The 49ers recently rewarded coach Kyle Shanahan with a contract extension that will keep him with the franchise through the 2025 season. Though it was only announced this week, both sides apparently came to the agreement not long after Super Bowl LIV.
Considering Shanahan led San Francisco to a 13-3 regular-season record and a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, the extension absolutely was well-deserved. NBC Sports' Chris Simms has known Shanahan well dating back to their college days, and he full-heartedly agrees.
"This is a guy that, as you know, Mike, and you've been around Kyle a little bit, he's very passionate about his job," Simms told Mike Florio on "Pro Football Talk Live" (h/t 49ersWebZone). "He lives it. He has been invested in it for a long, long time. He has brought a new energy to the 49ers organization.
"Even when they went 6-10 and 4-12 the first two years, it was a quarterback issue. I think everybody still saw that, 'Whoa, this offense is good.'" How many close games did they lose, and things like that, because of the lack of that quarterback? But they got Jimmy Garoppolo, and a full season of being healthy and everything like that, and I think it truly showed you the potential of Shanahan as the head coach, what his offense could be all about. And we don't even think Jimmy Garoppolo is hitting on all cylinders yet."
Last season -- his first as a full-time starter -- Jimmy G completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. As he spends more time under Shanahan's tutelage, there's no telling how far the 49ers can go.
"I think this is the start of an era in San Francisco," Simms added. "I think you found a coach to be a guy that can be the face of your franchise for the next 10, 20 years. That's the kind of talent and mind I think Kyle Shanahan has. ... Kyle is cutting edge in all aspects, bringing new ways to train to the football team, and new ways to study. He's cutting edge that way. He's like a (Bill) Belichick, and he's never afraid to learn more football."
Belichick has won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and is regarded as arguably the greatest coach in NFL history. If Shanahan ends up with a similar reputation, he'll have been worth every penny.
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