Former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan and his son, Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, are both candidates to fill vacancies around the league. In fact, both could be in play for the 49ers job — Mike has officially interviewed, while Kyle has been linked to the opening. But several teams are interested in hiring both Shanahans, installing the elder as the head coach and the younger as the OC, as Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that those very 49ers, the Raiders, and the Bills have considered such an arrangement.
Because teams don’t have to allow coordinators to interview with other clubs unless a promotion to head coach is involved, Cleveland holds Kyle’s fate in its hands, writes Cabot. As he’s still under contract, Kyle would need to be released from his deal, a move the Browns would probably only consider if his new job included the title of assistant head coach (a designation, I would speculate, that Mike would be happy to bestow upon his son to facilitate a union). Despite an impressive showing with a Browns offense devoid of talent for most of the season, Kyle hasn’t received much official head coaching interest so far, so it’s possible that he’d relish the opportunity to work with his father.
If such a move comes to pass, it would resemble the coaching hierarchy seen in Washington from 2010-13, when Mike was the HC and Kyle called the plays. 2012, of course, marked the best season for the duo, as they installed a playbook specific to rookie Robert Griffin III’s strengths, and wound up with the league’s sixth-best offense by DVOA. Mike, of course, is a two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach who’s led the Broncos and Raiders, while Kyle has also worked with the Texans during his NFL tenure.
Both Shanahans have been linked to the Buffalo gig — Mike interviewed yesterday, while the Bills have asked Cleveland for permission to speak with Kyle. For his part, Mike has also met with representatives for the Raiders, and as noted, the 49ers, and has could have interest in the Bears job.