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#pounditSaturday, June 15, 2024

Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay fighting over claims to 1 head coach

Kyle Shanahan with a headset

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches play on the sidelines during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan is in a friendly fight with Sean McVay over the claims to one coach on their respective trees.

Late in the Week 15 “Thursday Night Football” game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, Amazon announcers (it’s still so weird to type that) Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit were singing Shanahan’s praises. They were talking up the 49ers head coach, sharing how Pete Carroll called Shanahan a “savant.”

Michaels and Herbstreit were discussing the coaching tree Shanahan is already building. They noted that Kyle’s tree really starts with his father, Mike.

“Everybody’s talking about coaching trees … it all starts with Mike Shanahan,” Herbstreit said.

“Kyle’s got his own tree starting with Mike McDaniel in Miami,” Michaels noted.

Then Herbstreit brought up how Shanahan became offended when the announcers suggested that Matt LaFleur was part of McVay’s coaching tree. This all came up when the announcers spoke with Shanahan ahead of the 49ers-Seahawks game.

“He’s kind of kidding around. We were saying, ‘hey look, your tree is getting to be like McVay’s tree.’ He said ‘hold on a second. McVay had LaFleur for one year. I had him for 10!'” Michaels recalled.

Yes, Kyle Shanahan absolutely should get credit for LaFleur and McDaniel. McDaniel coached under Shanahan for almost his entire career before becoming Miami’s head coach. And while LaFleur was an offensive coordinator for McVay’s Rams in 2017 and later became the Packers head coach in 2019, most of the Green Bay coach’s experience came under Kyle Shanahan.

LaFleur was an offensive assistant under Shanahan in Houston from 2008-2009. He was the quarterbacks coach for Washington from 2010-2013 when Shanahan was their offensive coordinator. He was also the quarterbacks coach under Shanahan in Atlanta for 2015-2016.

McDaniel and LaFleur go under Shanahan. Zac Taylor and Kevin O’Connell could go under McVay. But Mike Shanahan is the (literal and figurative) father to them all.


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