Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has a window beginning Friday afternoon and stretching through Saturday in which the 49ers are allowed to meet with him face to face.
He is considered the 49ers’ presumptive head coach, and he is scheduled to meet with 49ers general manager candidates Terry McDonough and George Paton in Atlanta, along with team executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe.
Shanahan, 37, speaking with Peter King on the MMQB Podcast, said he believes he is ready to become a head coach. The 49ers are the only team with a vacancy. And Shanahan is their only candidate. The 49ers are prohibited from hiring the Super Bowl-bound coach until after the league championship game against the New England Patriots on Feb. 5 in Houston.
“I’ve believed it for a while,” Shanahan said. “You always want the right opportunity, but I think I’ve been battle-tested. I think I’ve gone through a lot of situations that a lot of coordinators in this league haven’t. I think I’ve had to handle some situations and gotten some attention, mostly negative, that usually only head coaches have to deal with. So I think that’s helped me prepare, from that standpoint.”
Shanahan spent two years as offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans with an offense that ranked third and fourth in total yards. Then, he joined his father, then-Washington head coach Mike Shanahan, as offensive coordinator in 2010.
The union with his father lasted four seasons as Mike Shanahan was fired amid his controversial handling of quarterback Robert Griffin. Kyle Shanahan found himself in the maelstrom, too.
“There’s no doubt it was worth it,” Shanahan said. “If my dad had ever passed away and I’d never coached with him before, that’s something that would’ve been real hard on me because that’s something I wanted to do my whole life. I got that opportunity. I wish it could’ve gone a little bit better, but it was something I needed to do.
“Even though it was hard, it made me stronger and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. My dad and I have always been close and that the first time I really got to see him as a coach, being a coach, and he’s a hell of a coach and I don’t regret anything there.”
Mike Shanahan is not expected to have an official role with the 49ers with his son as head coach.
Kyle Shanahan is expected to become the fourth 49ers head coach in four years, following Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly. King pointed out the next 49ers coach will likely be given ample time to change the culture and get the organization on track.
“You got to look into every situation for what they have, what they’re saying,” Shanahan said. “I got to talk to them a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be allowed to talk to them again this week. We’ll see what their plans are – don’t really know, yet. But that’s definitely something that’s enticing and you hope to have an opportunity because everything takes time.”