Kyle Shanahan brings a youthful vigor to the San Francisco 49ers. As the new coach of the once-proud organization, Shanahan faces a big challenge in restoring the Niners to greatness. For now, he at least brings an excitement that has been absent since Jim Harbaugh’s departure.
The San Francisco 49ers have been disappointing over the last few seasons, to put it mildly. A year after three straight NFC Championship Game appearances, the 49ers “mutually agreed” to part ways with Jim Harbaugh. When Harbaugh left, so did all of the excitement in the 49ers organization.
The Niners tried Jim Tomsula, a “Yes-man” coach for the 49ers top brass. After a year of poor play and poor attendance, the 49ers and Jed York moved on — to Chip Kelly. Even with Kelly’s supposedly-excited offense coming to the Bay Area, the prospects looked dim — and the excitement was all but nonexistent. After all, Trent Baalke was still in the picture as the GM.
Suddenly, as of February 6, 2017, a new bit of anticipation and joy entered into the 49ers fan base as Kyle Shanahan officially became the next head coach for the Niners.
Shanahan brings with him a successful pedigree as an offensive coordinator in addition to a youthful vigor as the second-youngest head coach in the NFL at 37 years of age. He and GM John Lynch may be untested at this level, but if nothing else, there is an air of optimism about the possibilities and the future.
That, in and of itself, is an accomplishment for a team that went 2-14 last season, have no idea who will play quarterback next year, and have an abundance of holes on a roster with bigger gaps than Michael Strahan’s teeth.
Shanahan and Lynch have six-year contracts. They will be given time to make mistakes and achieve success. More than likely, they will do plenty of the former to start. But they will be given the chance to grow and succeed.