It's tough being a first-year head coach in the NFL. Kyle Shanahan got his rookie season out of the way and heads into his second offseason as the San Francisco 49ers' head coach with plenty of expectations from fans due to how the team ended 2017.

Last season's start had resemblances of yet another lost year under a new 49ers head coach. However, during the nine-game losing streak to kick off the season, 49ers players remained confident in their head coach and the long-term plan for the team.

In the end, with the addition of a potential franchise starting quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco finished the season by winning its last five games, which included three-straight defeats of playoff-bound teams.

Shanahan did his best to manage expectations following the 2017 season. He hopes the media doesn't contribute to any unrealistic expectations because hard work, not hype, is the only way the team can improve.

"I mean, depends what you guys write is how the expectations go," Shanahan told the media on January 2. "Hopefully, you guys don't go crazy on us. I get everyone is excited, especially when you finish the season with five in a row or six out of the last seven. We understand that. But, I also know that doesn't help at all. It's not going to help you play better."

As you would expect, there was a big learning curve for Shanahan in his first season as a head coach. Responsibilities that once fell on someone else were now his. He even nearly forgot to name team captains before a preseason game.

RELATED San Francisco 49ers' 2018 opponents are set

"I hadn't even thought about the captains until someone asked me yesterday," Shanahan told KNBR on August 10, 2017. "Honestly, if someone hadn't asked me, I probably would have been sitting there looking out at the coin toss and wondering why no one was out there."

With a season of experience under his belt, Shanahan and his 49ers will play six games against five teams with new head coaches in 2018. Below is a list of San Francisco's opponents next season who filled or will fill coaching vacancies this offseason. Two of the new head coaches have previous experience in the role while the other three will be rookie head coaches.

Oakland Raiders: Jon Gruden


Previous role: ESPN analyst
2018 Meeting: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

The Oakland Raiders' hire of Jon Gruden has been the most hyped head coach hire of the offseason. The 49ers and Raiders will meet for the first time since 2014. The Bay Area rivals used to meet annually during the preseason, but the series was canceled due to violence among the fans at games.

Gruden takes over a franchise that failed to meet the high expectations leading into the 2017 season. The Raider Nation was expecting a Super Bowl run. Instead, the team finished 6-10, which is the same record the 49ers owned.

Gruden has not coached since the 2008 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has served as an analyst for Monday Night Football on ESPN since 2009.

Chicago Bears: Matt Nagy


Previous role: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator
2018 Meeting: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

The Matt Nagy hire by the Chicago Bears on January 8 was overshadowed by the Gruden hire just two days earlier. While Nagy served as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs over the past two seasons (he was co-offensive coordinator alongside Brad Childress in 2016), he only took over the playcalling duties from Andy Reid in December.

Kansas City averaged 354.6 total yards per game with Nagy calling the plays last month and were 4-1 during those final five games of the season.

New York Giants: Pat Shurmur


Previous role: Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator
2018 Meeting: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

Pat Shurmur was hired by the New York Giants on Monday to succeed Ben McAdoo. Shurmur has experience as a head coach having served in that role with the Cleveland Browns during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. Shurmur is seen as a quarterback guru and got good production out of Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum in recent years. With Eli Manning turning 37 earlier this month and the Giants owning the second overall pick in the draft, the hire makes sense.

The Vikings ranked 11th in total offense and 10th in scoring under Shurmur. Keenum had a career year completing 67.6-percent of his passes for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns, and seven interceptions with Minnesota in 2017.

Arizona Cardinals: Steve Wilks


Previous role: Carolina Panthers assistant head coach and defensive coordinator
2018 Meetings: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA and University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

The Arizona Cardinals hired former Carolina Panthers assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to succeed Bruce Arians, who retired on January 1. Wilks inherits a defensive unit that finished each of the past three seasons ranked in the top 10 in total defense. In 2017, the Carolina defense had the second-highest blitz rate in the NFL at 44-percent, finished third in sacks with 50, ranked third against the run, didn't allow a 100-yard rusher, and allowed just 88.1 yards per game.

Detroit Lions: Matt Patricia (TBA)


Previous role: New England Patriots defensive coordinator
2018 Meeting: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

Right now, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is focused on the New England Patriots' second-straight Super Bowl appearance. However, his next job is in the back of his mind. While an announcement by Detroit cannot be made until after Super Bowl LII on February 4, Patricia's plans to join the Lions is no secret. He has even reportedly started to call some of the Lions' 2017 staff to inform them he does not plan to retain them next season.

The 49ers were in a similar situation last year. The team's intention to hire Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons at the time, was the worst-kept secret in the NFL. San Francisco made the hiring official the day after Super Bowl LI.

Patricia has served as the Patriots defensive coordinator since 2012. Since then, the New England defense has allowed just 19.2 points per game, which is second only to the Seattle Seahawks' 17 points per game over the same time frame.

49ers 2018 Home Games


Chicago Bears
Denver Broncos
Detroit Lions
New York Giants
Oakland Raiders
Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks

49ers 2018 Away Games


Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers
Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks