There’s no disputing that last season Kyle Shanahan was one of the more impactful head coaches in the NFL. His zone-blocking scheme and well-rounded play calling were the backbone of the 49ers’ success in 2019.
He guided the 49ers to a regular-season record of 13-3, resulting in a first-round bye. But he still fell short of the Coach of the Year honor to Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh.
Several arguments could be made that Shanahan was cut short of the award after he helped improve the 49ers' 2019 record with nine more wins compared to the end result in 2018.
Now looking ahead in 2020, the betting odds for Coach of the Year have been set, and Shanahan's are currently slated at +2,000, according to BetOnline. His odds come in as the ninth-best to win the award, but will he be able to take home the hardware this time around?
Shanahan's chances of winning the honor are extremely slim and here's why:
1. His bar is set too high
Last season, the 49ers were hit with periodic injuries and Shanahan showed his ability to place certain players in the correct spot to succeed. He set his own standard, and with that comes the assumption that he'll be able to do similar things for years to come.
With the 49ers coming off a transcendent season in which he posted 13 wins, it's going to be difficult to improve much more than what he accomplished during the 2019 regular season. Expectations will remain high after making it to Super Bowl LIV, but one element that indicates the Coach of the Year honor is far from attainable is that a head coach has never won the award after making it to the Super Bowl in the year prior.
2. The 49ers roster ranks near the top
The current roster is far from bad. It's not as if Shanahan will need several players to over-perform in order to post a .500 win total or better — he has several pieces who are big-time players.
Last season, George Kittle was selected as a first-team All Pro, and DeForest Buckner and Richard Sherman were selected as second-team All Pros. Plus, Nick Bosa won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award after recording nine sacks in Year 1. Shanahan certainly helps align his stars, but the roster is one of the league's best.
3. Voters like the new flashy play-caller and Shanahan is already established
For the most part, you already know what you're going to get with Shanahan's offense. He has a run-first mentality that incorporates several sweeps and motions. His offense ranked No. 2 in scoring and No. 2 in rushing, but this isn't a new formula for voters to see.
Typically, there's always a head coach every year that emerges as a new mastermind or someone who revitalizes their stigma around the league. People like new, and Shanahan doesn't exactly fit that mold, as he is already held in high regard.