Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers-Packers: Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur comment on seemingly frosty postgame handshake

Sep 26, 2021 at 10:05 PM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had a very brief post-game handshake Sunday night that probably won't quiet any speculation about whether or not there's been any damage to their friendship, but it's possible the moment came simply as a result of Shanahan's frustration over losing to the Packers in the final seconds.

Shanahan and LaFleur's quick encounter came right after Packers kicker Mason Crosby connected on a 51-yard field goal to give the Packers a 30-28 win, which was a heartbreaking result for a 49ers team that had battled back from a 17-point first half deficit to take a 28-27 lead with 37 seconds to play. The two shook hands quickly then brushed shoulders as they walked in opposite directions.

A report last week from NFL Network reporter Mike Silver stated that a rift had developed over the offseason between the two long-time friends stemming from Shanahan and the 49ers showing interest in acquiring quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Shanahan downplayed the report when asked about it Friday.

"No, I don't," Shanahan said Friday when asked if there was any tension between the two coaches. "I mean, I definitely heard about people talking about our friendship. I've got a lot of friends in this league; coaches, players, equipment managers, everybody. I've been in this league for 20 years, and you do have lots of friends, but I can promise you that friends never affect how you do your job. We all have jobs to do, and you all have relationships, but you always do your job and try not to think about anything else."

Was the postgame handshake a sign of tension? Shanahan chalked it up to not being interested in doing too much chit-chat after how the game ended.

"I think I was just pissed about the game. It ended on the last play and I wasn't trying to hang out too long in the middle of the field," Shanahan said.

LaFleur was asked after the game about his relationship with Shanahan as well as the handshake.

"I'd say you'd have to ask Kyle about that," LaFleur said. "I know Kyle. He is ultracompetitive. That's a tough moment for anybody to be in. I'm sure he was ticked off we were able to take the ball down and kick a field goal to win a football game."

Shanahan and LaFleur's relationship goes back to their early coaching days in Washington. Even if there is a bit of frustration between the two of them over Rodgers, it doesn't sound like LaFleur is interested in letting any sort of long-term rift develop.

"We've got a lot of history together, so I'm not going to let anything come between our friendship," LaFleur said

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