Mike Shanahan is always at 49ers practices — good thing or not?

The head coach’s father stands below the goal posts in the end zone and watches the 49ers practice from a distance.

There he is almost every day when the 49ers run drills. He wears a blue polo shirt, khaki shorts and black sandals. He doesn’t talk to anyone or take notes. He stands by himself, stoic, arms folded across his chest as he studies the players and the assistant coaches and his son.

Is his presence good or bad?

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This article has 201 Comments

  1. Grant – extra eyes are always good, to include the astute observation on your part. All parties need to be professional and keep in mind the final result is to win. Extra eyes are a good thing and like you say could be special.

  2. In many cases, too much input can cloud issues and lead to indecision. In this case, it sounds like Mike is being used in a wise way, big picture observer, likely relaying his observations/opinions to just Kyle or maybe Kyle and senior coaches only – maybe senior personnel guys as well? He is not engaging in practice with coaches or players. That sounds like a wise use of his experience. So whether or not Mike Shannahan is involved should be totally up to Kyle Shanahan, UNLESS the GM sees that his influence is hampering good decision making.

  3. It’s good Grant, provided Mike contributes opinion on players only and doesn’t venture into actual coaching strategy, etc. Another set of eyes is always good, especially someone with his experience and knowledge, and he could provide valuable insight concerning the players. John and Mike have assembled a good staff and should let them do their work. There’s an old saying, “Too many chefs spoil the soup”.

  4. So, the real question is does Lowell stand in your office in shorts and sandals observing you write? – strange but funny image.

    Mike was a great head coach and can help with the transition. If Kyle hadn’t been as established in the league I could see it being looked at as a crutch that might be overused, but at this point Kyle’s his own coach enough to where I think a Mike’s opinion can help and not go to far.

      1. Lowell good to have an appearance from, even if you are retired I hope you write a “special edition article” or something similar four times a year, just to also enjoy your knowledge. Miss your articles but I am enjoying Grants contributions!

              1. As speculated in the past, this blog is being run through Stanford as a long-term experiment in human behavior. There is a real Grant, but for the purposes of this experiment, ‘Grant’ is really a small team of post doc researchers.

              2. Oh my.


                But online field experiments allow researchers to gain an enhanced look at certain human behaviors that cannot be replicated in a laboratory environment, the researchers said.

                For example, theories about how and why people trust each other can be better examined in the online environments, the researchers said, because the context of different complex social relationships is recorded. In laboratory experiments, researchers can only isolate the type of trust that occurs between strangers, which is called “thin” trust.

              3. So, there is some truth to the story. Perhaps ‘Grant’ is a Stepford Grant…

              4. When ever I come to your page Grant there is always some hilarity added in with way to much rage, but so damned entertaining! By the way it’s Mike Shanahan we’re talking about! I’m delighted he’s watching, and hopefully adding his valuable perspective! Super Bowl here we come!!!

  5. Shanahan seniors presence ads credibility to Kyle’s message to the players and other coaches.

  6. It could be very good. Having an ex HC quietly observe, never interrupting practice only counseling in private. As long as dad can keep his ego in check it should work, but…….family dynamics are very complicated. Grant now that your pops is retired would you really want him literally standing behind you watching and commenting on every single post or article you write as you write it. I’m sure you respect his opinion but every minute of your working day…..I love and respect my father very much but I never could have worked with him on a daily basis.

  7. Grant loved this article. This is a good counter point to your credits, me being on of them who feel you are always negative to the team slant negative to get a rise out of the fan base. Nothing like experience and Mike appears to be involved with out undermining his son. Thank you Grant and I enjoy this forum where we do not always have to agree. I appreciate your articles and being at all the practices you are allowed to be!

    1. Another new discussion…

      Are we seeing 2017’s version of 1979? Is Hoyer Shanahan’s De Berg?
      New offensive system, head coach as OC – WCO style…
      New D system & DC…how will the young D backfield do?
      Any other similarities you can think of?


      1. De berg was not brought in, he was inherited from the past regime. 2&14 gave Montana time to grow into the position as Walsh saw it. Actually we should be thanking Sid Gilman as Walsh was his disciple. Its a growing philosophy as it moves from one person to the next. I am sure that Kyle has added nuances to the offense that Mike ran in SF and Denver. Just how sophisticate an offense can become is still unknown.

  8. This is eerily reminiscent of Matt Maiocco’s piece 3 weeks ago. The topic was better written there with nothing new added here.
    Does CSN Bay Area approve of this pirated article?

      1. Wow, very similar articles, right down to the “…1000 miles an hour” quote. Of course, Grant included the possibility of Mike Shanahan’s presence scuttling KS’s ability to lead, so there is that small difference.

    1. Matt Maiocco is almost always optimistic when writing about the 49ers. Grant gets heat here for “always” taking a negative view. So Matt and Grant write something positive about our coaches father-son relationship as it applies to the 49ers, and Grant takes crap. Matt left out the potential for trouble, and Grant included it.

      Using the same quote from one of the subjects is in no way something to be criticized. Both writers brought their own take to the same subject and I enjoyed both of them.

      1. HT,

        Fair points you make, yet accept your truth I do not, for the articles bylines separated by a week, they were. Hmmm.

        Unless, Grant’s article hidden for a week by dark forces it was, then will I say, “My bad”.

        It was a different take on the same subject a week after the first article. It had a “building on the work of others, without attribution” feel to me.

    2. I think MM’s was cute and pretty standard for him, but Grant explores more scenarios and gives caveats. Both were pretty insightful, yet, aside from the 1000 comment, pretty dissimilar, even with reaching the same conclusion.
      Mike Shanahan will be a good resource for his son.

    3. I don’t think Maiocco would approve of anything that Grant scribbles down on his restaurant napkins. It is nice to come here though and get my daily dose of how not to write.

  9. First, if the boss has no problem with it neither do I. On a personal level, the father-son-mentor dynamic is not unique to business. Often this type of relationship has many beneficial aspects. I enjoy the direction the 49ers have taken and support their progress.

  10. Mike’s presence can be a tremendous asset to the teams ability to evaluate a number of factors including player development, schemes, coaching effectiveness and adherence to standards of performance. None of this will work, as has been mentioned, unless Mike and Kyle have established their roles and respect the boundaries.

    Personally, as a long time fan, I see the presence of the TWO Shanahan’s as more evidence of what a great hire Kyle Shanahan was. Hopefully, I am not seeing the situation through a fog with rose-colored glasses.

    BTW, I have really enjoyed this site and your blog in particular, Grant.

  11. Remember when, after Tomsula was fired, Baalke went Colorado to, ostensibly, recruit Mike? Two years later, we have Kyle with Mike in the background somewhere. Interesting set of events. I’m not suggesting this was set up two seasons ago, just saying it’s one of the funny things about life we see from time to time.

    1. Nice article…I think that all of us have been hopefully watching our D come together….I think it’s finally happening

      1. We haVe to wait till they actually play the games. Lots of things can happen….

  12. This is what we call a twofer. At the local grocer, they sometimes will run an ad with a buy one get one free sale. The 49ers were very fortunate to have been able to land, not only the most promising young offensive mind in the NFL, but one that had a strong connection to the 49ers glory years. I felt that was very important, given the years without an identity. While I agree that Big Shanny should stay aloof, looming menacingly on the horizon, players want to play for Shanny, because they believe they can be successful in his system. I see very little chance that a dynamic develops between coach, consigliere, and players that’s to the detriment of the team. Shanny and the 49ers will do just fine with a little help from his dad….

  13. From Mike’s perspective, he gets to be around his son and the game he loves. I believe someone mentioned that this won’t be a permanent thing. Big Shanny will always be a phone call away. He is a great resource and he can give Kyle advice on everything from X’s and O’s to dealing with different player personalities.

    1. Good call #80 … and not only that.. but ..
      if the younger Shanny ever feels like he needs to ..
      he won’t have far to go to find a knowledgable OC !!

      (It’ll be like deja vu al over again…huh ?)

  14. Grant, I finally read your article. A+ from me. This is my favorite sentence:
    “The rookie head coach must feel like a first-year physics professor who has Albert Einstein at his disposal.” Actually, when Kyle talks football, he becomes Albert Einstein himself. E=MC-squared, where C is the aptitude of the head coach.

  15. Grant, this is a very easy question to answer for me. I am excited for coach Mike Shanahan attending 49ers practice sessions. His experience and total knowledge of the game will provide another perspective for the young head coach. Love it

  16. Definitely a good thing… at least for now. As you say, they can’t let the line blur regarding responsibilities. Kyle is the HC. His word must be law. If Mike can keep being an extra pair of eyes and not interfere then he is a great resource for Kyle to have. Personally I don’t think Mike will overstep.

  17. If this was LaVar Barr getting a locker next to his son Lonzo, I’d be very concerned (lol). But you said it best, Mike Shanahan has “capital” and the hardware to back it up.
    The front office seems to fine with it and so am I.

  18. I submit this might be Kyle doing a favor to his Dad, Mike.

    Good write-up – I enjoyed it.

    1. Doing a favor to his Dad while he acts like his Dad is doing a favor for him. It looks like a win-win situation to me.

    2. Rod,

      Interesting take, quite possible.

      From what the players have been saying about KS, it seems like he wouldn’t need much help. Maybe KS is including MS because KS knows that MS will enjoy it, KS will enjoy it, and it’s a way of showing respect and thanks to his father.

      And KS may actually realize the second set of eyes aren’t going to hurt (where was HEAD COACH Dan Quinn in the SB, speaking of second sets of eyes?).

  19. I think Mike S’s presence is a good thing, with the qualifications noted. A little heavy on the ‘MS can’t do this or that’ imagery, but not an issue.

    There’s a 1965 episode of ’12 O’Clock High’ where Colonel Joe Gallagher’s father (a general) butts in on Joe’s operations. Not a happy outcome. And there was John Wayne in ‘Red River’ going after his adopted son during a cattle drive.

      1. Cassie,

        12 O’Clock High!?!? Outstanding! They flew B-17 Flying Fortresses, right?

        I watched that show as a kid, does it hold up today?

        1. Yup. B-17Fs for filming close ups. Stock footage from WWII was always a mix of Fs and Gs. Some of the story lines are classic, with decent acting, and hold up pretty well. Others are nuts! Check Youtube for just about all the episodes.

          One episode had a few distant shots that included SoCal palm trees…and the scene was to represent Northern Europe. One clip showed a 60s sedan drive by quickly in the background.

          Fun to watch now and then.

          1. Continuity? We don’t need no stinking continuity! Hilarious. I’ll check it out, thanks.

              1. Kubrick did bring palm trees to England for Full Metal Jacket so it could happen!

              2. They must have been non-Union palm trees. He filmed there so as not to have to pay scale wages., and you know, because Yorkshire looks so much like Hue.

              3. Yes! Palm tree at 7:30 low!

                So funny, and the sound stage buildings representing, what? Airplane hangars?

              4. Upon, further review, those might’ve been actual hangars at the Air Museum in Ontario, CA. Either that or the back lot of 20th Century Fox Studios on Pico Blvd, West LA.

              5. Cassie,

                That pesky lower left corner strikes again… First a palm tree, now an American flag? Brutal, and funny. No concern about continuity, whatsoever.

                I asked a friend who would know how there could be continuity errors in so many films and tv shows and he just shrugged and said they weigh the number of viewers who will notice and care, and how much effort it will take to fix. They just decide to let a lot of stuff make it to the screen.

                One of my favorites is the Sutro Tower being in the opening credits of “Escape From Alacatraz” with Clint Eastwood. It was only in for a few seconds, and could’ve been easily edited out, not to mention that the shot that included the Sutro Tower was absolutely unessential, making its inclusion even more stunning.

            1. And Paris Island SC!

              I thought Kubrick never liked leaving England? Hadn’t heard about the union wage stuff. Those palm trees sure did get plenty of abuse and deserve some compensation!

  20. Kyle has mentioned it’s harder to get film study in now that he’s an HC. If Mike Shanahan functions strictly as a fresh set of eyeballs in the 49er brain trust, I think it’s great. Beyond that, it’s better he doesn’t interfere.

  21. I’ve been hoping for full Shanny for awhile so this works just fine for me. If you have a resource like Big Shanny it would be a waste not to take advantage of it.

  22. It’s a terrible idea. To allow a SB winning coach to observe practices and maybe give a few pointers. What a Sh***y resource to have. From Bowman getting cut or traded to Hyde getting traded. It never ends with this guy.

  23. It’s great to have Mike there to make sure Yorks & Prague are kept in line. Shanny Jr, SR & Lynch need to form a strong bond that Jed and the gang won’t be able to penetrate or manipulate once things are not as rosey. Seinor is battle tested with Al Davis and Snyder. Jed has a long way to go to establish long term credibility & Seinor is just there to keep a watchful eye over the herd.

  24. Mike Shanahan is a good father. He does not want to upstage his son, him being a 2 time SB winner,so he silently observes in the background.
    You could also see that he is a coach at heart, and he lives and breathes coaching. Old Coach could probably attest to the fact that coaching gets into one’s blood, and the picture of Mike just shows a person who really misses coaching. It exudes from every pore, and his expression says volumes.
    I think John Lynch should hire Mike Shanahan as the Offensive Coordinator. He would be invaluable in helping with the schemes and game planning. He will be giving input with KS, but if he has a formal title, he can be more involved with the team.
    I truly think that everyone is grown up enough to handle the situation, and KS and Mike have shown they can work well together. Mike would run through brick walls to help his son. If the unfortunate scenario unfolds that the team struggles, Mike probably would gladly fall on his sword to deflect blame from his son.
    However, I would be more optimistic, and expect Mike Shanahan to be competent enough to help the offense, and his wisdom and savvy could be the difference between winning and losing. Sure, he would let Kyle call the plays, but Mike would be more important for his preparations before the game.
    I concede that it could be awkward, and is unorthodox, but if they all are focused on improving the team, will lower egos for the sake of the team, and are all in on the goal to win, it could be done.

  25. You can tell we’re in the dead zone…a question like that doesn’t come up when activity’s going on. The Niners gave MS an I-pad, but he doesn’t work for them, he’s just an observer. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that scenario…he understands his role and won’t interfere. He’s a wise “old” NFL HC…and it’d be foolish not to tap into that, strictly on the Niner’s terms.

  26. I wonder if Grant has the temerity to stand next to Mike during the practices, and pick his brain on player assessments.
    Maybe Mike would have something to say about gap integrity and the read option…..

    1. Maybe it would be unwise for media to begin approaching Mike S. You know, creating the appearance of undercutting the HC…?

      1. Naw, only if Mike Shanahan is second guessing KS. He should be perfectly OK discussing schemes and assessing players. It would just be his opinion, and would not be critiquing the coaches.

        1. Perception, perception, perception…

          Seb, be proactive. Write Mike S. a letter and pose your questions. You’re a legend across the NFL so I’m sure he’ll read it.

          1. Nope, considering that I think MS is a big factor in the blackballing of Kaep, he might not like my questions.
            Speaking of legends, your daddy is infamous for liking to cut players on the team bus.

            1. Ha!

              Typical Seb swipe….” I think MS is a big factor in the blackballing of Kaep…”

              Typical Seb paradox….Yet you pine for the 9ers to make MS the OC? That could pose a problem with your dream of Kaep’s ‘forced’ return to the 9ers.

              1. Cassie, I still think MS is a big factor in the blackballing of Kaep due to his interactions with RGIII.
                However, I also still want the Niners to win games. Since Kaep is unlikely to return, even though I think he is superior to the present QBs, MS would be a huge asset to have on the team. He was the Niner OC in the Glory Years, so he knows the WCO frontwards and backwards.
                Ideally, he would look at the present QBs and see their all too apparent limitations. He is a smart guy, so maybe he would change his mind about Kaep, especially if he wants his son to succeed. If he deems that Kaep would give the Niners their best chance to win, MS would probably counsel KS to sign him, even with the emotional controversy surrounding him.
                Of course, maybe they will be content to lose, angling for a high draft position so the Niners could draft a franchise QB next season. However, he did write a book titled -Think Like A Champion, so the losing mindset may not fit his narrative.
                MS would also be content to allow KS to call the plays, even though most OCs think that is part of their job description. They worked well together when KS called the plays at Washington, so it is not inconceivable that he would be content to let KS do the same with the Niners.
                Sure, it is improbable that Kaep would return if MS is the OC, but John Lynch may work his magic and get everyone on the same page and rowing in the same direction.
                Certainly, it would have been impossible for Kaep to return if Baalke was still the GM, but since he was fired, I have hope. John Lynch is also a very smart guy, and he will look at the present Niner QBs, and make brutally honest assessments.

              2. The chances of CK ending up with the 49ers this year – in the words of Dean Wormer- “0.0”.

  27. So we get the benefit of 2 offensive geniuses and only have to pay one? I don’t see where that could be a disadvantage. Let’s not forget Mike helped us win the Super Bowl and coached a team that won back to back Super Bowls. He is a blessing for the team. He represents the glory days and Kyle represents our future glory days. Thank God we’re finally on the right track!

  28. As long as he’s not shouting at the players to ‘get off my field’ I think it won’t matter much to the players.

  29. When generals were parading through the streets of Rome during a victory march, a slave would be tasked with walking behind them saying memento mori — remember you’re mortal. Maybe that’s what dad is really there for. Don’t know about the rest here, but my kids are certain they know know way more than me.

