Kyle Shanahan’s influence is all over the NFL

Ralph Vacchiano

NFC East Reporter

LAS VEGAS — The final season of Mike Shanahan’s stellar coaching career was mostly a forgettable one. His Washington squad was a dismal 3-13. As soon as that 2013 season was over, he was fired.

The legacy of that season, though, became something remarkable because of the seeds that were planted on his coaching staff. It included five future head coaches — his son, Kyle, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, Mike McDaniel and Raheem Morris — and another (Bobby Slowik) who should be one soon. That’s often the mark of a great head coach — how strong their coaching tree becomes.

And Kyle Shanahan’s tree is already on its way.

So far, his staffs in San Francisco have produced three head coaches — McDaniel in Miami, DeMeco Ryans in Houston, and Robert Saleh with the Jets. Slowik, a branch of both Shanahans’ trees, will surely be another one. Steve Wilks, the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator this season, had two interviews for head coaching jobs in the last month, as well.

But while those branches are growing, they are still missing the one thing that really gives a tree its strength. None of them — including Kyle Shanahan — have won a Super Bowl championship.

If Shanahan’s 49ers can do it on Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs, the branches of his tree may end up reaching all over the NFL.

“A Super Bowl, especially if you win, can change the perception of everyone,” said one prominent NFL coaching agent. “Teams follow trends, and they want to steal what works. Sometimes they just need to be reminded of what’s actually working.”

That somewhat explains why Shanahan’s assistants weren’t all over the coaching carousel this offseason, even though the 49ers went 13-3 and reached their third straight NFC Championship Game. The 54-year-old Wilks, who had a disastrous, one-year stint as the Arizona Cardinals head coach in 2018, was the only one to get head coaching…


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Publish date : 2024-02-05 19:24:42

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