Saturday, June 25, 2022

The 49ers’ Shanahan is ahead of the Super Bowl winner in the Major category

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Kyle Shanahan has been both loved and hated by the San Francisco 49ers fanbase for the past three seasons.

The head coach was praised for his attacking in the outside zone and how he was able to dismember the running defense. He’s also been credited as a quarterback whisperer for his past work with the likes of Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins. But he has felt the brunt of the criticism for labeling plays that numerous online fans have dubbed “predictable”.

Though his backlash can be seen online, Shanahan was named one of the top NFL play-callers for the upcoming 2022 season — even ahead of a Super Bowl-winning head coach with whom he’s had his fair share of fights.

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Pro Football Focus stays high on Shanahan and his skills with a headset and a game sheet. PFF writer Eric Eager named the sixth-year 49ers head coach the fourth-best play caller in the league on Thursday, June 16.

But it’s most telling who Shanahan is ahead of: He was placed ahead of Super Bowl 56 winner Sean McVay by rival Los Angeles Rams.

How did Shanahan outperform the Vince Lombardi Trophy-holding head coach last season? Is it because of his previous track record against McVay despite losing the NFC title game? Eager wrote this statement: How Shanahan Attacks Linebacker.

“Shanahan is on the list this year for a number of reasons. It’ll show up in the McVay section, but linebackers just don’t move against Shanahan’s offense — they don’t flow into running play and they don’t bite game action,” Eager said. “When linebackers are standing still, quarterbacks of Jimmy Garoppolo’s caliber can just ‘throw what you call’ — be sort of Ron Burgundy — and it works in the end.”

Garoppolo, who has also been equally criticized for his play with the 49ers, has still played 31-14 as a starter under Shanahan in the Bay Area. Eager and PFF addressed how Jimmy G delivered a high passer rating when it came to shorter throws in Shanahan’s scheme.

“Last year, Jimmy G had a 107.4 passer rating when he threw the ball down between 10 and 19 yards, although PFF recorded him with only two great throws and 15 turnover-worthy plays on those passes,” Eager said.

He added that past element regarding linebackers versus the 49ers: how they’re “less a little bit.”

McVay cracked the top five on the PFF list — placing ahead of Green Bay Packers’ Matt LaFleur.

But what was the dilemma McVay faced when he was ranked higher than his longtime NFC West friend/rival Shanahan?

“McVay runs the ball too much on early downs that almost cost him a Super Bowl, and is terrible at fourth-down decisions and timeout usage,” Eager wrote.

Despite the criticism, Eager McVay gave his praise and comparison to Shanahan.

However, he is a dynamite play-caller,” Eager wrote. “And similar to Shanahan, linebackers just don’t feel comfortable playing the Rams offense, which makes life easier for that unit.”

But again, both were placed in their respective rankings based on two elements involving runs and a critical down.

“Anyone who has watched the last two games of the 2021 NFL season can see that while both men are brilliant, they leave a lot on their offenses by running the ball too much, let alone theirs Decisions in fourth down,” Eager said.

And PFF’ top play caller? Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs. In second place was Dallas Cowboys’ Kellen Moore, the highest-ranking assistant coach on the list.

Despite the criticism, Eager McVay gave his praise and comparison to Shanahan.

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