    1. Hey Whine, do you know of any Classical sources for that Memento Mori line? I know it appears in Shakespeare and there are some historical basis for it (soldiers laughing and mocking triumphant generals as well as Marcus Aurelius’ personal slave) but from my understanding that phrase has a Christian basis (remember death) more than Cassical one. I’d love to see what sources other than pop ones this comes from because I haven’t found any.

      1. I think you are correct East. From what I can tell, the part about the Roman triumphs is believed to be most probably a myth started by ancient historians who were known to drift a little from the truth. Us Italians being a little on the emotional side sometimes romanticize a little . Makes a nice story though.

        1. Hey Whine………
          Your an I’ti….? I have an ’81 Fiat Spider, best lines on a small car I’ve ever seen. I’ve come to believe the Italians can make anything look better than anything else anybody makes. Making beautiful things……..has to be in your DNA……..

          1. Saw – Mario is talking to Guido the mechanic one day, about his Fiat and he says: ” I wanna sella my Fiat Guido but itsa got 200,000 miles on it” Guido says “Issa no problem, Mario. I takes the odometer and turns it back and itsa gotta no more too many miles”. Month later Guido sees Mario and says: “Hey Mario dida you sells the Fiat”. “No”, says Mario, “whys I wanna sell the Fiat. Itsa only got 25,000 miles on it.” I think it was an ’81 Spider, too!

            1. HaHa! Pretty good Whine………except for one thing: Enzo Ferrari once said the only italian product that has better curves on it than the Spider is ……………….Sophia Loren!!!!!!!!!!!

              Actually, its the wiring on this thing that causes me problems sometimes. The oily parts tend to behave themselves-if I pay attention to them!
              I married a second generation Italian. A lot like my car-treat her right and its a privelage to know her-piss her off…? Your running for your life!!!!! (Not really, but sometimes……………..)

            1. All kidding aside, an amazing people……..all the way back to ancient Rome………what a history. Many of the worlds very best engineers, scientists and builders-as well as artists………..

  30. Good article Grant. Would like to see more of these types of pieces. I appreciate that yours was different from the MM write up and substantially so. Your focus was on the potentials of the two working side-by-side.

    It has a positive and a potential negative. The positive you are able to point out well, the negative you hint at, though it’s ramifications can be very severe and destroy what is potentially being built here. If Shanahan were to talk to the media whether the team is doing well or the team is faring poorly it could really blur the lines for many in the organization and within team ranks as to who is really in charge.

    The office location, so close to the HC office already gives the impression that the elder Shanahan enjoys a position of authority and leadership greater than some of the other coaches. As those who are close to the president know, access means power. This is true in organizations too.

    Will coaches be wary of challenging the elder Shanahan if he says anything. What if they hear that Mike has changed his mind about something due to his father’s counsel? Will they try to subtly gain better leverage by currying favor with the elder Shanahan?

    These are not trivial aspects of the dynamic at play. They have a potential to wreck the symbiotic relationship between Kyle and our new GM. Who is really speaking might be on the mind of John Lynch. Will he go out to lunch with Mike to “reminisce about football” but also to get access another way.

    This dymnamic plays out in subtle ways as these informal networks are laid out. If clear lines are not drawn even with the informal side of things this has the potential of turning sour.

    1. Hoping for a healthy dynamic in this situation. Jed and dad John York established an environment not always conducive to positive, productive thought.

      1. Hard to know how the dynamic plays out at this stage. It will be incumbent on the younger Shanahan to clearly explain roles communication and access. It will be essential for the elder to be a ghost. An apparition with no interaction with outsiders regarding insider knowledge especially personnel. That would be disastrous! He should continue to do what he is doing, observe and give his reflections to his son. The younger must make sure that all ideas are his and not “his father’s”.

  31. Bleacher Report just put up each ‘Team’s Biggest Risks.’

    For the 49ers it’s starting Bowman. Whom they note is not the Bowman of old.

    I was rather surprised. I was thinking, before I got to the 49er section, it’d be about rookie corners. Or maybe position switchers like Ried and Ward. Possibly putting the offense on Hoyer’s shoulders.

    1. I’m pretty sure Grant wrote some articles for Bleacher Report. I could be wrong though.

    2. I think they have greater risks than Bowman. The fact they are implementing a new offense/defense again for the 3-4th year with so many new faces is a big one. How long will it take to get everyone on the same page?

  32. I am glad that we are seeing articles about actual players and people in the organization. Would love for more postings from people though.

  33. I think Senior being there is interesting too since Jed Passed on him during the last two hires when Steve Young & Brent Jones were begging for it. At least we got the right guy now and Shanny SR will be a big help in re establishing our structure for free.

  34. Seb,

    What does this have to do with the shotgun formation or any of those NFL offensive formations you said you would only use gun references for…?

    sebnynah says: June 24, 2017 at 7:43 am
    The NFL is shooting itself in the foot by persecuting players for silently and non violently protesting.

    TomD’s Take: Seb is a pretender, not a civil rights defender. His hypocrisy knows no bounds since he’s just proliferated an arms liturgy race on all subjects all the time.

    He’s like a junkie. Only his opiate of choice is an oozi, semiautomatic , AR-14, or AK-47, that doesn’t just stop at Seb’s accidental overdose. It can take out an entire block.

    Seb, stop with your overused war phrases.

    1. TrollD, there you go again. Getting all hysterical over a gun reference, when football is rife with them, along with many war references. I guess no one will be allowed to intone that the game is won in the trenches. Blitzing will be outlawed. QBs will no longer have howitzer arms, rifle a throw or have bullet passes. Long bombs will be verboten, if you have your way.
      Too bad that you keep attacking me, so I can say that you fantasized about breaking into gun safes and creating nightmares. You are the wacko who went ballistic, and now you lie about what I believe, in a sad pathetic attempt to discredit me. You accused me of wanting to break into Aldon’s assault gun collection to attempt to conjure up atrocities, but it is just your own sick paranoid delusional hallucinations.
      To reaffirm my position, I want a well regulated Second amendment, and think assault weapons do not belong in a civil society. I want large ammunition magazines outlawed, and hope they devise bullets that have a short shelf life so gun nuts cannot hoard ammunition.
      If Bill Walsh can use war references, I think that anyone can. Bill Walsh read the Art of War, and cited it many times. Many of his organizational strategies can be directly attributed to that book.
      Quit being such a namby- pamby, and grow up.

