NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco reported on Sunday morning that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was honored as the NFC Coach of the Year by the Committee 101. Since the committee is based in Kansas City, that’s where Shanahan had to go to pick his award up. It seems like a cruel joke to what was a painful way to start the month of February. Here are some quotes from Shanahan at the black-tie event:
“I don’t look it as much as it getting away from us. It’s what it takes to beat a good team, and you have to do that in all three phases. The other team makes plays. That’s what happens. It’s a big deal, and it’s tough. It’s also a big deal to get to one. Not many people understand that. But I don’t try to make it more than it is. We lost the game. We didn’t move the chains on our last two possessions, and they did. When that happens against a good team like that, you don’t win. You lick your wounds, you see what you could have done better, and you work harder.” “I’m proud as heck as I can be of our season, of how much we competed, how hard we went. That’s all you can control.”
If you knew Shanahan would be the coach of the year by Year 3, we’d all have been thrilled. Knowing how much improvement there has been on the team and the type of things we get mad about at Shanahan now compared to what most fans are upset at their coaches for says everything. Shanahan is a terrific coach and a brilliant play-designer. We’ll continue to see him evolve as a coach in the years to come.
As far as the other award winners go, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh won AFC Coach of the Year, while the Offensive Players of the Year went to Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson and Saints WR Michael Thomas in their respective conferences. The Defensive Players of the Year went to Chandler Jones from the Arizona Cardinals and Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots.