Could Kyle Shanahan turn out to be Fool’s gold?
Shanahan’s 49ers didn’t particularly have a good time on Sunday, losing to the Cardinals 31-17. Well, more than just losing to a division rival, San Francisco lost to a division rival who was without its starting quarterback and No. 1 receiver. James Conner carved up the 49ers with 173 total yards and three touchdowns.
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With the loss, Shanahan is now sunk to a less-than flattering 32-39 recording in five seasons as 49ers head coach that includes one Super Bowl appearance. While some of those returns can be attributed to key injuries on the roster, the excuses are running thin for the coaching staff in San Fran.
With championship aspirations slipping away, has the clock officially started ticking on the Shanahan era in San Francisco?
Will the 49ers fire Kyle Shanahan?
While the 49ers have been something more than a disappointment coming out of the midway point of the season, it doesn’t look like Shanahan is going anywhere just yet.
Following the disappointing 31-17 loss to the Cardinals, Shanahan was asked if fans should feel optimistic about the direction of the franchise as the Niners slip to 3-5. Shanahan was non-committal:
“To make a big statement like that, on the whole direction of the franchise after the direction of that game, well, that’s unnecessary,” Shanahan said following the game. “We didn’t play a very good game today. We gotta play a lot better. I know our fans are disappointed, I’m disappointed, too. But we gotta make sure we do better next week.”
And fans were disappointed. So disappointed, in fact, that there were cries for former head coach Jim Harbaugh to make a return to the Bay Area on Twitter. Harbaugh had three winning seasons in four years as head coach, with the final season an 8-8 return. Thankfully for Shanahan, though (and other NFL head coaches), the 49ers faithful doesn’t hold the firing power.
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The 49ers official social media channel was reportedly hiding replies having to do with Harbaugh following the first quarter of the game.
To make matters more dicey for the 49ers coaching staff: Their big-ticket, first-round quarterback which they traded up to get is still riding the pine despite getting healthy, with a middling Jimmy Garoppolo delivering largely inconsistent results. While Trey Lance started a game earlier in the season in place of an injured Garoppolo, the team given the keys back to Garoppolo once he was healthy.
For now, it looks like Shanahan is safe. We’ll see if that changes if the 49ers continue to flounder the remainder of the season.