49ers: Why the Kyle Shanahan extension is a massive victory

49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a six-year extension with head coach Kyle Shanahan.

The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly reached an agreement to keep Kyle Shanahan as their head coach through the 2025 NFL season.

The move replaces an existing three-year contract with a six-year deal. It has also reportedly placed Shanahan amongst the top-five highest-paid head coaches in the entire league.

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While this is a big commitment, fans in the Bay Area should be thrilled to retain their consistent and proven leader. Shanahan has excelled in the following areas while establishing himself as a premier coach.

Kyle Shanahan’s early success with the 49ers

The longtime offensive coordinator struggled in his first two seasons overseeing a poor San Francisco roster. However, the team began to show encouraging signs despite a 10-22 record and a major slew of injuries.

2019 was the first season where it felt like the 49ers were poised to take a step forward. And did they ever.

With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo under center and an exciting defensive unit leading the way, the franchise was able to post an incredible 13-3 record and earn an appearance in Super Bowl LIV.

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This breakout campaign represented the second-largest single-season turnaround in league history.

The team currently sits as the third most likely team to win the 2020 championship with 10/1 odds. As the 49ers continue to build a passing attack to complement their already exceptional run game and defense, there is every reason to expect big things in San Francisco over the course of the next decade.

The 49ers’ football genius

It takes a tremendous amount of effort and brilliance to out-scheme an opposing team. NFL coaches all have an understanding of the game that casual fans and analysts cannot even begin to comprehend.

However, Shanahan has proven himself to be on the shortlist of coaches who improve their teams in tangible ways.

Shanahan has served as a head coach or offensive coordinator for 12 seasons in the NFL. His teams have finished in the top-10 in total offense an incredible seven times during that stretch (with five of those seasons earning a spot in the top-five).

His zone-blocking run scheme allowed the 49ers to finish second in rushing yards and first in rushing touchdowns in 2019, despite suffering injuries to backs like Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon.

In fact, the team was able to set multiple playoff rushing records with undrafted journeyman Raheem Mostert leading the charge.


This contract extension should be considered a massive victory for the 49ers’ franchise. Shanahan has surpassed every expectation the team could have had when they hired the longtime coordinator before the 2017 season.

His presence on the team should allow San Francisco to continue to boast one of the most dangerous rushing attacks in the league for the foreseeable future. Notable additions such as Trent Williams, Javon Kinlaw, and Brandon Aiyuk should only bolster an already skilled team.

In just three short seasons, the Niners’ coach has made it clear that he belongs in the top tier at his position.

While he will need to prove his worth over a longer period to become historically great, based on recent production, he should be mentioned alongside elite leaders such as Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin, and Sean Payton.

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Fans in the Bay Area are sincerely hoping that Shanahan can also add one other thing the rest of those coaches have on their resume — a Super Bowl title.