Few teams in the NFL, and certainly none in the playoffs, can point to a second-half surge like that of the 49ers. San Francisco went 7-2 in the second half of the season to sneak into the playoffs on the final week. While everything might be sunshine and rainbows now, it certainly wasn’t when the team was sitting at 3-5. On today’s Oh, Hey There! Podcast, Leo Luna and Javier Vega wondered if Kyle Shanahan deserves Coach of the Year votes.
“Kyle Shanahan deserves a ton of credit for this season. I will admit when I’m wrong. Was I wrong when I criticized the earlier this season? Probably. He’s turned this thing around. He should be in the conversation for Coach of the Year, considering all the injuries they had to deal with...Kyle Shanahan winning a road playoff game was huge.
Early on in the season, there were folks calling for this man’s job. There were folks saying you shouldn’t have extended him so early. But this is why you extend a guy like this - you trust that he’s going to get it right. He’s smart. He’s smarter than most coaches. I had Cowboys fans in front of me [at the game] like, ‘Man, if we had Kyle, we’d be a better team.’ Well, you don’t have Kyle, so thank God. This team doesn’t get where they are without Kyle.”
While the Coach of the Year award typically goes to the person whose team most exceeds the preseason expectations of the media, there is definitely a case for Shanahan to get some votes. As we have pointed out before, the 49ers have overcome a ton of injuries right out of the gate. They also play in the toughest division in football and had eight games this season against playoff teams. That’s 47% of their entire schedule against the top teams in the sport!
The chances of Shanahan actually taking home the award are slim to none, but he can go a long way towards restoring some of the shine to his name that had started to fade earlier this season. While his detractors will always take joy in pointing out that his regular-season record still sits below .500, a Super Bowl run this year would enable him to respond with a sparkling postseason record and two Super Bowl berths- if not more.
What say you? Who would get your vote for Coach of the Year? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below!
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