Report: 49ers to offer HC job to Kyle Shanahan

More news just broke on the 49ers’ head-coach search.

From Adam Schefter:

And from Michael Silver:

Some questions for you:

  1. Do you think Shanahan will accept the 49ers job?
  2. If so, who will have more power — Shanahan or the GM?
  3. Do you think Shanahan will stay with the Falcons?
  4. Do you think Jim Irsay will fire Chuck Pagano and Shanahan will become the head coach of the Colts?

This article has 152 Comments

    1. Grant,

      Did you change the questions or am I just tripping?

      1. Yes, if they go full Shanny and win a bidding.
      2. It would be full Shanny so it would be equal.
      3. No
      4. Yes, if they go full Shanny and win a bidding war.

  1. Just heard that interview on knbr with you and your dad…I agree

    Don’t know much about your dad Grant (before my time) but seems like a great man who had a love for journalism and originality… I think you share that. I think your this generation’s version. We’re happy to have you. Cool to see a father/Son relationship like that.

      1. No problem man, I really appreciate what you do and see a really bright future for you, for what my opinions worth (which isn’t much)

    1. I grew up in Cupertino, and settled own on the peninsula, and back in the day, the San Francisco Chronicle’s sports page, aka The Sporting Green, was often my go-to source for sports news. While I didn’t always agree with Lowell, and at times found his style a little “over the top”, I’ve always been, for lack of a better word, a FAN! Lowell always stood out to me as a sports writer because I got the sense he called it the way he saw it, regardless of whether people liked what he had to say and write. However, Lowell’s in-your-face style wasn’t his greatest asset. IMO it’s Lowell’s greatest asset is his unique style of writing that I almost always found entertaining. And Glenn Dickey’s contrasting style was a plus for every Sporting Green reader. Lowell has certainly earned his stripes as a reporter and writer, and I hope he enjoys his retirement.

      1. Yup. The green section and Herb Caen, The Chron was our family’s go to paper. A Hearst rag (The Examiner) would never have been allowed past the front door.

        Cupertino here also, 49Reasons (Lynbrook HS). Nothing has changed in that community since the days of the all green Sporting Green, huh?

  2. 1. Yes
    2. He has 60% decision making power
    3. No
    4. No, today would’ve been the only logical time to do it, would look bad on Shanny and really bad on Irsay.

  3. Yes, Shanahn will accept.
    50%-50% power divide.
    Shanahan will leave the Falcons to be the 49er HC.
    No. Irsay is waiting till next year when he will hire Jim Harbaugh.

  4. Do you think kyles dad will join the front office in some capacity if Kyle is hired. I would think that would guarantee Kyle says yes.

    If Kyle is hired who do you think would be his assistant coaches?

  5. 1) An agreement was made, otherwise why risk public humiliation. We’ve seen the other candidates drop out one by one, with Micky D giving an obvious excuse to give his ego a soft landing.
    2) I would imagine the GM has final say, but Shanny Jr will have strong influence and input concerning personnel.
    3) Not a chance.
    4) They are too late to the party. Better get Gruden and Manning.

    1. With your number 1) I was kind of thinking the same thing, but if we believe that McDaniels was truly the number 1 choice a week ago wouldn’t that be tampering if we contacted Shanny after McDaniels pulled out!?

        1. Must be the cold weather that gives you that special insight. Any bets Big Shanny has spoken to Junior about what bad form it would be to turn down the 49ers at the last minute? What goes around comes around. Harbaugh used term you reap what you sow but same old.

          1. BTW – I agree with all of Razor’s answers with one slight qualification. I worry that the answer to No. 2 might end up being that Jed and Paraag have the final say as it was with Baalke the lap dog. Please God, don’t let that happen.

    1. Any assistant who has worked their way up aspires to become a head coach, and sometimes that means going to a bottom dweller. The Niners will have approximately $87 million to spend, and that is without them having to cut Kaep.

      If Kyle decides to stay in Atlanta, that is his choice – but he going to get offered somewhere around $25-30 million for five years, and I am pretty certain he does not make that much in Atlanta right now.

      Every good coach loves a challenge, and yes Kyle Shanahan will have a big one in SF, but I believe he’ll take it because he’ll mold that team in his image. Go Niners!!!

      1. Sounds good EXCEPT…under the BEST CASE SCENARIO…they’re going to stink for at least the next three seasons.

        Just imagine the coaches meeting with Parag and Brian the Analytics Guy telling Kyle what calls to make because the computer says so.

        That’s why he’ll stay in Atlanta…dad remembers what happened with Al in his first job…this is worse because at least Al knew football…

        These numb nuts have no idea…

        1. That’s a scary but very likely scenario – Paraag and the analytics guy trying to influence football decisions. This team is screwed with those idiots lurking around.

  6. I think Shanahan declines like the rest and waits for a better opportunity next year… Had Jed hired a known/trustworthy/respected president of football ops to run this search I believe things would be different. I can only imagine Jed and Paraag trying to sell these job openings :/

    Big question is if Shanahan declines what then?? As usual in Ninerland I don’t have a good feeling about this… Prove me wrong, Jed!!!

    1. Tom Cable pulled his name from consideration. If Shanahan walks away, Jed/P will be in full panic mode.

      Chris Petersen? David Shaw? Not sure if anyone else will move the needle.

    1. Snyder will pay Cousins because if he doesn’t he’s stuck with Jay Cutler for 3 years.

      Forget Cousins…Grant has Cutler coming and I think he’s right…heaven help us…

      1. Regardless of whether it’s Cousins, Cuttler, or another established QB, I am certain Kyle is planning on drafting a prospect who’m he thinks he can develop into a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Don’t count

        I have a very, very, very good feeling about this hire if it comes to fruition.

  7. I think (hope) KS takes the job.

    I would imagine both will have input with KS having final say on the 53 man roster. Just a feeling I have considering they have gone all in on him and still haven’t settled on the GM.


    The Colts situation bears watching because if Irsay decides to fire Pagano and Grigson that immediately becomes the better opportunity. I don’t think Shanahan would consider it if Grigson was retained though. He’s done a horrible job as GM and I can’t see anyone putting their future in his hands.

    Irsay gave them both extensions last year, and has still not given any indication of letting them go, so I will guess (hope) he does not clean house.

    1. All we have is hope at this point… Here’s a question for my PD commenters:

      Which team would you rather have lose next week, Packers so we can hire Wolf/Gute(whatever the heck his name is), or Falcons so we can hire Shanny right away???

      1. I’ve been thinking about that. I don’t want Pitt, NE or GB winning. But I don’t want shanny sitting there long while the colts owner thinks about firing his HC either.

        1. Not a chance Hammer. Atl defense is fast and their offense is unstoppable right now. GB won’t be able to keep up. 35-20 ATL

  8. I don’t think this would have come out if it wasn’t almost 100% for certain he was coming here. I think they are going to let him be part of the finalizing of the GM pick so it will be a 50/50 thing. I really think Trent Baalke was the disaster previously where he wanted all the power, the accolades, the credit, ect, ect.
    Fingers Crossed!

    1. BennyBlan— I think the first criteria that any new GM will have to pass is a psychological evaluation to make sure they don’t suffer from OCD. LOL>

  9. 1. Shanahan will take the job because this will be the first time he can mold a team to his own preferences.

    2. They will be on equal footing.

    3. I hope not, but it cannot be ruled out.

    4. The Colts are more finesse than physical, so I do not think Shanahan would want to coach the Colts.

  10. Do you think Shanahan will accept the 49ers job? – Maybe not. I’m betting more GM/HC candidates interviewed out of courtesy than we think.

    If so, who will have more power – Shanahan

    Do you think Jim Irsay will fire Chuck Pagano and Shanahan will become the head coach of the Colts? – I dunno. If the Colts job opens up and the job is offered to Shanny, we are ska-rood.

  11. Rumor McDaniels pulled out after hearing he wasn’t the front runner. Another leak related death, or internet echo chamber speculative nonsense?

