It is hard to win in the NFL. This league is a bottom-line business. Kyle Shanahan is a brilliant mind. They have also failed to reach double-digit victories. That’s not just in one season, but both of Shanahan’s years as the San Francisco 49ers head coach.
Warren Sharp of Sharp Football analytics goes well beyond the box score. Sharp joined The Ringer NFL Show--hosted by Robert Mays and Kevin Clark--and was quick to answer the Niners when asked which team would make the jump in 2019 when you look beyond your everyday stats:
“This one’s a no brainer to me, really, the San Francisco 49ers. I cannot say enough about how impressed I was. You know, there’s people in San Francisco who don’t like Kyle Shanahan for one reason or another. I just can’t buy that. Like, I need more of a sample size because what he’s dealt with out there the last couple years has been nothing short of ridiculous.”
I am a Shanahan homer, so his leash is non-existent for me. Something would have to go terribly wrong for me to change my opinion on him. I’m not saying the situation has to be perfect, but let’s see Shanahan get a full season with a quarterback before we give up on him. It’s fair to question some of his decisions. It’s not fair to judge him based on only wins and losses.
The roster has come a long way since Shanahan took over in 2017. He has a competitive roster, finally. The offense hasn’t had an issue moving the ball, despite shuffling players in and out at key positions. The Niners being able to move the ball is why Sharp is confident Shanahan and the team will turn it around this year:
“This was one of two teams last year that in my early-down success rate metric, which is like the most correlated thing to wins and losses in the NFL that I’ve calculated and utilized next to turnovers. They finished top 10 offensively and defensively last year.”
The 49ers were good on early downs last year. The addition of two pass rushers and playmakers on offense should help them convert on third downs on both sides of the ball. That’s the hope, anyway.
Here are some links:
Robbie Gould’s worth every penny (Bucky Brooks, NFL.Com)
Richie James will be the 49ers secret weapon (Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report)
Kris Kocurek might be the right amount of crazy (Jen, NBC Sports)
When Will Nick Bosa report to training camp? (Cam Inman, Mercury News)
3 underrated stories to watch for 49ers training camp (Peter Panancy, Niners Noise)
Around the NFL: