You’ll never guess which San Francisco 49ers writer said this, but there was some discussion on the internet Monday about how Kyle Shanahan is actually bad. Alright then. The debate stemmed from Nick Mullens “saving” the Niners after Shanahan thought C.J. Beathard was better, and how Shanahan has wasted resources on the Brian Hoyers’ of the world. I’m not saying Shanahan doesn’t deserve any blame. But woo buddy are you ignoring an awful lot if that’s your conclusion.
This might not be a fair ranking for a guy who kept the 49ers competitive in the second half of the season while having to play musical chairs at quarterback. The problem here is that Shanahan hasn’t really accomplished anything yet as a head coach, which makes the criteria for evaluating his performance somewhat narrow. Shanahan did a fantastic job as offensive coordinator with the Falcons. He played a big role in Atlanta making it to the Super Bowl, and Matt Ryan winning MVP, in 2016. In two years in San Francisco, he’s gone 10-22. That record isn’t masked by the obvious upside of the roster, or the potential many see in Shanahan. From the outside looking in, it sure seems he is the right man to develop Jimmy Garoppolo, who is coming back from the ACL tear that cost him all but three games last season. Shanahan seems to be a good communicator, and is both confident and comfortable with himself. Whether that will translate into contention in the NFC West remains to be seen.
If the offense is average this year, then I will be the first one to critique Shanahan. I have a difficult time imagining they will struggle to move the ball and score points. The offense has a chance to be one of those offenses that can dink-and-dunk you to death, ala New England. They can also be in the mold one of the many high-powered offenses that score on four-play drives with all the speed on this side of the ball.
The writer is ignoring a lot of variables outside of Shanahan’s control. You’d think he would go beyond the surface level of Shanahan’s overall record, but that’s no surprise. Where do you think Shanahan should be ranked?
Onto some links:
Three most important 49ers next season (Dalton Johnson, NBC Sports)
John Lynch speaks on Robbie Gould’s contract (49ers.com)
Finding Space: 49ers’ Levine Toilolo vs. Jordan Matthews (49ers Webzone, David Bonilla)
Around the NFL: