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49ers Focusing on Shanahan
Thursday, Jan. 14
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the San Francisco 49ers' interest in Shanahan "ramped up considerably" after they interviewed him Tuesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter added the choice is likely coming down to Shanahan and former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, and a decision could come in the next 48 hours.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported multiple "high level Broncos execs" strongly backed Shanahan for the 49ers job.
On Wednesday, Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN reported Shanahan is "strongly back in the mix," adding that the team is close to making a decision.
Shanahan Linked to Multiple Head Coaching Vacancies
Monday, Jan. 4
Shanahan is scheduled to meet with the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 5, which will be his second interview with the team, per Schefter. He has also reached out to the Philadelphia Eagles regarding their head coaching vacancy, according to Rapoport.
Shanahan's Resume Has Wilted in Recent Years
Shanahan, 63, boasts a 170-138 record across a 20-season career, with stops in Los Angeles (Raiders), Denver and Washington. He won two Super Bowls with the Broncos and has made the playoffs eight times, most recently with Washington in 2012.
Despite the formidable resume, however, his success is a little front-loaded. His two Super Bowls came in his first four seasons in Denver, and he's won exactly one playoff game in his 14 subsequent seasons. After John Elway's retirement following the 1998 season, Shanahan-led teams have won only two division crowns and have five campaigns below .500.
Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald wasn't enthused with a potential Shanahan-to-Miami hire:
Mike Shanahan hasn't had any success since the 1990s. So about the same as the Dolphins.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) January 4, 2016
Perhaps more disconcerting was his ugly tenure in Washington, which featured a fractured relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III. Many blame Shanahan for keeping an obviously hobbled Griffin in Washington's 2012 Wild Card Game against Seattle, a move that ultimately ended in the then-rising star tearing apart his knee. The pair would feud behind the scenes throughout Shanahan's final season in Washington, with owner Dan Snyder siding with his quarterback.
It's possible the organization in Washington was too toxic for any coach to succeed. However, we have more than a decade of data at our disposal that places Shanahan as an average-at-best head coach. It might be time to consider using those talking points over his two Super Bowl wins when discussing his qualifications.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter