Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Mike McDaniel discusses his new role as 49ers offensive coordinator

Apr 15, 2021 at 3:30 PM--

Mike McDaniel started working with Kyle Shanahan with the Houston Texans. He is one of the San Francisco 49ers head coach's most trusted assistants, serving as the team's run-game coordinator during his first four seasons in Santa Clara. In January, McDaniel was promoted to offensive coordinator, becoming the first coach under Shanahan to hold that title.

"Immediately, you're trying to prove your worth and prove the people right that have really invested in you and invested in your career, and given you opportunities, and et cetera, et cetera," McDaniel recently told reporter Keiana Martin. "It instills a level of hunger on top of the hunger that you already had."

After McDaniel had a brief stint coaching in the United Football League, he reunited with Shanahan in Washington. The two stayed together during their time with the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons. Shanahan held onto the play-calling duties when he became the head coach in San Francisco but made certain to bring McDaniel with him.

This offseason, Shanahan lost passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur, who left for the New York Jets to become Robert Saleh's offensive coordinator. McDaniel and LaFleur were a big part of the team's game-planning efforts. The 49ers coach didn't want to lose McDaniel, too, especially after the Miami Dolphins came sniffing around. It wasn't the first offseason during which an NFL team inquired about Shanahan's assistant.

While Shanahan won't relinquish game-day play-calling duties, the new title of offensive coordinator will mean more responsibilities for McDaniel.

"There's no greater pressure put on an individual than Kyle puts on his assistant coaches," McDaniel explained, "putting pressure on them to be their very best. The one thing Kyle's always been, he's very open to thoughts, ideas, and opinions, and kind of creates an environment where that's encouraged.

"There might be more game-planning responsibilities to a degree, but every year, I've been completely invested in the run- and pass-game plans, even when I was a run-game coordinator. So, it's just more of the same natural evolution, really.

"But again, it's just doing whatever — just like every other coach in our staff — doing whatever I can to empower the play-caller for Sundays so we can win football games."

Added McDaniel: "Nobody's more excited about 2021 more than me. I promise you that."

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