Longtime NFL head coach Mike Shanahan was in contention last winter for the 49ers’ job before it went to Chip Kelly. Now, a year later, Shanahan says he has no plans to return to the sidelines. The 64-year-old told Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports Radio on Wednesday that he’s “not looking for a head coaching job,” per Chris Wesseling of NFL.com.
“This game is for younger guys, guys that are really fired up to run a team, put a good team together,” Shanahan said.
One younger guy who could land a head coaching job in the coming weeks is Shanahan’s son, 37-year-old Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The elder Shanahan opined that “it’d be a lot smarter” for a head coach-needy team to hire his son than him. However, Mike Shanahan would be open to a prominent role as a team executive, perhaps working with Kyle Shanahan.
“I think I would give an organization maybe a lot more input from top to bottom,” Mike Shanahan stated. “You know, the little things that are the difference in the structure of the organization.”
Mike Shanahan has never worked as an executive, but he did have major input in how the Broncos and Redskins constructed their rosters when he served as the head coach of those clubs. Shanahan won two Super Bowls in Denver, where he was at the helm from 1995-2008, but the Redskins went just 24-40 under him from 2010-13. In 20 years as a head coach, including a stint with the then-Los Angeles Raiders from 1988-89, Shanahan’s teams have gone 170-138 with eight playoff appearances.
Kyle Shanahan previously served as an assistant on his father’s staff in Washington. He also held high-profile positions in Houston and Cleveland before taking over the Falcons’ offense last year. Atlanta is an NFC South-leading 9-5 largely thanks to Shanahan’s attack, which ranks top two in the NFL in points (33.5 per game – good for first overall and a whopping 4.5 more than second-place New Orleans), DVOA (first) and yards (second). As a result, the Rams and Jaguars have shown interest in him since firing Jeff Fisher and Gus Bradley, respectively, earlier this month.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.