The Kyle Shanahan Era is getting underway and preparation for the upcoming season has begun.There is a new exciting buzz around the 49ers this year, and a lot of that has to do with new head coach. Most 49ers fans have already bought into Shanahan and if you haven’t bought in yet, you need to.
As offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan has had a top ten team in total yards in six of his nine seasons. Everywhere he goes he has had offensive success. At one point he had the Browns at a 6-4 record with a red hot offense. He had Brian Hoyer looking like a solid NFL quarterback. Josh Gordon was staying on the field and producing like a real number one wide receiver. Shanahan’s offense in Atlanta, during the 2016 season, was second in total yards and first in total points which played a big part in their Super Bowl run.
If past accolades don’t do it for you, just listen to the players rave about Kyle. Left tackle Joe Staley has been one of Shanahan’s biggest supporters from day one. As minicamp was ending, Staley complimented Shanahan by calling him “the smartest coach I’ve been around.” On Thursday, as the players reported to training camp, Staley continued the praise of his head coach. When referring to the challenge of learning Kyle’s complicated offensive playbook, “You know it’s a challenge we are all gladly accepting, because of his track record and his overall knowledge of the game.” However, Staley hasn’t been the only 49ers veteran to praise the new head coach.
Navorro Bowman also talked to the media on Thursday about Kyle Shanahan. “I’ve been excited, you know since he’s gotten here to go against [Shanahan’s offense]. To see the flaws in our defense, so we can expect what other teams might do to us. It’s a benefit to us” said Bowman. Staley and Bowman also both commented how the vibe in the building is different compared to the last three head coaching changes.
During the free agency period, Shanahan brought in players that were familiar with his system, both to help teach it and due to the fact that they would have a head start on the other players whilst it was implemented, reducing the length of a transition period. New 49ers QB Brian Hoyer played under Shanahan with the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and raved how Shanahan’s playbook has evolved a lot since their time together. “I think that’s been really cool is to see how this offense has evolved,” Hoyer said on Thursday, “The best thing about Kyle is how he explains you know how he sees things. How he’s trying to attack a defense.” Under Shanahan, Hoyer had a 138.9 passer rating through the first six games out of play-action and lead the NFL in that category.
Another free agent that Shanahan made a point in signing was wide receiver Pierre Garcon. Garcon played for Shanahna in Washington for two seasons.In an interview back in March, Garcon was asked why he chose the 49ers. “Kyle Shanahan,” the veteran receiver said. “That’s it. Kyle Shanahan was the sales pitch. Kyle played receiver, and so he knows how to get receivers the ball. That’s definitely what made it work for me in this offense. I’m just happy that he’s running the show.” Under Shanahan, Garcon had a career year, with a career best 113 receptions and tallied 1,346 yards, while also finding the end zone 5 times that year.
Finally, it seems the 49ers are in great hands with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Lynch did a great job getting the pieces his head coach needed. Shanahan has the capability of jump starting this rebuild. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive mastermind – just listen to the players. I say the hype is real.