Kyle Shanahan is a Bad Football Coach

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Kyle Shanahan
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 11: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 speaks with head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Kyle Shanahan is a Bad Football Coach

“You are what your record says you are”. Legendary coach Bill Parcells famously coined this phrase. These phrases become so popular for a reason, usually because they speak a universal truth in such a relatable way.

Kyle Shanahan is not a good head coach. Apply the Parcells idiom, and through 71 games, Shanahan’s record is 33-38. That is a bad record, Shanahan is a bad head coach. Sure, he took the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl, Jeff Fisher and Ken Whisenhunt also took their teams to the Super Bowl as well. 2019 is the shining star on Shanahan’s resume. In three of his other four seasons as an NFL coach he lost 10 or more games. There can be a million excuses made, but outside of 2019, he has performed as a bottom-tier head coach.

“Brilliant” Offensive Mind

Shanahan’s biggest supporters will tell anyone who listens about how great an “offensive mind” he has. So great, he felt he didn’t need to scout Patrick Mahomes when the 49ers had Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback in 2017. So brilliant Shanahan is, he couldn’t muster more than seven points in week 4 when the 49ers defense opened the game vs. the Seattle Seahawks with five consecutive three-and-out’s to start the game. Great call on that toss-play flea-flicker though, the sixth-string running back sure executed well throwing it cross-field back to the quarterback. Brilliant.

Good coaches don’t require subtitles to explain their worth. Good coaches put their team in the best position to win, Shanahan does not.

Decisions, Decisions

The best coaches have their fingers on the pulse of the game. Perhaps the offensive genius is too busy focusing on his next wide receiver reverse. Often Shanahan seems lost in the bigger moments.

Throughout the last five seasons, Kyle Shanahan has failed the 49ers on numerous occasions due to his poor decision-making. Whether it be the failure to bleed the clock in week three vs. the Green Bay Packers or his cowardly fear of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes that prevented him from calling a timeout to preserve time for his offense in Super Bowl 54 before half-time, these mistakes happen time and time again. In week four, Shanahan decided to attempt a 41-yard field goal with a punter who has never made a field goal in his career in a one-score game. Brilliant.

Mismanagement

There is more to coaching than scheming up plays and making the right choice in difficult situations. Developing talent is an essential piece to building a successful franchise.

Add this area to the list of “Basic Coaching Skills Kyle Shanahan Struggles With”. Too often his connection to a player is more about a petty beef than a tight bond. Shanahan has become famous for an inescapable doghouse. A few Matt Breida fumbles caused Shanahan to sour on this explosive back. The 49ers sure could use Breida right about now. A rookie sensation in 2020, former first-round wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk finds himself slowly evolving into Shanahan’s new Dante Pettis. Let’s not forget how Shanahan spent the entire off-season telling the entire world he wanted anyone but Jimmy Garropolo to be his starting quarterback, and then proceeding to start him the first four games of 2021.

For a supposed players coach, Shanahan too frequently seems clueless on managing relationships with his players.

Find Someone Better!

If Kyle Shanahan turns in another meltdown season, the 49ers must part ways with this genius. Many pundits will claim that there is nobody out there better than Shanahan that would be able to come in and do a better job with this team. Simply untrue.

Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll

Imagine this, an offensive coordinator who has already displayed that he can develop a mobile quarterback into a top 5 player at his position. Quarterback Josh Allen was a major project when he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2018, Daboll has turned him into a legitimate MVP candidate.

Ask yourself, if you’re Trey Lancewould you rather have Shanahan or Daboll in your ear?

Doug Pederson

Currently unemployed, this coach may be controversial, but he won a Super Bowl outdueling Tom Brady and Bill Belichick with Nick Foles as his starting quarterback.

Pederson played a major role in developing fellow North Dakota State product Carson Wentz into an MVP caliber quarterback. Lance may just pair perfectly with Pederson.

Tampa Bay Bucs Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich

It’s easy to place all of Byron Leftwich‘s success on Brady. Despite having the GOAT as his quarterback, Leftwich was the man calling the plays in Tampa Bay.

Spending years under the learning tree of Bruce Arians, Leftwich has received a masterclass education in how to create an offense that pushes the ball down the field. Leftwich and Lance could lead quite an explosive offense.

Trey to Save the Day

A bad coach’s best friend is an incredibly talented quarterback that can improvise. If Lance takes the reigns this Sunday, he might be so special that he can cover up the poor decisions, player mismanagement, and “brilliant” offensive gameplan.

If Lance can’t make it all better, the 49ers should conclude that it’s time to throw away this nugget of fool’s gold.

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