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To land Kyle Shanahan, 49ers must be willing to give


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Nick WagonerESPN Staff Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The process of elimination has left the San Francisco 49ers with just two of their original candidates for their open head-coaching position still available.

After New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took his name out of consideration Monday afternoon, the Niners were left with a candidate pool that includes only Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seattle assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable. All of the others the 49ers have interviewed or expressed interest in interviewing have already accepted other jobs.

And now the focus has turned to Shanahan. Whether that happened because the Niners lost out on McDaniels or because they truly prefer Shanahan as their top candidate doesn't really matter at this point. What does matter is that the 49ers find a way to land Shanahan. If they don't, the only other options are Cable -- a choice that would go over among 49ers faithful about as well as if the team were to rehire Jim Tomsula -- or another reboot of an already arduous search.

In other words, Shanahan holds pretty much all the cards here. Of the six teams with coaching openings when this process started, the Niners proved to be the only one willing to wait for a coach on a team that has advanced deep into postseason play. It's a patient approach that could theoretically pay off, but only if they are willing to take the steps necessary to, you know, actually land one of those coaches.

To be sure, there's nothing wrong with the approach, and it's actually a good idea to be patient and land the right person for the job. But the Niners also aren't exactly selling the most appealing job, at least not for a head coach. While a general manager could look at what the Niners have to offer as a clean slate and a chance to build an iconic franchise in his vision, the coach might be more inclined to see a position with no stability and a barren roster that needs major upgrades at pretty much every important position.

As you'd expect, McDaniels said all the right things publicly about how he appreciated the Niners for considering him.

“I was really impressed with Jed York and Paraag [Marathe] and Brian [Hampton] and people that came for the 49ers organization,” McDaniels told New England media. “They did a great job with their presentation. Again, humbled to be included in that process. At this time, it’s just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year’s playoffs and finish out the year, however it turns out.”

But it's also reasonable to conclude that McDaniels had at least some reservations about the 49ers job given his past interest in becoming a head coach again.

Which leads us back to Shanahan. It was already pretty much a given that York and the Niners would have to concede a lucrative, long-term contract to whoever they hire as head coach. No strong candidate would walk into this situation after the events of the past few years without plenty of built-in security. Likewise, there are some concessions the Niners might have to make in terms of personnel control, or at least in terms of making sure Shanahan has a general manager he feels comfortable with.

Although the Niners are the only team with a general manager opening and have their pick of the nine candidates they've interviewed so far, they also have put an emphasis on finding one who can pair well with a new coach. Green Bay's Brian Gutekunst and Arizona's Terry McDonough are among the candidates who have been linked to Shanahan.

The Niners can't officially hire Shanahan until after the Falcons' season is complete, something that could happen as soon as Sunday when Atlanta hosts Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. If Atlanta wins, the Niners can at least have a second interview with Shanahan during the bye week between the NFC championship and the Super Bowl.

In the meantime, the Niners could at least begin working toward striking a deal with Shanahan. Nothing could be officially announced, but the Niners could line up a deal and allow Shanahan to start working behind the scenes to assemble a staff. While that could be considered a distraction for Shanahan in the runup to a possible Super Bowl appearance, if anyone would understand, it would be Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, who did something similar a couple years ago when he was with Seattle and Atlanta was set to hire him.

Undoubtedly, Shanahan already has a good job. His Falcons are in the final four and boast the league's most dynamic offense with MVP candidate Matt Ryan at the controls. Shanahan has been in the mix for head-coaching jobs in the past, and there doesn't seem to be much doubt that he wants to take the next step in his coaching career.

"It's definitely not something that I have to do," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure prior to the interviews. "I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So by no means is it something that has to get done.

"But [being a head coach is] a goal of most people in our profession, and I'd be surprised if most people didn't tell you they were ready."

The question now is whether the Niners are willing to do what it takes to ensure Shanahan realizes that goal in San Francisco.

http://www.espn.com/blog/san-francisco-49ers/post/_/id/22889/to-land-kyle-shanahan-49ers-must-be-willing-to-give

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I'm sure Quinn told him that you either need a quarterback, or a developed defense if you want to hit the ground running as a coach. The niners have neither.

While it is true he could easily bring in his acolyte Kirk Cousins, Captain Kirk has some limitations as a passer, and he would be married to him for likely his entire niners coaching tenure.

I don't see the framework for a coach to find success within a 3 year span in San Francisco.

 

Edited by FalconAge
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2 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I'm sure Kyle is ready to give it a go with his own team but if I were him, I'd leverage this opportunity against the Falcons to get a bit of a bump and just stay here until a good situation opened up. 

