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Why Colin Cowherd would hire 49ers' Kyle Shanahan to coach his NFL team

Why Colin Cowherd would hire 49ers' Kyle Shanahan to coach his NFL team

There currently are 32 NFL franchises, and for the vast majority of us, at no point during our lives will we have any chance of owning one of them.

But, forget reality. What if you were able to purchase a team? Who would you hire as head coach?

Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd gave his answer to that question Wednesday, but first established the five criteria by which he would form his list of the top 10 coaches he'd want to lead his franchise. They were:

1. Age does not matter 
2. Easy to work with 
3. The less controversy, the better 
4. Innovative thinker 
5. Relates to players

Based on those criteria, Cowherd landed on 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan as his top choice (h/t 49ers Web Zone).

"I know he has had a couple of Super Bowl moments you don't love," Cowherd explained Wednesday on "The Herd," "but I think San Francisco was right. I think he's intense. I think he has got the lineage from his dad (Mike Shanahan). I think he has a system, but he is nimble enough to manipulate the system and listen to (general manager) John Lynch and others. I think he's obsessively driven, which is probably most of these guys.

"But if I start my franchise today, I get the (experience from his) dad, I get him, I get playoff experience, and I also think he has got a chip on his shoulder because he thinks he should have won that Super Bowl last year. And he thinks he should have won that Atlanta Super Bowl against New England when he was the [offensive coordinator]."

Though the 49ers don't have new owners, they clearly share similar feelings about Shanahan, having just recently signed him to a six-year contract extension. He led San Francisco to a nine-win improvement this past season, and already has made it clear the expectation is to get back to the Super Bowl for a second straight year.

[RELATED: Bryant Young knows 49ers in good hands with Shanahan, Lynch]

Should the 49ers accomplish that goal -- and prove victorious in Super Bowl LV -- what few criticisms there are of Shanahan no longer would be valid.

For reference, here is Cowherd's full list:

1. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
2. Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills 
3. Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles 
4. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams 
5. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens 
6. Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears 
7. Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins 
8. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma Sooners 
9. Urban Meyer, formerly Ohio State Buckeyes 
10. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Why 49ers' Fred Warner believes Kamala Harris as VP pick is 'big deal'

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Why 49ers' Fred Warner believes Kamala Harris as VP pick is 'big deal'

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden helped make history Tuesday when he picked Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice presidential running mate.

Sen. Harris, who was born in Oakland and served as the District Attorney in San Francisco, is the first Black and South Asian woman to be part of the ticket for a major political party in the United States.

That's meaningful for 49ers linebacker Fred Warner, who was a guest on "Race in America: A Candid Conversation," which will air Friday night after Giants Postgame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and after A's Postgame Live on NBC Sports California.

"That's obviously a big deal," Warner told host Monte Poole. "Anytime a minority is put in a position of power, I think that's great for our country, and I think it was a big deal, just like when [Barack] Obama got elected as president, as the first Black president. So just continuing to strive to get people of color into positions where we can make change and do the right thing."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

Warner, who turns 24 a few weeks after the Nov. 3 election, told Poole that he will be voting for the president for the first time. He explained why he didn't vote in the 2016 election, when he was 19 years old at the time.

"I think I felt like I had this mindset that I’m not very educated on it, I didn't know who to vote for," Warner told Poole. "I was kind of confused about it, so I was like 'Well, I don’t want to vote for the wrong person.' Also I didn't really feel like my vote counted. I'm like 'I'm just one person. What is my vote going to mean especially if I'm not educated about it?' Now I'm like 'OK, I have just as much of a responsibility to vote as anyone else.'

"In order to make an intelligent and educated vote I need to make sure I'm doing the work outside of just playing football, you know, instead of going home and watching TV, I actually got to put some time in and make the right decision."

[RELATED: Warner says fighting injustices can't stop in NFL]

The first Tuesday in November will be a special day for both Sen. Harris and Warner.

NFL opt-out tracker: Every player who has declined to play 2020 season

NFL opt-out tracker: Every player who has declined to play 2020 season

As the sports world now is underway despite the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL is next up. There will be questions and concerns aplenty, too. 

Before training camp even begins, several players already have decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to health concerns. That list is bound to grow as well.

Here is who will not be suiting up this season as the virus continues to run rampant. 

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OG, Kansas City Chiefs

Duvernay-Tardif, who has a medical degree from and has been working as an orderly at a long-term care facility in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec during the pandemic, became the first player to opt out of the 2020 season. The Chiefs' starting offensive guard tweeted his reasoning on July 24. 


De'Anthony Thomas, WR/KR, Baltimore Ravens 

Return specialist De'Anthony Thomas voluntarily opted out of the season, the Ravens announced Monday. 


