Gibbs: Kyle Shanahan Will Coach In More Super Bowls

Joe Gibbs knows what it's like to lose a Super Bowl, and he's not at all worried about Shanahan – or the 49ers

The DA Show
February 05, 2020 - 9:09 am

As fans and analysts continue to dissect Super Bowl LIV, Kyle Shanahan continues to come under the microscope. The 49ers were unable to hold a double-digit lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter Sunday, and instead of relying on the run game in crunch time, Shanahan put the game in Jimmy Garoppolo’s hands.

That didn’t go so well.

But that doesn’t mean that Shanahan should be pilloried.

“What Kyle Shanahan has, it’s what all coaches have,” three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Gibbs said on The DA Show. “Let me give you my experience. We went to four Super Bowls, won three of them. The one we lost was in Tampa with the Raiders. I called a screen pass with 18 seconds to go in the first half, and I kid Joe Theismann all the time – he threw a perfect strike to [Jack] Squirek, who scored with the Raiders. And the next day in the papers in Washington D.C., I was called a buffoon. I went from being pretty smart to not real smart.”

In other words, one play call – or poor execution of one play call – doesn’t define a head coach. This year, Shanahan led the 49ers to a 13-3 record, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and a pair of 17-point playoff wins.

He did all right.

“I think Kyle Shanahan had a fantastic year,” Gibbs said. “When you get in the Super Bowl, it is under the magnifying glass and he understands that. Listen, this guy [did] one of the best coaching jobs anybody’s done this year, and when you get in that situation, there’s going to be criticism. But he’s used to that, I think. He understands, I think, they got a fantastic team, and I know they’re planning on getting back there. I think that’s just part of what goes with being a coach. It’s one of the greatest thrills in the world, but with it can come real severe criticism. 

“Anytime you make a mistake coaching, I could tell you this: it’s in front of millions of people,” Gibbs continued, laughing. “So I just think that’s part of life. I think you got to look at his whole year and everything he did with the 49ers. They had an unbelievable year, and I’m sure they’re going to be back and they’re going to be back headed to Super Bowls, I would guess.”