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Peeling back the curtain on Kyle Shanahan’s 2019 playoff thoughts

The Athletic Football Show: The Play Callers, hosted by Jourdan Rodrigue, highlighted plenty of Shanahan’s thoughts.

Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The curtain has been pulled back a bit on Kyle Shanahan’s insight, thought process, and game planning during The Athletic Football Show: The Play Callers, hosted by Jourdan Rodrigue, featuring Mike McDaniel, Sean McVay, Matt Lafleur, and Shanahan.

In episode four, Shanahan spoke about his feeling heading into and during the 49ers’ divisional matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, which the 49ers dominated:

“So, what am I going to do going into this game? I’m going to run it every f*****g play. Until I don’t have to, I want to watch how this goes. I call one pass, and we throw it to their linebacker, he drops it.”

“Then I watch Kirk go back out again, and I’m just watching him getting killed because they can’t block us. What they are trying to do, I know it’s just not going to work versus us. You know what, I’m just gonna keep on calling runs. And we run it 45 times in the game, and we don’t have one run over 12 yards, which is crazy, and we end up winning pretty easily.”

Kyle also spoke about the infamous eight-pass NFC Championship victory over the Green Bay Packers:

“What we have to do the next week? I think I called eight passes the next week. We won 37-3 or something, and you start to see that, and we have an offense that can go in any direction. It’s built to run, it’s built to make you stop the run, it’s built to have play actions, bootlegs off that. We have a third-down scheme for dropbacks.”

“And if I can build our defense to where I’m always in a spot using our run game, and people are scared of our run game? That’s the easiest way for me to get people open in the passing game.”

The roster-building philosophy has been clear for some time. Physicality rules in San Francisco, and it starts with Shanahan’s vision.