Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After more criticism, Florio says 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan has a ‘very good chance’ to be the next Bill Belichick

Jun 27, 2020 at 9:24 AM--

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is very committed to his stance on San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's parting words from an interview for this past week's State of the Francisco event.

"I know we were good enough to win that Super Bowl, and we didn't," Shanahan said. "And that's something we've got to live with. And that's why the state of the franchise, right now, is we've got to get right back to that moment. We've got to get right back to that fourth quarter, and get to have a lead, and we've got to finish the job."

It's that last part that irked Florio and was the focus of two video discussions, one with Chris Simms, and the other with Dan "Big Cat" Katz. In both, Florio criticized Shanahan for seemingly looking at the upcoming season wrong, and focusing on finishing the job in the Super Bowl rather than the rigors of playing through an NFL season to get there.

Florio made his opinion known again, this time in a column for Pro Football Talk. Once again, he shares some of the same criticisms he expressed during his previous two attempts. The NFL writer is really focused on that small portion of Shanahan's interview, an interview that lasted about nine minutes and can be viewed in its entirety here or read about here.

That's where Florio's argument seemingly falls apart. He is pushing the point that Shanahan is not talking about the work it takes to get through the season, to make the playoffs, and the effort necessary to once again reach the mountaintop.

Except, he did.

Here is what Shanahan said earlier during the interview.

"I know we've got to go through a season, and it's going to be a lot harder to do that," Shanahan said. "A lot harder. And we can play a lot better and still not do what we did last time. That's why all of our guys have got to take this challenge, and we've got to take advantage of this offseason. We've got to still find a way to take a step ahead of other people because everyone's chasing us right now, and it hasn't been that way."

Shanahan also stated that the Super Bowl loss was so tough to deal with because the team's goal all season was to show it could compete in every game, and it did. And then to come up one to three plays short of winning a championship was very disheartening.

Other players, like linebacker Fred Warner, also said during the State of the Franchise event that the goal is to win a championship.

"But we all understand that there's a lot of time and effort required to get to that point, Warner added. "So, we're just going to take it one day at a time and make sure we're working our tails off to get back."

For whatever reason, those parts of the conversations are being ignored by Florio, who is focused only on one aspect of the discussions. He seems to feel that Shanahan and his players shouldn't even be mentioning the Super Bowl at this point, even though they are clearly motivated by that February loss.

That doesn't mean Florio disrespects Shanahan, however. He seemingly holds the 49ers coach in high regard, which is why he says he's so surprised by the comments. The Pro Football Talk writer even compares Shanahan to another great NFL head coach — Bill Belichick.

"By all indications (and with apologies to all other young coaches), Shanahan has a very good chance to be the next Belichick," Florio writes in closing his latest article on the topic of Shanahan. "And if the Patriots had blown a 10-point lead at the end of Super Bowl LIV, Belichick wouldn't be talking about, thinking about, or letting anyone in the organization talk about or think getting back to that point."

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