As the Atlanta Falcons prepare for the NFC Championship game, they also have to seriously consider a future without offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Now that it appears Shanahan will be the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta will at some point have to find a replacement.
It’s not an ideal scenario, especially considering Shanahan himself oversaw the league’s No. 1 scoring offense and Matt Ryan’s ascension to MVP status. That’s only magnified by the fact that head coach Dan Quinn is of the defensive-minded ilk.
In talking about the likelihood of losing Shanahan to the 49ers, Falcons owner Arthur Blank had this to say.
“Well, I think Kyle would be a big loss. But great coaches and great teams, that’s what happens in the National Football League, unlike when I was running (Home Depot). When we had somebody who was ready to run a large division, it wasn’t a problem. You’d take (him) and move him out of his division and give him his own division,” Blank said, via ESPN. “In the NFL, you only have one NFL team. And unless we’re going to put Kyle in charge of our soccer team — and we already have a good coach there — that’s it. We only have one great football coach.”
The issue here is that Quinn himself is not an expert when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. With Shanahan likely taking multiple offensive assistants with him to San Francisco, there’s a major vacuum to be filled here.
Regardless of the Falcons’ team-wide success this season, their presence in the NFC Championship game is primarily due to the Shanahan-led offense. You simply can’t replace that on a whim.