July 15, 2024

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Lots of NFL analysts consider Shanahan to be the best offensive coach in football because he has been able to achieve so much success in the regular season without an elite quarterback.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan certainly is one of the top offensive coaches in the NFL, but is he the best?

His opening scripts are brilliant and his offensive system is the most popular one in the NFL. Teams all around the league have hired his assistant coaches to try to replicate his scheme, which is cutting-edge with all its pre-snap shifts and motions.

Lots of NFL analysts consider Shanahan to be the best offensive coach in football because he has been able to achieve so much success in the regular season without an elite quarterback. No matter how much talent the 49ers have at running back, tight end and wide receiver, Shanahan always is portrayed as the star of the offense, and the quarterback usually is portrayed as the Achilles heel. Ask Jimmy Garoppolo.

But as good as Shanahan is, a couple of things hold him back as an offensive coach. First, he’s rigid. He doesn’t want to change his scheme to fit his players — he wants to find players who fit his scheme. A scheme that hasn’t won a Super Bowl. And two, he doesn’t have a great eye for quarterbacks. He didn’t want Patrick Mahomes. Instead, he traded for Jimmy Garoppolo and made him the highest-paid player in the league. Then he traded three first-round picks for Trey Lance.

Compare Shanahan to Andy Reid. Reid isn’t rigid. His offensive philosophy changes every year depending on the players he has. And Reid doesn’t call attention to himself. He doesn’t have to be the star. He empowers the quarterback to be the star. As opposed to Shanahan, who positions him to be the scapegoat when he inevitably falls short.

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