Yes, the Niners are running out of options. It’s down to Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable. The latter could be announced as head coach at any time, should CEO Jed York and Co. see fit. Shanahan, the presumed favorite, can’t be announced until his Falcons either win the Super Bowl or are eliminated from the playoffs.
And whatever choice is selected, the burden falls on York.
Remember this tweet from Niners Wire’s Rob Lowder? The one reading, “Jed, you reap what you sow.”?
Well, that’s the case.
OK, so enough words have been thrown at York since, well, a long time ago. But he deserves them Each one of them.
And whatever fallout takes place from the Niners’ third head coaching search in as many years falls on his shoulders too.
Good or bad.
Update: Cable has since withdrawn himself from consideration, and the 49ers are planning to offer Shanahan the head coaching spot, for which he’s planning to accept, per multiple reports.
Planting the Seeds of Discontent
I’ve often heard the 49ers being compared to the Titanic — a doomed ship destined to sink the in the middle of the ocean.
Well, the Niners hit the iceberg back in 2014. Remember the power struggle between former head coach Jim Harbaugh and then-general manager Trent Baalke?
Yeah, that’s your point of impact. York could have done the right thing to “save the ship.” Instead, he let go one of the most successful head coaches in franchise history. Like the Titanic, the franchise was doomed.
And the 2015 mass exodus? Well, that was nothing more than players and coaches scrambling for available lifeboats.
Like the Titanic, the 49ers are at the very bottom right now. And subsequent efforts from York have been little more than B-movie efforts like the 1980 flop, Raise the Titanic.
Nope, San Francisco is still at the depths.
In 2015, York tabbed Jim Tomsula as head coach. That didn’t work. Last year, Chip Kelly was the guy. That didn’t work either.
We’ve established a trend here. That’s the troubling thing.
York was tying an air-filled balloon to a sunken ship and hoping for the best. His efforts to get the franchise back on track culminated in only the fifth two-win team in franchise history and the fourth time San Francisco has finished with 14 losses.
Nov 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers fans hold signs referencing general manager Trent Baalke and CEO Jed York before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
It’s safe to say York doesn’t have a clue on what it takes to lead a successful franchise.
Now, York has at least admitted Baalke was a part of the problem and not the solution. That probably should have been realized two years ago. Better late than never.
Give York credit for that. Admitting mistakes is never an easy thing to do.
Yet here we are… still at the bottom.
Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is shown on the sideline during the game against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Head Coaching Dream/Debacle
Shanahan would be a great landing. Cable would have been a disaster. It’s that simple.
Earlier this week, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels turned down any potential 49ers head coaching opening. He cited the desire to keep his family in New England and not move clear across the country.
Sounds nice. But it’s hard to avoid the thought McDaniels would rather be the first mate on a luxury liner that is the Patriots instead of a captain on the sunken Titanic. Why would he leave?
York. The Niners reputation of recent years. Enough said.
So that leaves the aforementioned two candidates.
Shanahan could easily come to Santa Clara and resurrect the franchise. But he has more than enough leverage to get whatever he wants. Is that something York would be willing to deal with?
On the other hand, a lesser-known candidate would not be asking for much. So it’s feasible York and Co. would have no problem offering him a no-name candidate a bottom-of-the-barrel deal as they did with Tomsula.
Jed York Deserves What Happens
If Shanahan winds up being head coach of the 49ers in 2017, York does get some credit.
Feb 1, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers chief executive officer Jed York during the Super Bowl 50 host committee press conference at the Moscone Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
He should receive the praise awarded for “getting it right” and realizing the shotgun marriages and short-term fixes weren’t going to work. The entire clean-slate idea was the right direction for this franchise.
And if York has to open up the pocketbooks for whatever Shanahan wants to command, York should get credit for that too. It’s time for the 49ers to pay for what has happened. The right fix isn’t going to come cheap.