  35. Interesting take, Grant. I agree with you that Mike’s presence only augments the teams strengths.

    1. Maybe Seb can stop yammering for the 49ers to obtain an OC now.

      All along Kyle had Mike in mind to help in the Offensive Coordinating Dept. this season.
      I hope Seb shoots himself in the foot when he finds out he misjudged Kyle about not having an OC to lean on.

      1. No. Even though I want them to make MS the OC, they have not done that. Instead of retiring to be in the background, MS, as the OC, will be in all the offensive meetings, can strategize schemes, and interact with the players and position coaches.
        Oh, no, another gun reference. Are you going to once again become hysterical and fantasize about breaking into gun safes and creating more nightmares?

  36. “I see why a lot of people love Kyle,” Kerley said. “He is a good coach and great teacher. It’s one thing to help guys learn an offense. It’s another to be involved and taking your time in breaking certain things down. Most wouldn’t.

    “He definitely understands laying the foundation. He’s working on that right now. I definitely think we’re headed in the right direction.”

    While Shanahan was one of the reasons that Kerley decided to return to the 49ers, another was the team’s rich history and the desire to remain part of that.

    It’s a championship (franchise). It’s something I want to be a part of.”


  37. San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Shanahan ranks tops among first-year head coaches, per NFL.com

    Well, it seems as if the San Francisco 49ers are starting to get things right in the eyes of the league.

    NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison recently published a head coach power rankings list ahead of the 2017 season and, to a good deal of surprise, ranked Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan as the No. 1 first-year head coach.


  38. MAYBE, It has NOTHING to do with players. He could be watching to give input later on HOW to set up and run the upcoming Training Camp!!?? I tend to see, more so, adult professionals Know and Realize boundaries and lines Not to cross. Mike is NOT gonna Sabatoge what His Son has goin on!!! I’M EXCITED!!!??

  39. I had never considered all the gun references used in day to day football vernacular. I’m not a gun owner, don’t like guns myself, but I use all this phraseology. Guns, like the phrases, here to stay. I do think Seb’s gun philosphy is very rational. I would like to humbly add no guns to clinically diagnosed mentally ill..this seems common sense. A well regulated 2nd Amendment is a good way to describe it. Ok, back to blog arguements, insults and all the other fun stuff!

    1. So if you went to the doctor for anxiety as a teenager that would disqualify you for owning a weapon later in life, for hunting, self-protection, even employment?

      I’m vary wary of restraints on constitutional freedoms. Would we feel the same about a regulated 1st amendment? People do use speech in very nefarious ways after all. We would all suffer if we had restrictions on our speech. I think this so called rational approach leaves much to be desired.

      1. Free Speech is already limited in that not all speech is protected speech. While there are no regulations on what can be said, we can be held accountable for defamation, hate speech, inciting panic/ riot, false witness, false advertising.
        And yet, within those limitations, we thrive.

        1. Right BT bit it isn’t regulated. That was my point. The labeling of hate speech has become a weapon in other parts of the world. This is troublesome to a lot of those who value 1st amendment freedoms. Defamation and false witness have always been seen outside the scope of what is free. It is important to note the Zanger trial and the defense by Hamilton that the truth is a defense against libel. This was important in helping to shape the notions of freedom of the press. I don’t think we want those regulated, however bothersome they may be at times.

          1. Additionally, the way to regulate the 2nd amendment is to amend the Constitution. There is a process for that. I’m ok with this process. Doubt anyone is about to propose that, however.

      2. I’m curious if you understand that not one Amendment to the Constitution is an absolute. Which includes the Second Amendment.

        Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote on the Second Amendment not being an unlimited right:

        Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

        And he was, in the history of the Courts, probably the most ‘gun owner’ friendly justice.

        I mean. SRSLY. There are no absolute rights, and that’s been understood before our grandparents were born, never mind us. And I don’t know about you, but one of mine was born in the late 1880s. So we’re talking a long, long, long time…

        1. Moses, not arguing that. Though I do agree no right is absolute there has to be a very compelling and clear reason to limit any right which without this compulsion would threaten the body politic in a substantive way. The limitations imposed on weapons in schools, of felons owning weapons, and laws governing the sale of firearms are within those boundaries. The regulation of private ownership becomes a bit trickier: “The right to keep and bear arms, is defined not by what the militia needs, but by what private citizens commonly possess.” And this is also Scalia, joined by Thomas in an opinion of the court. I am leary of laws that may make us feel better but not have the outcome they intend, especially when they threaten individual rights.

          I’ll give you an example that has nothing to do with arms. I am very disturbed by the increasing desire of law enforcement agencies to open your phone (and all it contains) on the flimsiest of grounds. This is a threat to individual freedom as well.

          Hope that helps. Laws should be limited in scope and not broad so that the government authorities have the potential to abuse them.

          The bill of rights in particular has been an important basis for the individual and State freedoms this country has enjoyed and the erosion of which would continue to centralize power in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals.

    2. ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’
      Well regulated is part of the Second Amendment, and originally, they were referring to flintlock muskets. They did ban the right to own machine guns, which is what an assault weapon is technically, since they can be converted from single shot to rapid fire with a flick of a switch. They also did ban assault weapons, and the carnage from multiple mass shootings could have been lessened if they still banned them. Rep, Scalise was almost killed by an assault weapon, and if the wacko shooter was a little less incompetent, it could have become a killing field.

        1. Firearm Owners Protection Act (“FOPA”) (1986): Revised and partially repealed the Gun Control Act of 1968. Prohibited the sale to civilians of automatic firearms manufactured after the date of the law’s passage. Required ATF approval of transfers of automatic firearms.

