New San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was introduced as such in a press conference. During the press conference, he addressed the Super Bowl meltdown that saw the Atlanta Falcons blow a 25-point lead to the New England Patriots.
Showing some vulnerability and honesty, Shanahan said losing the Super Bowl was “as hard as anything I’ve had to go through,” per Albert Breer of The MMQB. He also said Jed York gave him a day and a half to grieve the loss before they talked about the head coaching gig with the 49ers.
The Falcons had built up a 28-3 lead in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI and infamously collapsed down the stretch, allowing the Patriots to make the historic comeback to win. Shanahan admitted that he “blew it” during the final drives of the game, in so many words, at least.
New #49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on telling people “I blew it.” … “I don’t know if I used those exact words, but that sounds like how I talk.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 9, 2017
Among the reasons to point a finger at Shanahan for “blowing it” during the Super Bowl is the simple fact the Falcons ran the ball just five times during the second half with that gargantuan lead. Tevin Coleman was injured, but Devonta Freeman was having a field day, yet he never got a real chance to carry Atlanta to victory.
Hopefully Shanahan can learn from his mistakes. He’s now the man with the most power to shape the direction of the 49ers going forward, at least for the short term.
On that note, he apparently made quite the impression during the interview process with the 49ers, making it clear the franchise was not where it needed to be. Time will tell if he’s the right man to turn things around for the historic team, which was at one point the best thing going in the NFL during the Bill Walsh/George Seifert era.