49ers agree to multi-year contract extensions with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch →
placeholder image

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Bomani Jones: Kyle Shanahan should be fired if 49ers don’t make the playoffs

Marc Adams
Aug 29, 2023 at 11:55 AM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The San Francisco 49ers took a big swing. And they missed. There's nothing wrong with that. It happens. Even the greatest hitters in the world fail two-thirds of the time.

Usually, when a head coach or general manager takes a quarterback as high as the 49ers drafted Trey Lance, and it doesn't work out, that coach or general manager, or both, gets fired. Especially when they paid a bounty to acquire the player. It doesn't look like Kyle Shanahan or John Lynch are on the hot seat, though. And they shouldn't be.

But one national writer seems to believe Shanahan's seat should, at a minimum, be getting warmer.

Bomani Jones, formerly of ESPN, was a guest on KNBR on Monday with Tom Tolbert and Ray Ratto. Jones said he believed the trade for Lance was bad from the beginning, not because of Lance, but because the 49ers should have drafted a QB that was ready to play immediately. Jones believes that when you spend as much draft capital as the 49ers spent, that quarterback should be ready much sooner.

"Like, why are you giving up three first-round picks for a project?" Jones said. Jones believes the blame lands squarely on Shanahan and there's no other way to view this except for it being the coach's fault. "I think he's [Shanahan] getting off easy on this," Jones added. "But he may have broken Trey Lance."

Many in the media, and many more in the 49ers' fanbase, were saying the same thing less than a week ago after it was announced that Sam Darnold would be Brock Purdy's backup and that Lance was being shopped. A couple of days later, the third-year QB was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for a fourth-round pick.

Jones continued, "Where Kyle loses me, and what I just can't understand, is the Sam Darnold backup thing. If you want to start Purdy, I get that. That makes sense. I personally cannot imagine being invested in someone enough to give up all they did to get Lance in the first place, and then to bail on him so Sam Darnold could be your backup quarterback. Especially if your whole thing is, I just want a guy that can drop back and rip it. But you wanted Kirk Cousins, the guy who throws short of the sticks on fourth and the season on the line, and Sam 'I'm seeing ghosts' Darnold.

"And for his own sake, I hope everything goes the way it's supposed to, because if they have another one of those injury-ravaged years that they've been good to have, and then they don't make the playoffs, I'd fire Kyle Shanahan before he could get to the locker room for the last game of the year."

Tolbert, who seemed surprised by Jones' statement, asked, "You would fire Kyle Shanahan?"

Jones responded, "In a heartbeat. You're not winning a Super Bowl without an answer to your quarterback situation. And seven years in, with plenty of opportunities to come up with these solutions, he has failed at every turn."

Jones talked about how he has always heard that a QB like Lance could do well in a Shanahan offense because it was structured so the quarterback could succeed, but that people are now talking like it's too complicated.

"I personally don't want a coach that I can't trust a talented quarterback with. And this is the second time a highly talented quarterback has been left with Kyle Shanahan. The first one left broken, and the second one just got traded for prices that make it seem like he got broken, too."

During the interview, Ratto asked Jones if he would fire Shanahan, as head coach, or fire him as general manager. Of course, Lynch is the general manager. But it's common knowledge that Shanahan handpicks some of his players, especially the quarterbacks.

"I guess general manager would probably be the right answer," Jones replied, "But you got to tell me this because I can't get a great handle on it—whose idea was it to take Trey Lance?" Ratto answered that it was clearly Shanahan's decision. To which Jones suggested that people have tried to tell him it was Lynch's idea.

Said Jones, "So the reason I would lean toward the idea of firing is because if it was John Lynch's idea, if I give you a quarterback, figure it out. And he never seemed to have a real investment in figuring it out.

"And that's the part that makes me nervous about him, if I'm, you know, around this team and thinking about the future of it, it's like, 'are we going to have to deal with mediocre talent at quarterback forever, cause that's the only thing our head coach can ride out with?'"

Jones added that if the 49ers were in the AFC, and talking about winning with Purdy, they'd get laughed off the stage, because of the QB talent in the AFC, compared to what's in the NFC.

But Tolbert challenged Jones on that point, saying that the 49ers have an All-Pro at every level and that this team can compete with any others. Tolbert added, "Now if they're losing, I'm with you. But if they're winning at that level, I don't know that there's a lot to complain about."

