SF 49ers: Debunking 3 myths about Kyle Shanahan

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

SF 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan comes with some reputations, but a number of these preconceived notions are notably false.

Every NFL head coach has a rap sheet, and SF 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is certainly no different.

Is it fair to consider him one of the league’s better offensive innovators going right now? For sure. Has he had a number of gaffes with clock management and calling the right plays in big-game situations, such as late in Super Bowl LIV? Absolutely.

There are also a number of positive praises, both direct and assumed, stemming from the players he’s coached. Case in point, in 2017 and 2018 when the Niners were bad, there were awfully few complaints stemming from the locker room — unusual for a team competing for the No. 2 overall NFL Draft pick the following year. Other players, such as former cornerback Richard Sherman, appreciated Shanahan’s directness.

“Kyle is similar in that he has a philosophy of the best man plays,” Sherman once said. “He doesn’t care about your draft position or any of that. He’s more of a straight shooter…”

At the same time, there have been some false truths and misconceptions about Shanahan, both stemming from his days as an offensive coordinator and, most recently, as a head coach.

Some of these are based with a bit of merit, but they’ve often been closer to myth than truth.

Let’s break down three specific myths about Shanahan and why the SF 49ers head coach doesn’t necessarily fall into these supposed associations.