Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP

Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP



Very few have criticized the San Francisco 49ers for the hiring of Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach. The organization hopes it hit a home run and has its leader for at least the next six years, which is the length of the contract that Shanahan received.

NFL quarterback-turned-television analyst Tony Romo is among those who feel the same way. Romo recently took part in the American Century Celebrity golf tournament and, while speaking to the media on Wednesday, applauded the 49ers for the hiring of Shanahan.

Former ESPN journalist Bill Williamson wrote the following as part of an article for FanRag:

"Romo also said he thinks the San Francisco 49ers hit a home run in their hiring of new head coach Kyle Shanahan. He said Shanahan has special offensive coaching abilities and he is like a second quarterback. He compared Shanahan's offensive coaching skills to New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick's defensive coaching chops."

The fact that Romo would compare Shanahan to Belichick is high praise. The 49ers can only hope that their rookie head coach turns out to be among the elite head coaches in league history.

While Romo transitions to becoming a television analyst, John Lynch has transitioned to his role as the 49ers' general manager. Lynch was also a fan of Shanahan's from the beginning.

"He takes players and plays to their strengths and I think that's what great coaches do," Lynch said of Shanahan in February after the pair were officially hired. "They play to the strengths. From the way he worked with Robert Griffin in Washington to the way he adjusted to Matt Ryan and really pulled every ounce. He lets players max out by putting them in optimal position and I think that's the mark of a great head coach."

With a few exceptions, players who have worked with Shanahan while he was an offensive coordinator have raved about his intelligence, attention to detail, and game planning.

Included among his fans is Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who worked with Shanahan for two seasons.

"He's just an offensive genius," Cousins said in February. "He understands X's and O's very well. He watches film. He doesn't just read press clippings or make decisions based on hype. He watches the tape."

Cousins, who many believe could be the quarterback for the 49ers in 2018, is awaiting a long-term deal from his current team, Washington. If a multi-year deal is not agreed upon by Monday, July 17th, Cousins will likely become a free agent next year.

Fan excitement for the upcoming season is high, as are hopes for the future of the 49ers. While the turnaround may not be immediate, the moves that the team has made have been seen as improvements. Shanahan takes over an offense that ranked 27th in scoring and 31st in total yards last season.