Dan Quinn has been in Kyle Shanahan’s shoes before.
At this point in the season two years ago, then-Seahawks defensive coordinator Quinn was preparing for Super Bowl XLIX after word leaked that he was planning to accept the Falcons‘ head coaching offer.
Far from distracted by the coaching carousel, Shanahan called one of his finest games of the year in the Falcons‘ convincing 44-21 NFC Championship Game victory.
“I’m really proud of him,” Quinn said, via CSN Bay Area.
“It’s not easy to do when there’s a lot of speculation and things going on outside your world to stay dialed in. I think it’s one that should be commended. Being on point and going for it, he totally nailed that.”
With Shanahan pulling the strings, Matt Ryan enjoyed a career afternoon against Green Bay’s secondary, leading Atlanta to a 31-0 lead and 493 yards of total offense.
Whereas Aaron Rodgers is faced with a higher degree of difficulty, often forced to improvise and throw his receivers open, Shanahan’s multi-dimensional offense defines easier throws for Ryan.
“Kyle is the best offensive coordinator. He’s the best play designer,” former NFL quarterback and current Bleacher Report analyst Chris Simms recently opined. “He’s the most creative offensive schemer in the game right now, and that’s saying a lot.
“Because Josh McDaniels — who I worked for, and played for and who I’m also really good friends with — is definitely right there. It’s Josh, Kyle Shanahan and Sean Payton for the most creative offenses in all of football.”
Beyond his quarterback magic, Shanahan has also shown the ability to perform extreme makeovers on beleaguered offensive lines and struggling ground attacks.
If anyone can transform the 49ers‘ talent-starved offense in 2017, it’s Shanahan.
In the meantime, he’s cloistered away at Flowery Branch, concocting a Super Bowl game plan to outfox McDaniels — his play-calling doppelganger.