Chance Warmack, OG, Seattle Seahawks

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Monday that Warmack has opted out of the season. Warmack, who signed with the Seahawks this spring, also sat out last season 


Maurice Canady, CB, Dallas Cowboys

Garafolo also reported Monday that Canady is opting out of the season as well. 


Marcus Cannon, OL, New England Patriots

Cannon, who battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2011, will not play in 2020.


Danny Vitale, FB, New England Patriots

Vitale and his wife recently had a baby, so the fullback will not be participating in the 2020 season.


Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots

Hightower, who has a two-week-old son, is choosing to protect his family's safety.


Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that Bolden is one of five Patriots to opt-out of the season.


Patrick Chung, S, New England Patriots

Add another Patriot to the list.


Najee Toran, OL, New England Patriots

Make that six Patriots. 


Marquise Goodwin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

The former 49ers receiver announced he will not play this season after the birth of his daughter in February.


Andre Smith, OL, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens announced Smith joined his teammate, De'Anthony Thomas, in opting out this year. 


Star Lotulelei, DT, Buffalo Bills

The Bills announced former first-round draft pick Star Lotulelei has opted out. 


Stephen Guidry, WR, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys annoinced undrafted rookie Stephen Guidry has opted out.


Devin Funchess, WR, Green Bay Packers

Funchess announced on Instagram that he has opted out of the season. 

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Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, Houston Texans

The former Raiders defensive lineman will not play in 2020.


Cole Wick, TE, New Orleans Saints

The veteran tight end will not play this season, according to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero.


Michael Pierce, DT, Minnesota Vikings

Pierce, who signed a three-year, $27 million contract this offseson, is high-risk and has opted out.


Nate Solder, LT, New York Giants

Solder opted out of the season, citing family's health concerns.

Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

The star of Super Bowl LIV has opted out of the season, the Chiefs announced.


Chandler Brewer, C, Los Angeles Rams

Brewer played seven games with the Rams after signing as an undrafted free agent last summer.

“With my history with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I am at high risk and will opt out of playing in the NFL this season,” Brewer said in a statement posted to the team’s website. “I would like to thank the Rams for their support and I look forward to getting back on the field in 2021 and beyond."

Marquise Lee, WR, New England Patriots

The USC product became a father for the first time in February, and cited his newborn daughter as a major factor in his decision.

"This is a big sit-down process I had, with me and my significant other, as far as family goes. The risk factor in which we believe that's going out there, it just wasn't worth it in a sense. Just too many unknowns," Lee told ESPN.com.

C.J. Mosley, LB, New York Jets

The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker is citing family health concerns as his reason for opting out, ESPN's Rich Cimini reported Saturday.


E.J. Gaines, CB, Buffalo Bills

Bills general manager Brandon Beane says the cornerback will sit out the 2020 season. 


Matt LaCosse, TE, New England Patriots

Matt LaCosse is the eighth Patriot to opt out of the season.


Da'Mari Scott, WR, New York Giants

The Giants were informed by Scott that he is opting out of the 2020 season.


Geronimo Allison, WR, Detroit Lions

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday, citing a source, that Allison has decided to opt out of the season.


D.J. Killings, CB and Jeremiah Valoaga, DE, Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders announced Monday that Killings and Valoaga opted out of the season.

Travis Benjamin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

A day after general manager John Lynch said he didn't expect any 49ers to opt out of the season, Benjamin announced on Twitter that he was doing just that.

Shon Coleman, OL and Jake Brendel, OL, San Francisco 49ers

Ukeme Eligwe, LB, Las Vegas Raiders

Anthony McKinney, OL, Tennessee Titans

Allen Hurns, WR and Albert Wilson, WR, Miami Dolphins

Lerentee McCray, EDGE and Rashaan Melvin, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Christian Miller, LB Carolina Panthers

Colby Gossett, OL, Cleveland Browns

Brad Seaton, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Caleb Brantley, DE, Washington Football Team

Jordan Mack, LB Carolina Panthers

Eddie Goldman, DT and Jordan Lucas, S, Chicago Bears

Josh Tupou, DT and Isaiah Prince, OT, Cincinnati Bengals

Drew Forbes, G, Drake Dorbeck, T, Andrew Billings, DT, and Malcolm Pridgeon, G, Cleveland Browns

Jamize Olawale, FB, Dallas Cowboys

Kyle Peko, DT and Ja'Wuan James, RT, Denver Broncos

John Atkins, DT and Russell Bodine, C, Detroit Lions

Skai Moore, LB, Rolan Milligan, DB and Marvell Tell, DB, Indianapolis Colts

Al Woods, DT Jacksonville Jaguars

Lucas Niang, OT, Kansas City Chiefs

Jason Vander Laan, TE, New Orleans Saints

Sam Beal, CB, New York Giants

Leo Koloamatangi, OL and Josh Doctson, WR, New York Jets

Josh Harvey-Clemons, LB, Washington Football Team

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]