          Which kind of sucked. Because I wanted to get an H&K 91 for years. And by the time I’d saved the money, I couldn’t. Of course, even if the Feds hadn’t regulated it, I couldn’t get it CA and would have had to smuggle it in.

            1. Yeah, semis are one kit away from becoming auto, so they’re completely different…

              1. That’s like saying any car can be a racer though. This is also true but they aren’t that to start. A pressure cooker can easily be made into a bomb as well.

        2. If a person has the money to buy an assault weapon, they have the money to buy a conversion kit, which can be purchased online.
          That situation could easily have become a killing field, especially since they had hand guns to counter his assault rifle, and the shooter had easy targets to shoot at in an open baseball field.

      1. I know professional politicians would love nothing better than to dis-arm the citizenry-and they are always trying to do just that.

        1. The carnage continues. The United States has a Vietnam casualty toll every 2 years. The Vietnam War was expanded from providing training in 1963, to the capitulation in ’75. Took them over 12 years to accomplish what happens in America every 2 years. Last year, almost 1300 children died from guns.
          One could say that we are our own worst enemy. The US averages one school shooting per week.
          The dirty little secret that politicians studiously ignore is the plague of veteran suicides. 20 vets a day kill themselves.
          In Japan, they had 6 gun deaths in 2014, compared to 33,600 in the US. Why? Because they have well regulated gun laws.

          1. Seb-
            You don’t suppose culture has anything to do with it? I haven’t shot my guns in 35 years, they hold no fascination to me. But I will never give my guns up to the government-or anything of any kind that is politically based.

        2. Sawbrodie,

          Do you really think an “armed citizenry” would be any match for the US armed services, if it ever came to that?

          What would be the point of the “armed citizenry” “standing up to” the US armed services? Dying with their boots on? I don’t get it…

          1. A little history may help. The Constitution was written by people who had just violently defeated the British Army in order to obtain their political objectives and they wanted for the people to maintain that ability if necessary in the future. Violence and war are just politics by other means. It happens when the political process breaks down and enough people feel there is no alternative but to turn to violence. People die from auto accidents – unfortunate but we allow it because the benefits outweigh the costs. So too with allowing the people the ability to do as the founders did when they concluded that it was the only means to obtain their political objectives. Ironic using our political system peacefully has never made a significant dent on the peoples’ right to bear arms and that apparently only a violent uprising will change it. The people will never have to wage a war with our own military. The issue is how much violence will be necessary to change things when they get too far out of wack.

          2. Football-
            I’ll answer that question with a question-are you aware of what law dictators “pass” first when they have the power to do so?

      2. One of the problems is “a will regulated militia” is no longer necessary to the security of a free state.

        I don’t see any well regulated militias about, these days, nor are they necessary. No problem with responsible gun sales and ownership, however,but…

        FYI, nearly 1300 children were killed by guns in the US last year. Do guns really keep us safe? I’m not so sure…

        The above is clear evidence that there is a lot of not responsible gun sales and ownership in this country. I realize a lot of people don’t agree, but it seems there is a need for new thought and action on this subject.

        1. I do agree that guns do not make us safe, however part of the problem is cultural. Eliminating guns won’t change that.

          Mother Jones compiles a database and it turns out that 3/4 of all mass shootings had guns obtained through legal means. So even with controls in place a determined individual can and does obtain access to firearms. They always will. Mexico does not allow firearms possession in public and has some pretty strict gun laws and yet look at the amount of violence and death that goes on daily there.

          I’m as concerned with the indiscriminate killings that we see everyday as you are. I also know many responsible gun owners who use their weapons for protection, sport or mere collection. I would like to protect both. Heck I don’t really care if they ban guns but it should be done via the process in place (amendment) not these laws that don’t make us safer but help politicians get elected.

          Car accidents are among the leading causes of death for individuals in the US. Yet, I don’t think that any one of us want stricter controls on automobile ownership. What works best is looking at ways and practices which make use of an automobile safer. Cellphones have muddied things of late but it looks like the manufacturers will be doing something to help minimize the use of devices while behind the wheel. That is the right approach in my estimation. I think the same holds true for other products as well.

          Just for the record, I do not, nor have I ever owned a gun and I detest them personally, but I also acknowledge that it is a protected right.

        2. Heres a thought………….Could the Nazi’s have done to the Jews and German people who didn’t like their ways and means……….if they had been armed? By what right do people in govt tell us, other than the right we give them, how we may and may not defend ourselves?
          Extensive background checks are a great idea, a wise thing to do. And if u use a gun for anything other than your defense, it should be a mandatory life sentence, I’m thinking.
          But all living things have a right to defend themselves, sometimes, by any means necessary.

          1. ok here’s the Nazi germany comparisons…..

            The Nazi’s did succeed in weeding out any “subversive” populations that could be potential resistance fighters/organizers…organization super important if resistance to be effective. The left wing elements, Intellectuals, “deviants”, artists, etc. (not just Jews) all systematically identified, harassed, imprisoned, and ultimately purged to camps.
            Nazi’s never allowed a base of like minded persons to start an effective resistance…let’s recall that the “organized” french resistance ONLY became tactically & strategically effective till DDay and beyond…making too many targets for the Germans to cover effectively. This was the process from late 1920’s to late 1930’s, when they finally removed the only legal stumbling block left in the previous structure– Reichstag fire/false flag op. See any similarities to what’s going on today?

  40. Sad but a column like this only garners about half the postings of the last column. We seem obsessed with controversial subjects and can’t stay away from them.

    1. Great line from Blackhawk Down… Spoken by a Ranger Captain to a Special Forces NCO… “You Delta boys are a bunch of undisciplined cowboys. Let me tell you something, Sergeant. We get on the five-yard line, you’re going to need my Rangers. So you all better learn to be team players. We’re done here.”

      Lots of football terms and context used in the military. The briefcase carried by a military officer close to the President (containing ‘important’ info) is refereed to as ‘the football’.