    1. The leak usually comes from the party trying to save face. My reaction was that he wasn’t getting something that he wanted during the process, maybe agreement on Riddick or a firm offer. Cable announcing that he will remain in Seattle is similar. Shanahan seems willing to work with good GM candidates. The McDaniels/Riddick rumors signaled to me that McD really wanted significant control. He just needs to coach, wherever he ends up. He was horrendous with personnel. It doesn’t matter, Shanahan is the best choice if they will be patient.

      1. BigP,

        That’s possible and if so I can see why he backed out. I agree it’s probably not the best idea to hand over complete control to the HC.

        It’s Shanny or bust.

    2. I think it is nonsense. The more likely reasons probably are not wanting to uproot his family and being in a better position with the Patriots.

  12. 1. I think this is a done deal but they cannot say that, so, yes he will take the job.

    2. Shanahan, it was why he took the deal.

    3. No – he couldn’t take the deal if he stayed in Alanta.

    4. I read somewhere that the Shanahan Irsay wants, if he makes the change, is Mike.

  13. Grant what is your take on these candidates publicly withdrawing their name?
    What’s the purpose and why make it public?

  14. Do you think Shanahan will accept the 49ers job? yes
    If so, who will have more power — Shanahan or the GM?GM
    Do you think Shanahan will stay with the Falcons?…ummm go check answer #1
    Do you think Jim Irsay will fire Chuck Pagano and Shanahan will become the head coach of the Colts?No I can’t see any real plausible situation where this happens, not this late in the game. Either Irsay has to take the gamble of a lifetime and fire Pagano this late in the season or attempt to interview Shanahan with Pagano still under contract. If Irsay doesn’t land Shanahan he’s either scrambling for a head coach or trying to deal with an alienated one who might just quit at that point. The attempt to bag Gruden was different because it’s speculation and we get it, it’s Gruden. Shanahan for as hot as he is is still an unproven commodity in terms of head coaching and it turns out was only the 2nd hottest candidate this season.

  15. Do y’all think Cable will want the “trigger” on personnel as the HC? (Did someone actually say Shanny would turn the Colts down because they are a finesse team? …REALLY?)

    Would the 49ers leak the job offer to Shanny if they were unsure if the outcome? Uhm … Don’t we all REALLY know the answer to that question?

  16. 1. The Falcons would have to pay him more than HC Dan Quinn for him to stay, which
    would be reasonable, Quinn makes shy of $2mm per year, but uncomfortable. Can’t see
    them ditching Quinn for Shanahan. Yes.

    2. If Mr. York et al intend to bring a GM candidate with them to Atlanta it would seem that
    the HC would be in the driver’s seat, after all there are no other candidates at this time.

    3. With much hope and some confidence, no.

    4. You never know with the Irsays, but it seems pretty late if he was going to do it. From
    reading how toxic the relationship is between Coach Pagano and GM Grigson it would
    have seemed someone would be gone already.
    We do have this from Mr. Irsay:

    In an interview with Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Wednesday (12/16/2016), Irsay wouldn’t commit to any decision about the job status of Grigson or Pagano:“Right now, I’m not anticipating making any changes,” Irsay said. “That can always change. It always can when we’re sitting down at the end of the year and [evaluating] things.

    QB – Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
    RB – Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys; Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
    WR — Sterling Shepard, New York Giants; Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
    TE – Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers
    C – Cody Whitehair, Chicago Bears
    G – Joe Thuney, New England Patriots; Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins
    T – Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans; Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions
    DL – Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers; DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers; Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs; Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville Jaguars
    LB – Jatavis Brown, San Diego Chargers; Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears; Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons
    CB – Vernon Hargreaves III, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars
    S – Karl Joseph, Oakland Raiders; Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons
    Special Teams
    PK – Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints
    P – Riley Dixon, Denver Broncos
    KR – Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

  18. 1. I think KS will leverage the Niners to get his father a job. Mike will be a vice president in charge of football operations, but more importantly, he will be in all the FO meetings and protect KS’s back.

    2. KS has all the power, so he will have a big say in the personnel, but will let the GM handle all the contract issues. He will also probably have a big say in the draft, but it should also be a collaboration and consensus.
    If they try to pull a Baalke on him, he should threaten to walk.

