SANTA CLARA – After moving on from Jim Harbaugh following the 2014 season, 49ers CEO Jed York fired back-to-back coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly after just one season apiece.
First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is a lot more secure despite the team’s franchise-worst nine-game losing streak to open the season.
Shanahan said he speaks with York after games and, typically, on Monday evenings. He said their conversations are open and honest and they plot a course for future seasons he believes will result in more wins than losses.
“He’s somebody you can be honest with,” Shanahan said. “I don’t really beat around the bush with him. I’ve kind of told him direct how I feel about everything since the first day we met. I think that’s why we can get places together.
“We don’t try to hide things from each other. He knows what I’m expecting. I know what he’s expecting. He’s been great to me – very supportive.”
Shanahan said it has been difficult after every game to face 49ers ownership as the losses continue to mount. The 49ers’ roster was not strong to open the season. It is even more thin now due mostly to injuries to key players.
"It's hard after each game to look at the owners and say, 'We're sorry. I know we didn't do it again,'" Shanahan said. "That is very tough on me. I wish I could make this look better for him right now. I know it isn't there right now, but I know it will be. He's been great with that and understanding of that, too. They've really let us do our job.”
Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have some time to get things right. Both men signed six-year contracts to replace Kelly and fired general manager Trent Baalke.
“I believe in the people here,” Shanahan said. “I believe in this organization. I believe in the resources we have to improve. People win in this league because you make good decisions, you’re committed to winning, you spend money in free agency, you make the right decisions for the short term and the long term, you don’t make (decisions) based off perception just to get people off your back.
“I know we haven’t (won) here in a while. I’d love to change it right away. But I do believe we’re in the process of changing it. I know the record doesn’t show that, so actions are much stronger than my words, but I’m extremely confident we’re going in the right direction and we’ll see that over time.”