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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports coach power ranking places 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan at No. 23

Jun 28, 2018 at 8:35 AM--

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NFL Media's Elliott Harrison needs a larger sample size than last year's five-game win streak to end the season in order to properly evaluate Kyle Shanahan. The San Francisco 49ers head coach comes in at No. 23 in Harrison's latest power ranking for

Leading the list are Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks.

Shanahan started his rookie head coaching season leading the 49ers to an 0-9 start. The team finished the season winning six of its final seven games, including five-straight victories after Jimmy Garoppolo was named the starting quarterback.

Expectations for the 49ers heading into the 2018 season are higher than they have been in years. The 49ers and Los Angeles Rams are viewed as the top two contenders within the NFL West. Garoppolo is headed into his first full season as a starter and the team added names like cornerback Richard Sherman on defense and running back Jerick McKinnon on offense.

Harrison wonders if the 49ers' finish to the 2017 season was influenced more by Garoppolo or Shanahan finally finding a quarterback who could properly execute his system.

"There are a few head coaches included in this league pecking order who are quite tough to evaluate," wrote Harrison. "Shanahan is front and center in that regard, as he took over a team offering both upside and a host of potential growing pains. The 49ers also had no quarterback until Jimmy Garoppolo came on board. San Francisco started winning at that point. So, was the five-game winning streak all Jimmy G, or does Shanahan deserve praise for catering his system to the young quarterback? Leaning toward the latter, but we need more volume than one third of a season to evaluate."

H/T to Patrick Tulini for the find.

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