    3. It is a big pay raise, and one of the plum jobs in the NFL. Niners have a ton of draft picks, and a boatload of cap space, so the rebuild is possible in around 3 years, with playoffs on the horizon. Remember, the Cowboys were 3-13 a year ago.

    4. If they go all the way, Irsay could ninja him with the prospect of working with Luck. If they lose to the Packers, He will probably go to the Niners.

    Knowing Jed, he will find some way to muck this up.

    1. Good analysis. I agree that Big Shanny could and should be included in some fashion. After what Steve Young has said about Pop’s invaluable coaching, maybe he tutors the new QB and does other consulting. Sorry though , I don’t thing Kaep is the Shanny type. My own personal evaluation of Kaep is that he is uncoachable and plays like a great dancer whose game has been choreographed through the reps that he gets in practice. He has all the athletic talent and can learn by repetition, but does not have the It factor, like Old Coach says, so that he can make adjustments on the fly. (other than running away when things go wrong) I expect you will disagree but that’s what I see.

      1. I was thinking about him as DC, but I heard he was gonna retire after this season. I thought it Mcdaniels got the job he might try and bring him back in.

  19. Honestly, I’m not convinced Shanahan will accept the job. But the ball is in the 49ers court. I hope he takes it, because there is no fallback plan.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if to get their man, Shanahan will be offered a fair amount of power. I don’t think Shanahan will answer to the GM. I think both GM and HC will answer to Jed. And the GM’s mandate will be to get the players Shanahan wants.

    I think it is possible the Colts decide to get rid of Pagano and Grigson if they believe Shanahan will accept the HC job. Will be interesting to keep an eye on what happens there.

    1. I think you are onto something scooter! This leaking to the media stuff still bothers me, listening to all the Steve young show, he has painted Mike Shannon, as no dummy, but very astute person that does not suffer fools lightly , so I am sure Kyle is similar , so is that going to work jumping on the ship of fools show run by Jed, I have this unpleasant feeling Jed will be left with a empty bag! Hope I am wrong again!

  20. Just looked at Kyle’s wikipedia page and this has two-year disaster written all over it. His experience is crap. OC for his daddy and then the Browns. He’s having success this year because of Matt Ryan. His career is due to nepotism. He doesn’t seem like a leader of men. York needs someone who will give him direction. Someone who has the experience to back up what he says. Someone who can sort through this mess. Nobody here seems to like him, but McDaniels was the pick. By all accounts he’s been throwing himself into every aspect for his next opportunity. Kyle seems more like a Gus Bradley hire. His unit is hot (like Bradley’s Seattle defense) so his stock is up. They more I look at this, the more I’m unconvinced.

    1. McDaniel didn’t do crap in st.louis, or much in Denver only great with a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Just my opinion though. As much as he’s gonna need a qb, he needs a very good coaching staff, first time head coach gonna be the job late, a a lot of below average players, he has a hard job a head of him. The best thing about this job right now is the cap money.

  21. This is the Jim Tomsula scenario all over again. Here is my worse case scenario. Tom Rathman HC, Steve Young GM.
    Best case scenario. Kyle Shanahan HC, Elliot Wolf GM.

      1. McDaniels didn’t want the job Razor. Everything reported before and after makes that pretty clear. Don’t make this another “SF got the guy Seattle wanted” situation;p

        1. What do you think Grant you’re connected: did Branch and Florio make up the story from sources about the job being McDaniels if he wanted it?

    1. Good. If Jed doesn’t blow it it looks like we will get the best coach anyway. Do you think Wolf is still on the table? Because –Mike Silver says Brian Gutekunst is our 1st choice.

            1. First choice is probably wrong words – if he thought he was just a backup plan rather than a legitimate option, then sure, I think he would pull out. Who wants to go somewhere you know you aren’t really wanted?

            2. For sure-all the coaches that didn’t get the job are just in cya mode. Cable was an agent favor since they were interviewing the GM in Seattle anyway.

        1. Yup I’m pretty sure the 49ers have some mutual agreement with Kyle Shanahan already. No way Cable pulls out if he didn’t already no this.

