We’ve all expected this for weeks now, but Kyle Shanahan is indeed the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
Kyle Shanahan officially has been named the 49ers head coach. All head coach and GM vacancies filled.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2017
It was a brief, tumultuous run in Atlanta for Shanahan, who was bandied about as a head coaching candidate through the first six weeks of 2015, universally reviled by the fanbase in the second half of the season, and then beloved after leading the Falcons to their best offensive season ever. It’s hard to overstate just how much Shanahan did in terms of helping to acquire talent and setting up the system that made that possible, and he appears to have lifted Matt Ryan out of the “good-but-not-great” limbo he had been stuck in for years before that.
Shanahan will get nailed with his fair share of the blame for this Super Bowl loss, but ultimately Shanahan did good work in Atlanta and leaves a solid foundation for the next offensive coordinator the Falcons hire. I’d wish him luck in San Francisco, but that’s an NFC team, soooo very limited luck it is.
Here’s Shanahan’s statement on being hired by one of the worst teams in football, and you can learn more by visiting Niners Nation:
“It is truly an honor to be named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, one of the marquee franchises in all of sports. I must thank Jed and the York family for entrusting me with this great privilege and tremendous opportunity. I would also like to express my gratitude to Arthur Blank, Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons organization for their support and the experience of a lifetime.
“As a young man, I had the unique benefit of being exposed to the storied history of the San Francisco 49ers firsthand. From that exposure, I developed great respect for those who created a world-class, championship standard. As this team begins the task of reestablishing that standard, I could not ask for a better partner than John Lynch. He is a man who certainly has personal knowledge of what championship organizations look like. John and I look forward to establishing a strong culture that will serve as our foundation for constructing this team.
“I am very excited to dedicate myself to the process that lies ahead. The first step in that process is identifying talented individuals who love the game of football as much as John and I do – coaches, players and staff. We are looking for individuals who work hard and are dedicated to doing things the right way, always in the best interest of the team. Most importantly, we want to give our fans a team they can be proud of on and off the field.”
This leaves the Falcons with a vacancy, and we’ll go over the likely candidates in the days ahead. This is interesting, though:
Matt Ryan tells @680thefrontrow a number of internal coaches capable of directing offense if Shanahan leaves but not getting into that now.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) January 3, 2017
Chip Kelly will be the hot rumor here and would probably be my preferred hire given what’s available, but don’t sleep on Matt LaFleur, Raheem Morris, or Bobby Turner, all of whom would have a shot at the job if the Falcons wanted to keep an internal candidate and were intent on continuity. Expect us to learn who the new guy will be within a couple of weeks.
Anyways, so long, Shanny, and thanks for all the offense.