podcast. We’ve already discussed how Kittle will be with Tony Gonzalez, one of Embree’s previous players during his time in Atlanta, but there’s a lot of good history to go around. Given that Embry has worked under both Mike Shanahan and Kyle, is the one to spot the differences in coaching between the two:
“They’re similar but very different. Kyle doesn’t want to think any farther than 10 minutes ahead of what he has to do. Mike will, well, you asked one of the things I do [as an assistant coach] one of the things I do is I set our calendars. I set our whole offseason calendar. Days off, what we’re gonna do when we’re in the office, this and that, and then I give that to Kyle, and then Kyle will work off of that and tweak it how he wants it. So Mike, at the end of the season, you’ll know every day that you have up to your vacation in June. Kyle, Even though I’ve given him the calendars, all the coaches know is what’s going to happen through the Super Bowl.
So that’s one of the differences. Kyle is more of ‘now,’ Mike is ‘big picture—super big picture.
Now, when you talk about similarities, they both have an uncanny ability to dissect defenses and how to attack and do things. I don’t want to say, “gut instinct,” but, they’ll say, “Hey let’s do this because the defense has to do that,” even though you may never see that on tape. And they have the ability to see that and not only do that, but they have the guts to call it, and it could be a critical situation. And more times than not, they’re right. It’s really a unique gift that those two guys have.”
And there you have it. Kyle is concerned about the next 10 minutes, Mike is concerned about the next year. The important thing: Both are know how to gash a defense.
I’ve time-stamped the podcast below. You can listen to it by using the widget above. If it does not appear, you can click here.
00:32 - The Senior Bowl as a player
02:36 - What the title of “49ers assistant head coach” means
04:53 - College coaching vs. Pro Coaching
06:08 - How his stint as a head coach at Colorado made him a better coach
07:45 - The difficulty in coaching at Colorado
08:15 - How Herm Edwards gave him his first coaching shot at the NFL
09:39 - Coaching Tony Gonzalez
11:03 - George Kittle’s training with Tony Gonzalez
15:07 - Working for Mike Shanahan in Washington
16:15 - Mike vs. Kyle Shanahan coaching styles
18:03 - Similarities/differences with son Taylor (49ers offensive quality control coach)
21:54 - On returning to the head coaching ranks