  22. Grant, what did I learn today? Wiping tushes. You wanted Steve Young to be your dad. Dusty is one cool dude, and is pretty lusty. Glen took the blame for Lowell ripping Evans. Bill Walsh was not a senator. Field of Dreams brought tears, and helped process his loss. I can totally relate. My dad used to throw the baseball with me. I am crying now. Cherish your father while you have him. Make every moment count.

    You are a chip off the old block, and he definitely is extremely proud of you. Lowell is passing the torch, and expects you to ask the hard questions, and especially the second questions. I recognize a lot of Lowell in the style you write, and am glad you are irreverent, but make me think. You have big boots to fill. Thanks for the dual interview.

    It is also and end to an era.

  23. If Shanahan doesn’t accept, I have what I think could be a great backup plan. Tom Coughlin as your HC for the next 2 years, grooming Steve Young, who will be his OC, to eventually replace him as HC.

    Steve Young will have growing pains as OC, but he’s so popular with a fan base that is starved for a return to Camelot with someone who was a key part of that era that we will put up with a couple bad years, especially if Young is grooming a young QB like Trubisky.

    1. I know some will say its a real miss not getting Bradley on board as DC, but I don’t think it is. It wasn’t until he had Thomas, Chancellor and Sherman that his D in Seattle was any good. As I mentioned the other day, a guy like Thomas is a must for that type of D to really work. And the 49ers don’t have that guy (though I guess they could conceivably draft Malik Hooker to play that role).

      1. No fear Scooter. Jimmy Tomsula still available.

        No seriously! Kyle S is what every 49ers fan has asked for.
        An offensive guy with West Coast traits. He can bring his Dad in if he wants. Bring some tradition back with a new vision while having an old resource.
        I still think we should hire a pro player personnel/GM guy to a make it a three headed attack.
        Kyle S:HC
        Mike S: executive associate of football operations

  24. “Kirchner and Cable pulled out today because they became convinced that 49ers had informally offered Shanahan & that he planned to accept.”

    – Michael Silver

    Suck on that Irsay!

  25. Potential name to look out for as DC if Shanahan is hired as HC as expected – Raheem Morris.

    Also, many of the offensive coaches on the Falcons staff followed Kyle Shanahan from Washington. I would expect a few of those guys would follow Kyle again.

    1. If I had to guess.

      OC – Mike McDaniel
      DC – Raheem Morris

      I would rather have a DC with more experience or even Vrabel. Shanahan would be de facto OC, so bringing McDaniel wouldn’t be too risky.

      1. I wouldn’t rule at the Falcons RB coach as a potential OC. He has more experience and has also worked with KS for a few years.

        1. The more the merrier. I like the thought of continuity in Kyle’s offense. I trust he would make the right choice between the two. Do you think he’ll bring some Falcon scouts with him?

          1. I agree, would be good if Shanahan can take a few of the Falcons offensive assistants with him. Turner, Morgan, McDaniel and LaFleur all have been with Shanahan for a few years, and would be good to keep them together.

            I think the personnel department will be left mostly to the GM. Whoever is hired as GM will have his own guys. I don’t know if any of the Falcons personnel guys really work that closely with Shanahan.

          2. Another guy I would have suggested for OC was Chris Foerster, but that seems unlikely since the Dolphins blocked him from interviewing for the OC job with the Rams.

          3. Scooter,

            I did some research on Bobby Turner and I like him. He got a lot of production out of many different HBs.


            I also like Matt LaFleur. He has worked with Kizer and would know better than anyone if he was worth the 2nd pick.

            My suggestion.

            OC – Bobby Turner
            QB Coach – Matt LaFleur
            WR Coach – Mike McDaniel
            RB Coach – Rathman stays

            I like this potential staff. It would be great for our QBs and WRs. All of them are good teachers.

            I really like this staff with regards to Hyde. He could be a monster if he stays healthy.

            1. Yep, I think that would be a staff that makes sense. The OL coach hire will be an important one though. I expect Morgan would be his first choice.

