No person is under more pressure in Super Bowl LVIII than San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. He’s been the play-caller (either offensive coordinator or head coach) for two of the six-largest blown leads in Super Bowl history (more on that in a minute).
First, let me recognize that the high expectations and pressure come equally because of his coaching excellence as they do the blown playoff leads. He’s coaching in his second Super Bowl at age 44 and is one of the best offensive minds the NFL has ever seen. His teams average the most yards per play and yards per pass attempt of any head coach in NFL history (min. 100 games). Until Brock Purdy arrived, he managed to guide his teams to historic levels of offensive efficiency without a Pro Bowl QB.
He just helped Purdy set an NFL record for yards per pass attempt in a season (9.6) with at least 350 attempts. The record Purdy broke belonged to Matt Ryan from 2016 — when Shanahan was Ryan’s OC. Shanahan is an expert at creating deception, space and mismatches with his playmakers. You can see the impact of his style also paying dividends with two of his disciples in Miami (head coach Mike McDaniel) and Houston (offensive coordinator/play caller Bobby Slowik).
Shanahan’s ability to play chess with motion and a position-less group of superstar playmakers puts defenses in a blender. On any given play we could see RB Christian McCaffrey lined up at wide receiver, FB Kyle Juszczyk split out wide, WR Deebo Samuel at “wide back” and TE George Kittle in the slot, all with any combination of them in motion.
Shanahan’s greatness is clearly a big reason his teams are consistently competing for Super Bowls. It’s also a reason he faces a lot of scrutiny when his teams fall short of the ultimate prize. There’s been two primary narratives following Shanahan for years: He can’t come from behind to win a game in the fourth quarter. And he…
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Author : Douglas Clawson
Publish date : 2024-02-08 13:21:41
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