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Is Kyle Shanahan Among the Top 10 NFL Head Coaches?

Recently CBS Sports decided to get in on this and did a ranking of the NFL Head Coaches.

As the famous Bill Parcells once stated, “You are what your record says you are.”

One of the interesting things to follow during the NFL offseason is the various rankings put out by various media outlets. They are a great way to fill the slower times on the calendar and generate conversation.

Recently CBS Sports decided to get in on this and did a ranking of the NFL Head Coaches. Their top 10 consisted of:

1. Andy Reid

2. Bill Belichick

3. John Harbaugh

4. Sean Payton

5. Sean McDermott

6. Sean McVay

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7. Pete Carroll

8. Bruce Arians

9. Matt LaFleur

10. Mike Tomlin

It shouldn’t take long for 49ers fans to notice the name missing from the list: Kyle Shanahan. The San Francisco head coach came in at No. 11, the highest among NFL head coaches with a losing record for their careers.

While Shanahan is widely regarded as one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL, it is hard to argue that he is more deserving of being in the top 10 than any of the coaches on the list. The only two to not reach the playoffs in 2020 were Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin, but they make the list over Shanahan due to their combined seven Super Bowl titles. While Tomlin’s lone title came in his second season at the helm of the Steelers, he has not had a losing record in any of his 14 seasons.

One name in the top 10 that might raise some eyebrows is Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. After all, it was LaFleur who Shanahan defeated to get the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019. LaFleur gets the nod over Shanahan based on following up his successful rookie season with a trip back to the NFC Championship game in 2020.

With a record of 29-35, Shanahan will need to lead the 49ers to at least a 12-5 season to move over .500 for his career. It is important to note here that it took Bill Walsh until his sixth season with the 49ers to get over .500 and keep it there. The 49ers ended that season with a dominating victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

Considering how similar the careers of Shanahan and Walsh have been through the first four years with the 49ers, a trip deep into the playoffs this season and a Super Bowl victory in 2022 may be on the horizon for San Francisco.