The 49ers are in Y2Raye, the second year under offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, and with it come certain expectations. With dangerous weapons in Frank Gore, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, an offensive line bolstered by two highly touted rookies, and finally some continuity in play-calling, the Niners have every reason to believe they will improve upon their No. 27 ranking in total offense from a year ago.
But pressure? No. Mike Shanahan can tell you about pressure.
Speaking to the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce in Leesburg, Va., last week, the new Washington Redskins head coach and executive VP passed along an interesting anecdote from his days in San Francisco.
“In my first meeting with the George Seifert, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, he told me that if the team didn’t have the No. 1 offense in the league, then I’d be fired,” Shanahan told a gathering of 400, according to the Loudoun Independent.
Shanahan had just been hired as offensive coordinator. Sure enough, his 49ers had the league’s top-ranked offense in 1992 and 1993. They were barely eclipsed by the Dolphins in 1994, but made up for the transgression by winning the Super Bowl that season.
So Shanahan wasn’t fired. Instead, he was hired to coach the Denver Broncos in 1995 and remained there through the 2008 season.