ASHBURN, Va. - Kyle Shanahan, the former Washington Football offensive coordinator from 2010-13, is a complex and stubborn personality. It's part of what makes him great.
He and his dad, Mike, along with now-Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and others, were fired by WFT's Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder.
As we reflect? All of that seems to have been a major mistake.
Since then, the younger Shanahan went to another dysfunctional disaster in Cleveland before moving on to Atlanta, where he and the Falcons fell just short of winning the Super Bowl.
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Now, he's rebuilt the 49ers in his mold as a head coach, again, falling just short of the Vince Lombardi trophy last February. His greatest challenge, however, might be this debacle of a 2020 season.
Shanahan and the 49ers are 5-7, and they've dealt with massive injury problems, losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas for the year, as well as George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo for much of it.
“I think it was a big adjustment for a few days. Now we got out here and we’re used to it," Shanahan said. "We had a week here last week. It’s a great facility, a great situation for us out here based on the situation we’re in. Now I’m very used to my hotel room, my office, going back and forth. So, it is what it is. Guys are getting more comfortable. We’re prepared to stay here as long as we have to.”
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Both teams have adversity. Both are on a short turn-around, with San Francisco coming off a one-sided loss to the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, the WFT upset Pittsburgh on Monday night and must now make a cross-country trip to Glendale for the Week 14 Sunday afternoon start.
There's no doubt that in the past this was a revenge game for the younger Shanahan, who rightfully felt betrayed by management in his four years with Washington. For his father. For himself. For Mike McDaniel and Bobby Turner, two top assistants for the Shanahan family who are now with Kyle in San Francisco. For LaFleur, the former Washington quarterbacks coach, who has been successful as the head coach in Green Bay.
Seven seasons later, Shanahan seems finally past the way things went down.
“I think that’s pretty gone," Shanahan said. "I didn’t try to go out of my way last year, I just answered questions, but I probably answered them pretty honestly."
Which he did, blistering the organization that in can easily be argued fumbled away a wildly talented staff all those years ago.
Now, however, Shanahan has nothing but respect for the people in place with Washington, including new head coach Ron Rivera.
"I respect the hell out of Ron Rivera," said Shanahan. "I love [VP of player personnel] Kyle Smith and the guys that I know there. Those guys are doing a great job. I can tell they’re being led very well. There are people there that I care a lot about."
But now Shanahan cares about the Niners - and how they can beat WFT.