As we all continue to get to know Kyle Shanahan, we scoured the Internet for some of the best features ever written about the San Francisco 49ers new head coach. It wasn’t difficult to drum up a list of five exceptional pieces about the coach who has spent more than a decade building his NFL resume.
The common thread between each story is Shanahan’s brilliant offensive mind and relentless dedication towards his craft. Below are the must-read features from Shanahan’s rise up the NFL coaching ranks.
1. Kyle Shanahan and the Evolution of a Young Coach | MMQB
by Albert Breer, published Oct. 6, 2016
Shanahan’s gameplan that succeeded in Houston with Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter couldn’t be replicated verbatim with his new crop of skill players.
“I learned you have to find different ways to succeed,” Shanahan told Breer.
That adaptive mindset has helped him engineer a top-ten offense in six of his nine seasons as an OC in the NFL.
2. The Falcons Offense Needs a Nickname | The Ringer
by Danny Kelly, published Jan 10., 2017
The Falcons offense became even more deserving of a nickname after putting up 36 points against the Seattle Seahawks acclaimed “Legion of Boom” in the divisional round of the playoffs. The following week, Shanahan’s crew posted a 493-yard encore in a 44-21 rout of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
“It took the cunning of an excellent play-caller, Kyle Shanahan, to bring it all together and construct what looks like an unstoppable force,” Kelly wrote in regards to Atlanta’s offense.
Shanahan’s ability to utilize the entire field and incorporate each of his skill players is what has made Atlanta’s group one of the most productive in NFL history.
3. Mike Shanahan’s Descendant Ascends | Denver Post
by Anthony Cotton, published Dec. 11, 2007
Cotton revealed the gamesmanship that existed in the relationship between the father and son while spelling out why Kyle was already a head coach in the making.
“I know I’m catching him in some great years as a coach because he’s going to move up the ladder awful quick,” Kubiak said at the time.
4. Well-designed Falcons Offense Took the Panthers Apart | The Undefeated
by Dominique Foxworth, published Oct. 4, 2016
What Shanahan did so well in 2016, Foxworth wrote, was change up his gameplan on a week-to-week basis. If a team focused on stopping Julio Jones, Shanahan would exploit its run defense instead, which lead to monster games for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. In turn, Jones exploded for huge numbers when defenses would prioritize stopping the run.
5. Kyle Shanahan Learns the Ropes | Denver Post
by Bill Williamson, published Dec. 14, 2006
“I studied every potential X’s and O’s play and issue possible,” Shanahan said during his season as Houston’s wide receivers coach. “I spent my whole life working on that. My goal was that any question a player could have about anything on the field, I’d be able to answer it.”
The story went on to explain how Shanahan learned how to connect with his players and bridge the gap between studying in the film room and coaching on the field.