Kyle Shanahan is all but out the door after the Super Bowl, heading to the San Francisco 49ers on a six year deal to be their head coach. While we’re not going to dwell heavily on it until next week, he’s likely to take at least a handful of pieces from this offensive coaching staff with him, too.
Please note that this is not Matt LaFleur, the team’s current quarterbacks coach and a longtime Kyle Shanahan favorite. That LaFleur could certainly be heading to San Francisco, too, but he could also be in line for a promotion to offensive coordinator in Atlanta, and may elect to stick around if that’s the case. Other internal candidates who haven’t been linked to the 49ers (yet) are Raheem Morris and running backs coach Bobby Turner, and the team reportedly has Chip Kelly on its list, as well.
Mike LaFleur is Matt’s brother and a longtime Shanahan assistant, as is Mike McDaniel, a super smart Yale guy who was bandied about as a possible offensive coordinator candidate in Atlanta. He could step into that role with the 49ers if he heads over.
If these guys aren’t in line for promotions, though, the Falcons could elect to block them, though in principle teams do this pretty rarely. The likeliest outcome is that Shanahan takes a handful of prized assistants with him, and the Falcons maintain some sort of continuity regardless of who actually takes the offensive coordinator job. I’d particularly like to see Matt LaFleur and Turner stay, so cross your fingers.
In good news, Shanahan won’t be poaching Morris, probably because the coach has such tight ties to Dan Quinn, is already the assistant head coach, and could be in line for a larger role on the offensive side of the ball soon.