ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes was joined by The Ringer’s Kevin Clark on her podcast, The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny, last week, and the two experts each ranked the top-10 head coaches in the NFL. Clark ranked San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan sixth, behind Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, and Sean McVay. Kimes, on the other hand, ranked Shanahan second, only behind Reid.
Shanahan, of course, was hired by the 49ers heading into the 2017 NFL season. A franchise in disarray after a series of bad front office/head coach hiring decisions by CEO Jed York, Shanahan has helped turn the Niners around. While the 49ers have undeniably had their struggles during his tenure, they have also reached the NFC Championship game three times in the past four years, including an NFC Championship in 2019.
“The guy, I think, is the best offensive play-caller in the NFL. He builds machines that are largely quarterback-proof in a way that is just remarkable,” Kimes said about Shanahan. “He has tortured every defense since coming to the NFC West. As a play-caller, the amount of value he brings is so exceptional... After Reid, if I was just picking a guy to win one game, I would pick him.”
While Clark was obviously high on Shanahan, he pointed to Shanahan’s 52-46 win-loss record and lack of Super Bowl title as the main reason he was unable to crack his top-five.
Kimes pushed back on ranking Shanahan over McVay, acknowledging that Clark likely put more emphasis on a coach’s resume than she did. To her, Shanahan is in a league above McVay.
“I would take Kyle Shanahan if I was building a team from scratch over all but like eight quarterbacks in the NFL,” Kimes said. “Which is an absolutely deranged thing to say about a coach, and I don’t feel that way about any of the other coaches on this list [other than Reid].”
You can watch Kimes’ full conversation with Clark below. Where do you think Shanahan ranks among NFL head coaches? How many other coaches would you pick over him? Let us know in the comments.