San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is considered by many to be the brightest offensive mind in the NFL today, which is a big reason his team made the NFC Championship Game in four of the past five seasons. Shanahan has yet to win the Big Game, but if that was weighing on him on Super Bowl Opening Night, he certainly didn’t show it.
There were a couple of notable clips in particular where Shanahan seemed, shall we say, looser than usual. He isn’t Bill Belichick chilly toward the media, yet he’s far removed from someone super candid like his good friend Mike McDaniel. Check out Shanahan go on a rant of praise about his divisivequarterback, Brock Purdy, followed by comments on ex-49ers exec Adam Peters and former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn becoming the new GM-HC combo in Washington.
OK so maybe the second clip isn’t as egregious, and while it feels a tad reckless to speculate on somebody’s sobriety, well…all I’ll say is, this is a version of Kyle Shanahan I haven’t often seen. And as long as I’m not outta pocket and he’s not dealing with some kind of substance abuse issue, this situation strikes me as a guy who’s living it up in Las Vegas and blowing off just a touch of steam before Super Bowl Sunday.
Alright. So here’s how some folks are reacting to Shanahan’s Purdy rant in particular.
It’s a cool story from Shanahan, too! Discovering Purdy was the best QB on the field as a third-stringer when he was getting less than a handful of practice reps at a time, increasing his opportunities, and noticing that his play didn’t drop off at all. What a revelation. Imagine bringing in Mr. Irrelevant and he’s suddenly outplaying everyone at the most important position on the field. Can’t imagine Shanahan’s relief. Regardless of how you view Brock Purdy among the league’s QBs, he’s certainly done well enough to guide San Francisco to an NFC title.
Just thinking about this whole pomp and circumstance pageantry event from Shanahan’s perspective, though, you can hardly blame him for wanting to escape reality a bit. Dealing with the media is a necessity and part of the job that most coaches don’t particularly enjoy, if only because it distracts from the preparation for the game. At the Super Bowl, the spotlight is that much more intense. Not that Shanahan hasn’t been in this spot before. It’s just that, I could see why he’d want a little liquid courage.
The game plan is already locked in. This was the Monday before the game. So what if Coach Shanny is slinging some slots, hitting the craps table, or tipping a few adult beverages back? NFL coaches work ungodly hours, and Shanahan is known as a grinder who’ll burn the midnight oil and then some while scheming up new wrinkles to his offense. I feel like Shanny has more than earned the right to pull up to a free-wheeling media engagement ever so slightly inebriated if he so chooses. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? It’s not like Shanahan is hitting the LA nightlife before he faces the Rams twice a year.
A couple bonus moments just for fun: Watching Shanahan ham it up with Chiefs coach Andy Reid was delightful, as was hearing him gush about the McCaffrey family at the podium.
Andy Reid gives Kyle Shanahan a friendly little chest bump as the Chiefs & 49ers take center stage in Las Vegas.
I asked Kyle Shanahan if he remembered Christian McCaffrey as a kid since his dad coached CMC's. Probably my favorite clip of the night: "his dad was my hero" "I've always loved Ed and I knew he had a bunch of crazy boys" "Everyone acts like I babysat them, that was my sister" pic.twitter.com/OVvrsrfXYU
Might as well tack this on since I brought up the Rams: Behold the 2022 NFL Draft’s post-first-round presser coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead. These guys had just won the Super Bowl, still had to be on cloud nine, and didn’t even have a first-round pick to talk about. That led to this:
Rams reaction to Patriots selection of Cole Strange at #29.