Criticism of Kyle Shanahan over the last few weeks has spiked up.
Losing three games in a row will do that, especially when it is the side of the ball that Shanahan has his hands all over.
Shanahan is starting to lose some credibility as an "offensive genius" when you look at how the 49ers are mightily struggling to score points. Putting up yards consistently and efficiently is great and all, but the point of the game is to score. No one cares how many yards you are tallying if you cannot accomplish the main goal of the game. This is where my criticism of Shanahan stands along with his personnel decisions like how he has handled Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.
But Shanahan is NOT on the hot seat.
That is a narrative that some are floating out there that his seat is hot or teetering around a warm temperature. All of that just sounds like an emotional fanboy statement to be quite frank. Shanahan could lose out and his seat will not raise by one degree. He just signed a contract extension last year. Shanahan is going to be the 49ers head coach for a while.
2023 is when "hot seat" narratives can start to be pushed because that is when you would hope Lance is a prominent quarterback who has the 49ers winning games. Shanahan deserves criticism and to be held accountable. His play calling is out of rhythm and his short-sightedness is at least partially to blame for the way the season has started out. There isn't a panic mode for the 49ers to be in right now, but there is certainly going to need to be a sense of urgency unlike before.
Besides, if the 49ers were to actually lose every game this season, then the person whose seat gets hot is going to be general manager John Lynch.
Shanahan is safe. Lynch is going to be the sacrificial lamb for any of Shanahan's errant decisions and performances. Lynch is expendable. He is the one who answers to Shanahan and gives his perspective to him. There really isn't much he does other than to be part of a pillar that helps supports what Shanahan is trying to build. Once you think of it like that, it makes sense why Lynch is the only one talking about Brandon Aiyuk now on KNBR and doing interviews with Matt Maoicco. He is just the messenger right now and the shield to Shanahan.
No matter what happens this season, or even next, Shanahan is safe.
Lynch on the other hand might need to have a contingency plan in mind.