Mike Shanahan

Kyle Shanahan reveals how father Mike watches 49ers practice remotely

Kyle Shanahan reveals how father Mike watches 49ers practice remotely

In a Denver suburb, a coach awakens at 4 a.m.

He shuffles into his office space, iPad in hand, and begins watching video of 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek working his position group during individual drills from the previous day’s practice in Santa Clara.

Mike Shanahan, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach of the Denver Broncos, cannot get enough of this stuff. He is retired. But he is not really retired.

“My mom doesn’t like it, though, because he’s still working at their house, and she doesn’t get why he won’t come out of the film room,” Kyle Shanahan, Mike’s son and head coach of the 49ers, told NBC Sports Bay Area.

It is common for every coach in the NFL to get advice or hear feedback from family members. But there is a major difference with Kyle Shanahan.

“My dad actually does know what he’s talking about,” Kyle said.

Mike Shanahan served as an NFL head coach for 20 years. He was George Seifert’s offensive coordinator for three seasons more than two decades ago. His last season with the 49ers before taking over on a 14-year run as Broncos head coach came in 1994, when the organization won its last Super Bowl.

There is not much Mike Shanahan can tell his 40-year-old son at this stage of the season. The 49ers play the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium in the divisional-round of the NFC playoffs.

Kyle Shanahan has already learned about as much from his dad as possible through the decades, including how to manage the team late in the regular season for a deep playoff push. They talk a couple of times a week and text each other daily. It is safe to assume the main topic is football.

Michael Bracken, the 49ers’ director of video operations, set up Mike Shanahan so he can remotely watch every meeting, every drill, every practice. He does not have an office in Santa Clara because he does not need one.

“It blew his mind,” Kyle Shanahan said. “He thought he was going to have to fly out here or get Beta tapes sent to him or whatever, but Mike Bracken, our video guy, is on top of everything.

“Usually about a half-hour after we’re done, my dad has an iPad and he can watch it, too.”

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Mike Shanahan, 67, has not coached since a four-year stint with Washington ended in 2013. Kyle was his offensive coordinator. Mike has no official role with the 49ers, other than being a keen observer of his son’s team.

“It’s kind of neat for me to have it where when he watches something or sees something, he tells me, ‘Hey, you guys should’ve done this or that.’” Kyle Shanahan said.

“I look into it what he says. And it’s nice to have another set of eyes. Where, ‘Hey, I missed that.’ I’ll go back and check that. Sometimes I agree with him, sometimes I don’t.”

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reminds ex-Patriots exec of Bill Belichick


49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reminds ex-Patriots exec of Bill Belichick

The two coaches with the best record in the NFL this season have a 22-year experience gap.

Kyle Shanahan's 49ers are 10-1 in his third season as a head coach, while Bill Belichick's New England Patriots are 10-1 in his 25th. Belichick is 28 years Shanahan's senior and decidedly grumpier, but the two have quite a bit in common according to one man who has worked with both.

“I’ve never met a coach who reminds me of Bill Belichick as much as Kyle,” Scott Pioli told Peter King for his "Football Morning in America" column.

Pioli overlapped with Belichick for nearly a decade in New England, working in the Patriots' player personnel department from 2000 through 2008. He was the Atlanta Falcons' assistant general manager from 2014 until this May, and Shanahan was their offensive coordinator.

Their careers followed similar early arcs. Shanahan, like Belichick, had to wait a while until his first winning season. Belichick did not crack the .500 mark -- or win double-digit games -- until his fourth season with the Cleveland Browns, and Shanahan has done both in his third season with San Francisco. 

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King wrote that Shanahan reminded him of another coach with a lengthy résumé: Mike Shanahan, the 49ers coach's father. 

"He’s not as polished as his dad, veteran coach Mike Shanahan, was," King wrote. "Then again, he’s 39. He’s got time. What he is, is tough and an excellent play-designer and play-caller. He won’t say it, but he’s the kind of a just-try-to-knock-this-chip-off-my-shoulder coach who players respect. And they respect Shanahan because they know he puts them in the best position to win."

The elder Shanahan and Belichick have eight Super Bowl wins between them as head coaches. With the inside track to the NFC's top seed, the 49ers have to like their chances of seeing their coach follow in Belichick and his father's footsteps. 

Kyle Shanahan gives game ball to dad Mike after 49ers beat Washington

Kyle Shanahan gives game ball to dad Mike after 49ers beat Washington

LANDOVER, Md. — Before the 49ers headed east to their Week 7 match up with Washington, coach Kyle Shanahan said that there wasn’t any extra motivation playing the organization that fired his father Mike. 

That might have not been entirely true, because after the San Francisco's 9-0 victory at FedEx Field, Shanahan said that the game ball went to none other than his dad. 

Shanahan joked in his press conference on Wednesday that the best part of his time in Washington was working with his father. The worst part about it? “Everything else.” He of course backtracked a little and explained that he enjoyed the players and the coaches that he worked with. 

In his post game press conference, Shanahan finally admitted, with quite a bit of restraint, that the win did mean a little more with his father’s history in Washington.  

“I’ve been in a number of buildings and not all of it always ends good,” Shanahan said. “But it had nothing to do with the game. Everyone is a little more sensitive to things that involve your family so that’s why I’m always a little more sensitive to this because what I went through with my dad here.” 

“That’s why it was nice to get the win. But it definitely had nothing to do with the game, it had nothing to do with the score, but you always want to take care of things the right way when you’re bothered by how some things have been for a family member.” 

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This wasn’t the first time that Shanahan has been to FedEx since he and his father were relieved of their jobs. Still, the players were very tuned in to it’s extra meaning. Tight end George Kittle was all smiles knowing that the win meant just a little bit more. 

“We were aware,” Kittle said. “It was definitely a game that we wanted to win for both him and Mike Shanahan. It was really fun that we could get that done for him.”