    2. Interesting article. Thanks Cassie! The evolution of warfare and the use of military jargon has certainly changed. I had noticed quite a decline in its use in recent years but didnt know it was deliberate.

    3. Yes, war references have been limited, even with Bill Walsh. Guess he liked to talk about the German army tactics, which garnered impressive victories in the late 30’s and early 40’s, but they removed those references in his books because some deemed them inappropriate.

  41. A rot has infected this comment section. Increasingly it is no longer a place one can seek adult conversations (however fractious) about the Niners. If a place is never cleaned up, it falls into disrepair and becomes a junkyard.
    We can hope that TC brings some relief, but that remains to be seen.

      1. Supreme court just ruled in Trump’s favor on travel ban. Are you sick of winning yet?;>)

        1. Only winning I’m interested is the Red & Gold kind! Never get sick of that.

  42. sebnynah says:
    June 25, 2017 at 9:33 am
    ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’

    TomD’s Take: Still filliblustering about arms…..You’d think after covering every known gun phrase known (above) and lighting off phosphorus grenades with children at the local Sebastopol playground (Do they have a police force in that city?), then throwing democrats into the Boston harbor to celebrate Sarah Palin’s Tea Bagger event, it’s enough for one day, eh, Seb ?….Of course your’s and Sarah’s constitutional memories have bastardized the event.

  43. * What stands out about the new Shanahan-Lynch duo is the optimism that’s been infused throughout the organization. The new players are excited about practicing.

    The operation is far more cohesive than in previous seasons, which has been apparent throughout the spring. A key distinction from the last three years of the Trent Baalke era has been how the new players mesh with the systems the coaching staff has in place.

    Last year, in particular, it didn’t seem like the front office was finding players that fit Chip Kelly’s scheme.

  44. ** Hikutini might be the most natural pass catching tight end on the roster – even if he has a long way to go as a blocker. Kittle’s athleticism is underrated and he’s a better pass catcher than he showed in college, while his ability to block is apparent.

    The problem is Vance McDonald’s contract, which makes him a difficult cut given $3.5 million of his $4.1-million cap number would be dead money if released. It could be that McDonald would have been cut already if not for the five-year extension Baalke signed him to in December.

    1. Nope. That’s a sunk-cost fallacy. If they cut him, they cut him and it gives a $7.7 million hit against $64 million in cap space. Of which the could chose to defer one-half in the post-June 1 release rule. In fact, they could cut all tne of their top ‘dead cap’ players ($98.9 million) with the post June 1 designation and still have somewhere around $15 million in cap left over.

      Pierre Garcon
      DeForest Buckner
      Navorro Bowman
      Malcolm Smith
      Vance McDonald
      Kyle Juszczyk
      Brian Hoyer
      Reuben Foster
      Joe Staley
      Joshua Garnett

      FWIW, dead-cap and cap-hit (current) are not the same. Dead-cap is what it would cost once you recognized all the bonus money paid in advance. Cap hit is current salary, a few other things, and the pro-rata recognition of the signing bonus(es) over the life of the contract.

      There is, literally, no one safe because of ‘cap hit’ purposes on this roster.

      1. Of that list, only Vance MacDonald, Malcolm Smith and Brian Hoyer may be is 53 cut possibilities. All the rest are pretty safe, even Bowman.
        I agree, VM would have been cut if not for Ballke giving the team a parting shot.

  45. *** The 49ers might just have to eat that money if they’d rather give jobs to Paulsen, Kittle and Hikutini because trade talks have been quiet surrounding the 2013 second-round pick. McDonald’s done little in the practices we’ve seen that would make anyone think he’s a lock to make the team.

    1. I was hoping for 6, but after signing 23 FAs, and hitting a grand slam in the draft, I hope they do not have a losing season. 8 wins.
      And if, on the improbable chance, they happen to re-sign Kaep, 10 wins.

      1. Using Razor’s method, invert Seb’s win total with Kaep from 10 to 1 win. Kaep ain’t comin’ back Seb.

        1. Cappy, Kaepernick
          Oh, Kaepernick when are you comin’ back
          Kaepernick Cappy,
          Oh, Kaepernick when are you comin’ back
          Our Seb is missing you,
          Ever since you left he’s been blue
          You tried so hard to be true, but Baalke screwed you
          But the bloggers keep comin’ around
          They’re all tryin’ to wear Seb’s resistance down
          Hey, Cappy, Cappy
          Oh, Kaepernick, when are you comin’ back
          Cappy, Cappy, oh, Kaepernick, you better hurry back

        2. Cassie, we will see. The July 15th deadline may be the final option scenario. If Cousins signs an extension with Washington, they may look to improve the QB position, and Kaep may still have an open door to return. If Cousins does not sign, they may be content to wait, and go with the present QBs. They may be resigned to losing, so they can get another high draft position, which will help Cousins if he signs with the Niners in 2018.
          With the OTAs and Mini camp, the Niners have enough tape on the present QBs, to make an accurate assessment of their potential. Other teams in the league will also be making assessment decisions on their QBs. The Texans, Broncos, Bears, Rams, Jaguars. Browns and Jets all have big QB questions.

          1. Via The Chiffons…

            Sweet looking guy, using Seb’s alibis
            Don’t you believe in him, if you do he’ll make you cry
            He’ll stare down receivers and take the untimely sack
            He’s a sweet lookin’ guy
            (Sweet lookin’ guy)
            And he’s Seb’s kind of guy
            (Sweet lookin’ guy)
            Faster than lightning, sees half the field
            (Oh he’s so fine)
            Don’t let him under your skin, cause he’ll rarely win
            (No he’ll rarely win)
            Don’t give him props today, tomorrow he’s on his way
            He’s a sweet lookin’ guy
            (Sweet lookin’ guy)
            And he’s Seb’s kind of guy
            (Sweet lookin’ guy)
            Why does Seb love him like he does?

            Kaep’s not comin’ back Seb…

      2. haha!!

        Always have to get your little digs in -eh, Sebs? Gotta love the Seb-skov!

