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Kyle Shanahan: ‘You never want to compete in one year at the expense of your future’

Jun 18, 2017 at 5:02 PM--

When Mike Shanahan left the San Francisco 49ers to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, he transitioned from one Hall of Fame quarterback to another. In San Francisco, he helped win a Super Bowl as the 49ers' offensive coordinator with Steve Young as his signal caller. In Denver, he went on to win two more as its head coach with John Elway under center.

Mike Shanahan's son, Kyle, is now the head coach of the 49ers and, along with first-time general manager John Lynch, is in charge of rebuilding the once proud NFL franchise. Kyle Shanahan nearly won a Super Bowl as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons with last year's NFL MVP, Matt Ryan, at quarterback. In San Francisco, it will be Brian Hoyer leading Shanahan's offense in 2017.

The younger Shanahan joined the Talk of Fame Network podcast on Friday and was asked how he expects to get back to the top with Hoyer, backup Matt Barkley, and what he likes about the two.

"I don't think you look at, necessarily, getting to the top," Shanahan answered. "That's not the first question that you ask. It's just the process of putting the team together the best way you can every single day. The whole goal is to get to the playoffs. And once you get to the playoffs, you just got to win two games -- sometimes three games -- to get to the Super Bowl. So what gives your team a chance to get there? You've got to find that guy through the draft or through free agency.

"So when we got here, we looked into both situations. We didn't feel all we needed to add was a quarterback. We're taking over a 2-14 team and they were 31st and 32nd on offense and defense last year so we knew we had to add a bunch of players. We look into free agency and you look at the best guys available and I thought we got those guys.

"When you look at -- starting with Brian -- you got a guy who knows how to play the position. He stays in the pocket. He's not scared of the rush. He'll keep his eyes downfield and he can execute an offense delivering the ball to people. And I saw the same with Barkley. (He) hasn't had as much playing time as Hoyer but I thought he had his best year with Chicago in the two games that he got in before he got hurt.

"So I like looking at guys who can run an offense. And when you got guys who can run an offense and put the ball in the right spot and attack coverages, then it's about building the team around them. And our situation here, starting with free agency and then going into the draft, I feel we did a real good job of that with John Lynch and all the people upstairs and the personnel department. I think we've turned over this team as much as we can here in just the few months we've been together and we plan on always doing that.

"We're always going to look for the best guy. (We) got a lot of confidence in Brian. I have a lot of confidence in Matt Barkley. (I) got a lot of confidence in C.J. Beathard, who we drafted. And then (Nick) Mullens, we got as a free agent. I think we've got a bunch of guys here who have given some good competition."

Shanahan went on to say that he isn't really looking at a timetable to turn things around in San Francisco. Team ownership has shown a commitment to him and Lynch and knows that the two are trying to rebuild the roster the right way.

"With that being said, I want to compete every year," Shanahan added. "But you never want to compete in one year at the expense of your future. I feel the situation that the Yorks have given us, we can make the right decisions. I'm always going to try to be an aggressive type of decision maker where you make the decision that improves your team right away but never at the expense of the future. And that's what we're trying to do through this process."

You can listen to the entire podcast, which includes the story of a fan throwing a beer at a young Kyle Shanahan, on the Talk of Fame Network.


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