49ers' Kyle Shanahan a 'work in progress' as first-time head coach

From ESPN - August 13, 2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Kyle Shanahan has coached in the league in some capacity since 2004, but it was not until Friday night in Kansas City, Missouri, that he got his first opportunity to be the man in charge on an NFL sideline.

As the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Shanahan has gone through the usual laundry list of firsts. Along with that comes a natural process of learning the ins and outs of managing a game and taking care of an entire team. In Shanahan's case, it also means balancing those things while serving as the offensive playcaller.

Put simply, there's a lot on Shanahan's plate, and this preseason will be just as important for him as it will be for his players as he gets acclimated to his new job.

"It is a work in progress," the 37-year-old Shanahan said. "I enjoyed it. It was the same as usual -- calling plays, doing everything I have done down there -- but it was definitely different trying to carry the offense and then having to peek up at the score and having to watch the time and having to watch the defense. I think some series I did it better than others. Also, with so many guys subbing in and out and having to pay attention to how long we are keeping them in and things like that. It was definitely a challenge, but I enjoyed it. I am glad we have three more of them, and hopefully I will get better at it each week."

Throughout the offseason, Shanahan has been refreshingly candid and honest in acknowledging that he knows what he does not know. In the spring, he talked about how there were moments he was not exactly sure where to be throughout the course of a practice and admitted to having some nerves going into his first time addressing the whole team.

As the days went by, Shanahan clearly got more comfortable and drew positive reviews from players for his attention to detail and ability to answer any sort of football question.

Now, as the regular season approaches, business is picking up and there is a limited amount of time for Shanahan, his staff and his players to make sure everything hums on game day.

In Friday's preseason victory against the Kansas City Chiefs, Shanahan was able to go through a lot of scenarios, such as mass substitutions and clock management, and he even attempted his first replay challenge. To be sure, there were some bumps in the road, including a whopping 17 penalties against his team.

Before that, Shanahan was able to oversee the first road trip of the season for the Niners, their first with him in charge.


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