Jan. 19, 2017
News broke today that Josh McDaniels is no longer interested in the San Francisco 49ers coaching vacancy, and my reaction is.. GOOD! He was one of the lead candidates for the 49ers and the media and a lot of fans had pretty much given him the job. But was he really the right guy for the 49ers or for any head coaching position?
We all know McDaniels failed his first head coaching gig in Denver and we somehow expect that to change because he coaches under Belichick. Before he got the job in Denver he also worked under Belichick where he did run some successful offenses during those years, but then he couldn't transfer that to the Broncos. Then he took a job as the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator, where they were in the bottom half in offense and Sam Bradford continued to be a bust. After that he went back to New England where he's become a respected coordinator again. So Josh McDaniels is only good when he has Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. How would that change in San Francisco with no quarterback?
The best candidate the 49ers have is the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and they need to throw him half of Santa Clara along with the head coaching job. He has lead the NFL's most powerful offense in 2016, who average 7 yards every first down and is one game away from the Super Bowl. Prior to this year Shanahan has been successful in almost every spot and is a better candidate than McDaniels.
First of all, he is a Shanahan. Mike Shanahan (his dad) is a 49er legend who helped them win Super Bowl 24 with a high powered offense. Mike also won two more Super Bowls with the Broncos. Kyle has grown up with a championship father and championship atmosphere to learn from. Also, from his time in Atlanta, he has learned how to out master Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. Coaching against the 49ers biggest rival and learning how to beat them is just another reason for Kyle to be the 49ers coach.
Kyle's first real offensive coordinator job was in Houston under Gary Kubiak. His first two years in Houston, the Texans weren't in the top of the league in offense but had Matt Shaub improve from a 15 touchdown season to a 29 touchdown season. Regardless of them being a subpar offense, Kyle still put them in situations to win and they won 15 in the two years.
From there Kyle joined his father in Washington as the offensive coordinator. We all know how RG3 ended up panning out but in his first year with the Redskins, Shanahan was able to make him the first round pick he was. Washington from 2010-2013 ranked in the top 5 in total offense and yards per game. The genius about Kyle and mike is their personnel decisions. RG3 was a decision from the owner and neither Shanahan wanted him, but they knew their quarterbacks well enough that they picked up Kirk Cousins in the 4th round. We have all seen who's turned out to be the better quarterback in the league.
Once Mike was fired from Washington, Kyle went onto Cleveland. It is hard to succeed in Cleveland but while Kyle was the offensive coordinator, the Browns enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in a while going 7-9. That and Shanahan told the owner he would rather quit than have Johnny Manziel be the quarterback. Shanahan isn't afraid to tell take the best quarterback regardless of position or status. He's been able to look past first round picks, Manziel and Griffin, and work with the better quarterbacks.
Shanahan has paid his dues being a offensive coordinator for 9 years and being an offensive specialist since 2003. He even mentored the now Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay, who only spent 2 years as a coordinator following what Kyle had already built in Washington. Shanahan knows personnel, knows how to scheme in the NFL and can mold his own quarterback.