  46. hree, Two, One …. Cousins will finally put to rest any and all Kap discussions:

    The countdown to July 15 is upon us and, with little more to watch this time of year, all eyes will focus on Kirk Cousins and his contract discussions.

    For anyone who has not kept up, the short story is that the Skins have, due to years of mismanagement and a noncommittal attitude toward KC, left themselves until the first business day after July 15 to sign KC to a long term contract (LTC). If they fail to do that, KC becomes a free agent at the end of the season. In that event it is widely believed that he will reunite with Kyle Shanahan and sign with the 49ers who, coincidentally, need a QB and have money to pay him.

    Also, for those who doubt Cousins market value, keep in mind that he is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300-yard passing games. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). He fits what KS wants to do in the 49er offense. And the 49ers signed his favorite receiver.

    1. When Lynch told Kaepernick opt-out or be cut, that should have done it everyone rational. When they signed Hoyer, Barkley and drafted Bethard, that should have done even for the fanboys. At this point, it’s just the complete delusional who are holding out.

  47. On a brighter note for our slow sunday:

    Plastic Pollution in Antarctica 5 Times Worse Than Expected

    Not only have microplastic particles infiltrated the pristine Antarctic, the problem is much worse than anyone thought.

    These tiny beads of plastic come from cosmetics or shred off of larger plastic items such as clothing or bottles. Research shows that microplastics can turn up in ice cores, across the seafloor, throughout the ocean and on every beach worldwide. According to UN News, “as many as 51 trillion microplastic particles—500 times more than stars in our galaxy—litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife.”

  48. Back to football. I am somewhat optimistic about next season. However, if the Niners have 64 mil in cap space, they may be 64 million less talented than many teams that are right at the salary cap. Other teams have established veterans who have eaten up a lot of the salary cap like the Seahawks who have 10 players dominating their cap. Niners have blown things up and are starting from scratch. The Niners signed those FAs, but there was a reason why they became FAs. Other teams had better players, so they were expendable.
    Still, those FAs did play well enough to stay in the league, and the Niners did out bid other teams for their services. The critical factor will be if KS can fit the right players in the right positions, and play to their strengths. Also, the team needs to work in tandem, focusing their energies together to out play the competition. The problem is, the other teams are more talented, and they have more cohesion because they have continuity. The Niners are at a disadvantage with all the roster turnover, and rookie coaches.
    If, and it is a big IF, the Niners can stop being a sieve on defense, they have a chance. If not, it will be a long season.
    If and also a big IF, the Niners can improve the O line, the running and passing game will improve, and they may be competitive.
    The draft was a smashing success, and they filled many needs while also getting future picks. I loved how they traded back, garnered more picks, and still got both the players they coveted.
    If they can be more deceptive, make the proper and timely adjustments, and all buy into the scheme, the Niners will greatly improve. If they can reduce the unforced errors, they could win.
    I think the Niners will be competitive, especially if they improve the QBs, and they will win more than 4 or 5 games because of the schedule, and the quality of their opponents. KS will have them focused and prepared, and Lynch has instilled a new mindset, which is like a breath of fresh air after the stale, dreary atmosphere of last season.
    The biggest reason why I am so optimistic, is that Baalke is gone. That is huge.

  49. CA employment laws are among the wackiest in the country. I’m wondering if the 49ers can get in some trouble if Shanahan has travel expenses to get to practices, he has an office but works remotely as well, he’s offering consultation to the team, and he’s not getting paid. Seems like a huge can of employment law worms to me.

  50. Naw, California also encourages retired people to volunteer.

    Still, I would like Lynch to name MS as OC.

    1. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Installing a Superbowl winning former head coach, and father of the current head coach, as the OC is a sure fire way to undermine the authority of the head coach. I’ve heard some moronic comments on here but that one is a doozy.

      1. You seem to think that they are emotional teenagers who would go all emo. I think they are grown ups, who could handle the situation. Lynch would just tell them to focus on winning, and swallow their egos for the sake of the team.
        Believe it or not, KS and MS have worked well together before, and I think they could do it again. Mike is too proud of a father to stab his son in the back.

        1. You have obviously never managed people or run an organization of any size. If the GM appointed MS as the OC when KS is the HC, the issue is not whether or not the Shanahans would work well together. One issue is the GM making coaching hires when any HC makes his own coaching hires. Another issue is the dynamic with the players. Who do the players think is really running the show? Who is the overall authority figure for the team? Mike or Kyle? Confusion in the chain of command is a recipe for disaster. Lynch hiring MS as the OC for the 49ers would be the beginning of the end of Kyle Shanahan’s coaching career.

          1. I vehemently disagree. Mike has done it all. He is passing the torch to his son. He would never, ever stab him in the back, because he wants his son to coach for years.
            Being in the landscape construction business, I have had associations with suppliers and contractors for years. There have been many instances when the father turned over the business to his son. Sometimes due to accidents, once due to a drunk driver, and several due to illness. Lately, old age. Mike seems to be working for free, just like some of those fathers did to keep the business profitable.
            Mike has been a HC before, so he knows the hierarchy. If he was demanding that he call the plays, maybe one could get a glimpse of ego, but Kyle wants to, and that is his prerogative as the HC.
            Still, MS would make a good OC. It would allow him to get back in the game, and his prep work may be the difference between winning and losing. Maybe if MS started to take over the defensive meetings, could there be a problem, but I just do not see that happening. MS would be like a kid in a candy store, and he would relish the opportunity.
            He would also be helping his son succeed, and win games, so he would be helping KS gain tenure.
            They have worked well together before, I just think they could do it again.

          2. No kidding “never managed people or run an organization”….unless Sim City counts?
            He cannot get over the HC/OC role Kyle has taken on…remember film clip of early Walsh: “I know Paul (Hackett), I put the “F’ing play in!”

        2. Tautology ALERT: “Emotional teenagers who would go all emo” like emotional teenagers rarely go all emo….

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