Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is preparing for a Super Bowl on Sunday night. But he’s also putting together a quarterback wishlist for his next gig: Head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted Sunday that if Shanahan cannot get his hands on Redskins quarterback and soon-to-be free agent Kirk Cousins, his plans would shift to Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo and Falcons backup Matt Schaub.
While the report will inevitably cause 49ers fans to panic when thinking about the 35-year-old Schaub as their starting quarterback, it is important to remember that Shanahan is simply in the market right now for signal callers who have worked with him in the past. With the exception of Garoppolo, all names associated with Shanahan have been players who worked directly underneath him. Garoppolo also runs a similar up-tempo offense in New England.
In the three years Schaub worked directly with Shanahan in Houston (Shanahan was his quarterbacks coach in 2007 and offensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009), he had a 67 percent accuracy rate, 10,054 yards, 53 touchdowns and just 34 interceptions. He made one of his two Pro Bowls in that time.
Aside from a solid 2012, though, Schaub’s career has fallen off. He has not started more than eight games in a season since 2013.
Shanahan has no choice but to cast a wide net at quarterback. With quality signal callers at a premium, Shanahan may opt to use his first-round pick on a quarterback but rope in a veteran who can hold the fort down. With plans ranging from the high-level Cousins and the high-upside Garoppolo all the way down to Schaub, it shows just how many balls are in the air for the 37-year-old, soon-to-be first-time head coach.
Unfortunately, he cannot bring Matt Ryan with him.