SF's organization just isnt what it needs to be at the moment. 

Yeah, let Cable suffer through the worst of the re-build, come in in 2-3 years when there's more of a structure in place.

And the bold is Fuego's emphasis, but I think this needs to be highlighted as well:

"It's definitely not something that I have to do," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure prior to the interviews. "I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So by no means is it something that has to get done "

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5 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I'm sure Kyle is ready to give it a go with his own team but if I were him, I'd leverage this opportunity against the Falcons to get a bit of a bump and just stay here until a good situation opened up. 

SF's organization just isnt what it needs to be at the moment. 

Neither was the Cubs organization when Theo took over, or Boston for that matter.  If you don't these these guys have the confidence to turn around a franchise based on what they implement and their process, then I just don't know what else to say.

I mean, yeah San Fran is NOT in a good spot by any means, but they aren't Cleveland either and "NFL Head Coach" is what he has been working toward his whole life.

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3 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Yeah, let Cable suffer through the worst of the re-build, come in in 2-3 years when there's more of a structure in place.

And the bold is Fuego's emphasis, but I think this needs to be highlighted as well:

"It's definitely not something that I have to do," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure prior to the interviews. "I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So by no means is it something that has to get done "

I  bolded the next statement though because he qualifies what you posted:

"But [being a head coach is] a goal of most people in our profession, and I'd be surprised if most people didn't tell you they were ready."

So it's somewhat like he's saying it's not something that has to get done, BUT...I'm ready. 

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1 minute ago, athell said:

Neither was the Cubs organization when Theo took over, or Boston for that matter.  If you don't these these guys have the confidence to turn around a franchise based on what they implement and their process, then I just don't know what else to say.

I mean, yeah San Fran is NOT in a good spot by any means, but they aren't Cleveland either and "NFL Head Coach" is what he has been working toward his whole life.

"It's definitely not something that I have to do," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure prior to the interviews. "I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So by no means is it something that has to get done "

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1 minute ago, falconidae said:

"It's definitely not something that I have to do," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure prior to the interviews. "I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So by no means is it something that has to get done "

Do you actually expect him to come out and say "Of course as soon as this season is over, I'm bolting for San Francisco as quickly as I can!"  Come on now.  And you nitpicked what he said to support your POV.

Edited by athell
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Just now, fuego said:

I also bolded the next statement though because he qualifies what you posted:

"But [being a head coach is] a goal of most people in our profession, and I'd be surprised if most people didn't tell you they were ready."

So it's somewhat like he's saying it's not something that has to get done, BUT...I'm ready. 

You'll note that he didn't say HE was ready.

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6 minutes ago, athell said:

Neither was the Cubs organization when Theo took over, or Boston for that matter.  If you don't these these guys have the confidence to turn around a franchise based on what they implement and their process, then I just don't know what else to say.

I mean, yeah San Fran is NOT in a good spot by any means, but they aren't Cleveland either and "NFL Head Coach" is what he has been working toward his whole life.

I'd rather go to Cleveland right now than SF. 

The Cubs had a very clear, proven plan. Can't say the same for SF right now. 

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Just now, athell said:

Do you actually expect him to come out and say "Of course as soon as this season is over, I'm bolting for San Francisco as quickly as I can!"  Come on now.

Focus on what you want. I keep telling people it's just not the slam dunk that he's leaving that people think. He may get an offer he can't refuse, he may decide that the one job left is such a mess that he doesn't want it. He may decide that winning a super bowl this year is worth not taking the job interview

There is nothing in this article that tells you either way.

3 minutes ago, athell said:

OMG you are a dense one lol

.

Having an opinion different from yours doesn't make me dense. And, he did NOT SAY he was ready.

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Just now, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I'd rather go to Cleveland right now than SF. 

The Cubs had a very clear, proven plan. Can't say the same for SF right now. 

I wouldn't.

The Cubs had no very clear, proven plan before Theo arrived.  They were a mess.  Theo implemented the plan, and it worked.  San Francisco needs a plan, whose to say Kyle doesn't have that plan?

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Just now, athell said:

I wouldn't.

The Cubs had no very clear, proven plan before Theo arrived.  They were a mess.  Theo implemented the plan, and it worked.  San Francisco needs a plan, whose to say Kyle doesn't have that plan?

But that's the whole point.....Theo was the plan, the rest of the pieces fell into place. They built the structure, brought Maddon in and finished the gig. 

It's not like SF is looking at hiring a Theo-esque figure. They're simultaneously looking for the FO structure AND a HC AND a QB. 

 

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Music to my hears:

"It's definitely not something that I have to do," Shanahan told ESPN's Vaughn McClure prior to the interviews. "I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So by no means is it something that has to get done.

