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The Shanaplan: Why Kyle Shanahan faces the biggest challenge of his career this season

Putting everything the 49ers have gone through and what we can expect for the rest of the season, Shanahan has plenty of obstacles to overcome this year.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

During today’s episode of The Shanaplan, Akash and I recapped the injuries and how it would affect the Niners moving forward, the history of Jimmy Garoppolo’s first games, the five plays we talked about earlier Wednesday morning, and much more.

When you’re looking at the big picture of this season, Kyle Shanahan faces the biggest challenge of his career yet:

“It’s his biggest challenge because of everything that’s happened up until this point. Look at his coaching staff. He lost Mike McDaniel, who has been his right hand man for 10 years. Imagine just working for someone for 10 years, in any walk of life, and they just up and switch jobs. That’s really hard.

You have a working relationship with that person. You trust that person. McDaniel handled the run game Monday through Thursday. Shanahan trusted whatever wrinkles he would implement would work. Now, you have a bunch of new guys who haven’t been in those roles working with Shanahan.

All of a sudden you’re 1-2. You worked all offseason to develop an offense around Trey Lance and using his legs. Now, a game and a half in you’re back to Jimmy Garoppolo. I’m sure the business relationship is fine, but there has to be some animosity there. So Shanahan is managing that on top of the fact that there is this outside pressure that the defense is good but the offense is struggling.

Last year, they were 2-4, but they stuck with the plan. They were always going to ride it out with Garoppolo. They had the same guys who had been there previously. This year, the situation isn’t the same. And that’s why I feel like it’s Shanahan’s biggest challenge yet. Will. Shanahan be able to withstand this?

You have to make the playoffs. You have to be better than these last three games. I think they’ll figure it out, but the challenge is bigger than what we think on the outside.”

We also discuss the value of hiring Brian Griese and what he’s bringing to the table, especially now that the 49ers are back to a veteran quarterback. It’s still early, but we’re waiting to see the tangible impact Griese has on this team.

As Shanahan said, it comes back to coaching when the players make mistakes. As Bill Belichick famously said, “you’re either coaching it or you’re allowing it.”