From the outside, nobody knows Kyle Shanahan as well as Chris Simms. The 49ers coach and NBC Sports analyst were college teammates at Texas and remain best friends. And after the 49ers fell short in Super Bowl LIV, Simms can't wait to see what Shanahan has up his sleeve this year.
"I'm always excited to see the wrath of Kyle Shanahan's offense and what little tricks he's added in the offseason to keep everybody off-balance," Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area on Friday.
Simms is eager to get a glimpse at first-round draft pick Brandon Aiyuk. The speedy receiver could be perfect for Shanahan's offense. He figures to be the deep threat quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo badly needs.
But Aiyuk is dealing with a hamstring injury and might not suit up in the season opener.
"I'm just excited about the team overall and to see what they've got in those new players," Simms said. "Brandon Aiyuk, I can't wait to see him. That's what killin' me about this no preseason football."
More than anything, Simms can't believe the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs' rosters are mostly unchanged after squaring off in Super Bowl LIV. This is extremely rare and hard to come by in the NFL. There's a reason these two teams were seen right near the top of Super Bowl favorites once again headed into the season.
Even though the 49ers lost key players like Joe Staley, Emmanuel Sanders and DeForest Buckner, they replaced them with stars and first-round draft picks.
"The 49ers basically bring back the same team but yet get a Hall of Fame left tackle in Trent Williams," Simms said. "And, 'Oh we lose DeForest Buckner,' but then you get this freak of nature Javon Kinlaw, who I think will be able to take over that spot, maybe not quite as effective as DeForest Buckner right away but I don't think it's going to take long."