It’s an accepted declaration that Kyle Shanahan’s offense is one of the most difficult to learn in the NFL. It took Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan a year of crashing and burning before he had one of the best seasons of his career. We’ve gone over vernacular and lingo a few times as well as how learning it is like learning a new language.
But just for further clarification. Imagine you’re Jimmy Garoppolo. Kyle Shanahan has your ear on the microphone, you’re in the huddle, and this very playcall comes out to your helmet speaker:
That’s analyst Mark Schlereth asking him to relay the playcall. H2 was the protection and Schlereth is a former NFL offensive lineman, so he picked that up, but that’s all.
Now think, that relay has to happen about 40-50 times a game. Kyle Shanahan says that, Garoppolo has to word-for-word recite that to the huddle and the huddle has to go out and execute. That’s bad enough at a home game, trying to recite that in a hostile crowd that’s making things difficult to hear (Seattle) would make that impossible.
Chalk that up as another reason why the playbook is so difficult. Now with those playbooks, there’s probably a lot of room for customizability on Shanahan’s end and for adjustments (changing the protection for instance). It’s just listening, getting, reciting to the huddle and executing it to perfection as one of the most difficult part of playing in the 49ers’ offense.
I think Shanahan’s offense makes for a good game of telephone if you want to get creative with it.