 

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9 minutes ago, athell said:

Neither was the Cubs organization when Theo took over, or Boston for that matter.  If you don't these these guys have the confidence to turn around a franchise based on what they implement and their process, then I just don't know what else to say.

I mean, yeah San Fran is NOT in a good spot by any means, but they aren't Cleveland either and "NFL Head Coach" is what he has been working toward his whole life.

But if you read between the lines he always talks about the SITUATION. Meaning he wants to go a place where there is good pieces there. Mainly a qb. Now I did think Kap was the best qb of all the jobs that were open besides Tyrod Taylor but that's why you just don't jump at a HC opportunity. And with the cubs and Boston they had pieces in place. Like if say the Indy job was open. That's the kind of situation Kyle is looking for. A cerebral qb like Matt that can really grasp and run his system. Not sure if Kap can learn a 3rd offense and do that when he's never been in a wco. He plays more of a college type game. 

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4 minutes ago, fuego said:

 

To land Kyle Shanahan, 49ers must be willing to give

 

 

400 Mil 5 year deal compete control over personnel an all football operations, a new house in the bay area a second vacation house in a location to be named later and York must chop down the mightiness tree in the forest with a .... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...herring.

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Just now, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

But that's the whole point.....Theo was the plan, the rest of the pieces fell into place. They built the structure, brought Maddon in and finished the gig. 

It's not like SF is looking at hiring a Theo-esque figure. They're simultaneously looking for the FO structure AND a HC AND a QB. 

 

The pieces didn't just fall into place.  He placed the pieces.  Which is probably exactly what Kyle will do with his staff, free agency, the draft etc. just like Dan Quinn did here.

It may be a poor comparison, Theo is a GM and Shanny is a coach, but you get my point.  A storied, historic, garbage franchise was turned around due to the vision of a man.  Who's to say Kyle could not be that man for SF?  Look at what DQ has done for this franchise.

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10 minutes ago, athell said:

Do you actually expect him to come out and say "Of course as soon as this season is over, I'm bolting for San Francisco as quickly as I can!"  Come on now.  And you nitpicked what he said to support your POV.

Again, read between the lines. Key word is "situation". He loves the situation here. Why?? He has a qb that can run his system. The "situation" in SF may not be so and I'm sure he doesn't want his 1st HC gig to be a failure because he went into a "situation" where a vet qb wasn't in place that can learn his system as fast as Matt did. Takes vets 3 years to master the wco. 

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2 minutes ago, TheFatboi said:

But if you read between the lines he always talks about the SITUATION. Meaning he wants to go a place where there is good pieces there. Mainly a qb. Now I did think Kap was the best qb of all the jobs that were open besides Tyrod Taylor but that's why you just don't jump at a HC opportunity. And with the cubs and Boston they had pieces in place. Like if say the Indy job was open. That's the kind of situation Kyle is looking for. A cerebral qb like Matt that can really grasp and run his system. Not sure if Kap can learn a 3rd offense and do that when he's never been in a wco. He plays more of a college type game. 

You could be right.  However, the Cubs did not have the pieces in place and I don't know enough about Boston's roster prior to Theo to speak to it.  That team (Cubs) was gutted and rebuilt.  They were loaded with bad contracts and bad baseball players.  There were some rough years for Cubs fans, but "trust in the process" was the rebuttal and it worked.

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1 minute ago, TheFatboi said:

Again, read between the lines. Key word is "situation". He loves the situation here. Why?? He has a qb that can run his system. The "situation" in SF may not be so and I'm sure he doesn't want his 1st HC gig to be a failure because he went into a "situation" where a vet qb wasn't in place that can learn his system as fast as Matt did. Takes vets 3 years to master the wco. 

You may be right.  We don't know.  He may not mind the situation in SF.  We don't know that either.  We are all reading between the lines at this point and don't actually know anything other than apparently San Fran is waiting on our OC.

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1 minute ago, athell said:

The pieces didn't just fall into place.  He placed the pieces.  Which is probably exactly what Kyle will do with his staff, free agency, the draft etc. just like Dan Quinn did here.

It may be a poor comparison, Theo is a GM and Shanny is a coach, but you get my point.  A storied, historic, garbage franchise was turned around due to the vision of a man.  Who's to say Kyle could not be that man for SF?  Look at what DQ has done for this franchise.

The difference is Dan Quinn had a franchise qb already in place. Agin, situation. Kyles dad failed in Oakland. Why?? Didn't have a good situation. No qb. Took over in Denver and Super Bowl. Why?? Had a franchise qb in place. The situation was better. 

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