49ers end-of-year grades for Kyle Shanahan, his coordinators

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan  Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

. Head Coach. Kyle Shanahan. B-. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 42

End-of-year grades for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan

Maybe it was a good thing for Kyle Shanahan to deflect some of the play-calling responsibilities over to Mike McDaniel last season, and McDaniel wisely played a large role in allowing wide receiver Deebo Samuel to be used in a variety of different ways, propelling him to his first-ever first-team All-Pro selection.

That was one positive out of many. And as stated before, Shanahan had to dig his team out of that early 3-5 start and get it into a position where a deep playoff run was possible. This was probably aided by one of Shanahans’ previously weaker traits, the red zone, in which the team actually finished the regular season with an NFL-best 66.7 touchdown percentage.

Yet there’s still a lot to criticize.

Shanahan’s handling of the quarterback situation between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance was still messy, even though both signal-callers downplayed the issue, and the relatively frequent lack of use of his best players, such as Samuel and tight end George Kittle, in key situations during games is notably baffling.

Particularly on neither player getting touches when the Niners were looking to grind down the clock against the Rams in the NFC Championship game and had a 2nd-and-1, ultimately deciding to punt.

Why punt in Rams territory in that situation, too?

San Francisco’s fourth-quarter offense wasn’t good during the regular season, and that problem was magnified during the playoffs as well.

All told, Shanahan is still a very, very good head coach. Yet he still has a number of areas in which he can improve.

Grade: B-

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