              1. I agree on Morgan. Good call about the GM bringing some of his scouts. Gutekunst would need them. I hope Shanahan is willing to work with Wolf since he has scouting in his blood.

  26. My reading of the tea leaves leads me to believe that Shanny the Younger has unofficially accepted the offer. Jed would not orchestrate the leak to Schefter and Silver about making the offer to unless Shanny had indicated he was on board.

    While I am convinced that Shanny is a superior offensive mind, I wonder how good a HC he will turn out to be. OC and HC are such different jobs. A lot will depend on his attracting good coaches and the GM putting together a decent roster.

    With regard to GM, I would prefer Wolf over Gute. This Packers beat writer on KNBR mentioned that Wolf had been on the player selection track with the Packers while Gute had been trained to be more on the business side. I hear that Gute is leading Wolf on the preferred list — guess Jedraag fell for the guy who spoke their language. Niners do not need another business guy — they already have their 3 biz stooges.

    1. Good post about about guth vs wolf.

      I also worry that they fell for a business guys. Other factors to consider. Jed is overly concerned about having harmony beteeen coach and gm and picking gm based off of that fact. Since guth is more from the business side, I think hey will give Shanahan more personel control. More influence with draft picks. Guth will more so be here to make Shanahan’s dreams come through. It’s not a bad idea if u think both coach and gm will be there for 10 years. But shanahan is an unknown product and may flame out in 2-3 years. I worry that they may be missing out on amazing gm just to get one that fits with shanahan right now. It’s short minded thinking or over confidence in their belief that they found their bellichek or Walsh.

      Guth may be awesome but from what I’ve read and heard. It seems as though McDonough and wolf could be stronger stand alone gms. No matter which way you look at it. The gm will most likely be here longer than a coach.

    1. Nice. Sounds like he has a good philosophy. Does not want to be rigid and inflexible. Wants to maximize player potential, and put them in positions to succeed. Sounds like he has learned from his mistakes.

      Will need to assess the players, so I do not see him declaring that he will start off by cutting Kaep. I am hopeful. Now, we need to see if he can attract good coaches.

      1. I also am good if we trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, provided its a second and something else.
        He was a second rounder when he came out, has seasoning in a winning organization and had Brady as a mentor. All that, coupled with the fact that this is a weak qb draft, makes it a fairly appealing risk in my opinion.

    1. I think this speaks more about the type of QB Shanahan prefers: a pocket passer that can scramble if need be.

  27. I hope we are able to hire Kyle.
    He has a lot of attributes you want in a coach; He has a great understanding of NFL offenses, and growing up in the business, he should understand how to work with all the parties involved and have contacts, which in theory would enable him to assemble a very formidable staff.
    If we don’t get him… I have no idea where we will go from there, the drop off would be monumental.

    1. Agreed. I think the only question mark is his supposed arrogance/attitude and whether that rubs players the wrong way… You can get away with it when winning; not so much otherwise. Regardless the best hire since Harbaugh.

  28. 38 years later the WCO returns to its birth place. All I can say is welcome back! If I never hear the name Bill Parcells again, that is a real achievement to this old man. I wonder what Kyle might be thinking when you consider that he will have access to Walsh’s secret papers that are kept locked in the 49ers vault. My sense is that Harbugh skimmed through and forgot pretty much all that’s there. But seriously, for a young coach to have access to that stuff has got to get the juices going. If you can just put Jed out of your mind, this really is a tremendous historical opportunity for a young aspiring NFL coach. WCO v2 on its way to Levi’s Stadium. Now if we could only bring back the Candlestick turf…

    1. I thought it was a travesty that they destroyed Candlestick, and tore up the Bill Walsh Field.

      When I watched the Falcons play, all I could think of was there were many WCO concepts incorporated into the offense.

      Things are finally looking up.

  29. Cautiously optimistic the report that Shanahan Jr has accepted is true and not just a desperate leak from Jed/Paraag…. If I recall correctly it was the same Mike Silver who also stated Hue Jackson would be our next coach only to end up with Kelly. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  30. I like the whole “Wolf GM tree” thing for Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf and they do have good reputations. But have their recent draft records really been that good? Rogers sure can elevate a roster.

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