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Kyle Shanahan: “I didn’t ask for a six-year contract”

Feb 9, 2017 at 5:05 PM


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New San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch both received six-year deals to join the team. It was a great gesture by 49ers CEO Jed York to show that the organization will be committed to the two for the foreseeable future.

Given the short tenures by the previous two head coaches and the 49ers' eagerness to hit the reset button when things appeared to be going wrong, there has been a lot of talk that York needed to offer long contracts in order to entice a candidate to actually go to San Francisco. Some believed that the six-year deals may have even been a demand by then-Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to even consider the 49ers job.

Shanahan told KNBR on Thursday that was not the case. "I didn't ask for a six-year contract," Shanahan said. "[York] was trying to show how committed he was and when he said stuff like that, it makes you believe him and he backed it up. He said how important it was for him to bring in a head coach and a general manager together and that's not something you get a big opportunity in this league on. It rarely happens and that's something that was extremely important to me.

RELATED Transcript: John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan Introductory Press Conference

"When he suggested that, that's what made his job seem extremely special to me. To come in with a guy where you know that you're going to be doing stuff together, making decisions together, but when you know you're in it together, you're going to either win together or fail together, that means even when you do have disagreements, you understand where each other is coming from and you know that there is no hidden agendas. You're both just trying to get it right. That's what allows you to respect other people's opinions. You can respect their intent and why they're trying to make these decisions."

Shanahan also mentioned that his interviews with the 49ers were the only ones where a general manager was not present. That allowed him to be honest with York and discuss the players on the team without worrying about the guy who acquired those players being in the same room.

Many would say that the 49ers' biggest roster need is at the quarterback position. What does Shanahan want in a quarterback? "I want a natural, pure thrower," Shanahan said. "What that means is he was born to do it and I don't believe there's -- there's definitely not 32 of those on the planet. There's probably seven. You want a guy, that throwing motion, the strength, accuracy, it's effortless and that's what he's done his whole life.

"The windows in this league are very small. It's hard to get guys open and when you have a pure thrower who doesn't have to think about it, it makes things a lot easier. Now, there's been a lot of guys who are very good throwers who couldn't handle the pressure, who didn't like standing in that pocket, who couldn't think under duress and they haven't made it.

"If you're not one of those guys, there's other attributes that can make you successful. Mobility is huge. If you're not the most pure thrower in the world but you can make a lot of plays with your legs and some off schedule stuff, defenses don't have many answers for off schedule stuff."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.
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