Kansas City Chiefs v Minnesota Vikings
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

A “what if” for the offseason.

The NFL is full of “what ifs.” You could make a fascinating docuseries about the San Francisco 49ers under Kyle Shanahan about the moves they almost made or the ones they did and didn’t work out for one reason or another.

DeForest Buckner. Jimmy Garoppolo’s ACL. Dee Ford. Trey Lance. And those are just four without digging deeper.

The Athletic’s Dianna Russini recently said on The Athletic’s podcast that the 49ers were flirting with the defensive coordinator responsible for them not winning their sixth Lombardi trophy:

“And even on the coaching side, which there is no cap, right? Steve Spagnuolo signs a couple of days after. San Francisco was flirting with him and bringing him in as DC.”

I would love to see the list of names that Kyle Shanahan and the Niners considered. Spags, Bill Belichick, Mike Vrabel. The list goes on and on. I’m more interested in the “why.” What would be the reason for those names, or the other ones Shanahan mentioned, for them to turn the job down?

For Spags, the phone call could have been as simple as, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

I was confident that the Niners would prevail in the Super Bowl because — historically speaking — good/great offenses beat good/great defenses. What I failed to account for was Spags’ performance at an elite level in high-leverage situations.

He’s the reason the Chiefs made the Super Bowl and the reason they won it. For my money, DeMeco Ryans was the best defensive coordinator in 2022, but Spagnuolo stole that title in 2023.

Shanahan may not get Spags, but he has a chance to pry away his closest assistant.

Read More

About the Author: Insidethe49

Insidethe49 Site Staff

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!