"We'll see what all this looks like," Jones said. "I'm not saying, 'Hey, you gotta fire Kyle Shanahan right now.' I am saying, though, making the assumption that everything's gonna be good this year 'cause everything looked good last year, I'm not confident enough to do that. And I just find it so strange that a coach that seems to be so good on so many levels, and who is an offensive guy, just can't get a handle on the quarterback thing, in such a way that none of us understands what he really likes."

Of course, Jones isn't the only one criticizing how the 49ers, specifically Shanahan, have handled their quarterbacks. One former player had a few things to say about the QB situation in San Francisco.

Jimmy Garoppolo recently sat down with Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated and called the situation involving Lance, "weird."

"Weird situation," Garoppolo told Lundberg. "Been a lot of weird situations over there in San Francisco. I'll just leave it at that. But I'm happy Trey got another shot. I'm happy he's going to Dallas, gets another opportunity, and hopefully things work out there."

When asked how he thinks the 49ers have handled the quarterback situation, Garoppolo answered, "How do you think they've handled them?" When Lundberg called the situation "messy," Garoppolo said, "That's a nice way to put it."

Ouch! That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for Shanahan and Lynch.

Does Kyle Shanahan deserve to be fired? Of course not. It's way too early for something like that. But he hasn't handled his QBs the way he probably should have. And if Lance goes on to be a star in Dallas, and Purdy doesn't do the same in Santa Clara, this conversation will be unnecessary, because Shanahan and Lynch will both be looking for new jobs.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.


Facebook Comments

Do not use the comments to notify us of errors in the article. Editors may not see it. Instead, report errors here.

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

Nick Bosa: 49ers D-line will have more opportunities against Daniel Jones

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 19

The San Francisco 49ers cruised to a 30-23 win on Sunday, overcoming a tight first half to generate a double-digit lead until the last play of the game, improving to 2-0 on the season. Now, the 49ers are getting ready to host their season opener, and it comes in primetime, as San Francisco will play the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football at Levi's Stadium this week. The Giants have started their season with two very different games, losing 40-0 to the Dallas Cowboys in the opener before making a comeback in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals for a 31-28 win. However, they may be without star running back Saquon Barkley, who suffered an ankle sprain in Week 2, potentially putting an even bigger onus on quarterback Daniel Jones against the

placeholder image

49ers seek to change narrative vs. dual-threat QBs by stopping Daniel Jones

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 19

The San Francisco 49ers have sported an excellent defense over the past few seasons, despite going from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to DeMeco Ryans and now Steve Wilks, utilizing a similar scheme and consistently developing talent on that side of the ball. However, there has been one area, regardless of coordinator and talent, that the 49ers have struggled against defensively: containing dual-threat quarterbacks. That's the challenge they face in Week 3, as the 49ers are hosting the New York Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones in the home opener. The Giants have seen a tumultuous start to the season with a blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, and a thrilling comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. Can the 49ers change

placeholder image

49ers mailbag: Is Christian McCaffrey being overused? Should Spencer Burford be benched? Is Steve Wilkes who the defense needs? When is Nick Bosa going to show up?

By Marc Adams
Sep 19

The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0 to start off the 2023 season. In 2021, the 49ers won their first two games but then lost their next four. A win Thursday night, in the home opener against the New York Giants, would be the 49ers' first 3-0 start since 2019. That season, the team started out 8-0 before going on to win the NFC West and cruise through the NFC playoffs on their way to a birth in Super Bowl LIV. I can't seem to remember how that game turned out, though. It's like it's been blocked from my memory. It doesn't matter, because we've moved on to the current season. And to celebrate the 2-0 start, we've opened up the mailbag to answer those questions burning a hole in your mind. So let's get to it. Marc, what did ya think of CMC channelling

placeholder image

Should the 49ers play WR Brandon Aiyuk in Week 3?

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 20

The San Francisco 49ers are getting prepared for their home opener on Thursday Night Football against the New York Giants, who will be without a number of key players, including star running back Saquon Barkley and left tackle Andrew Thomas. Meanwhile, the 49ers are entering the game relatively healthy, save for one tough, game-time decision to make with WR Brandon Aiyuk, who is currently nursing a shoulder injury that he sustained during his first catch last week. Aiyuk has been listed as limited on both Monday and Tuesday, earning him a questionable designation heading into the Thursday Night matchup, and a resolution likely comes only 90 minutes before game time. Should the 49ers play Aiyuk in Week 3, given the


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone