The first Washington Commanders head coaching search under new owner Josh Harris may have been messy, but its outcome was praised by none other than former Washington offensive coordinator and current San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Monday.
Shanahan has a long history with both new Commanders head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Adam Peters. Quinn and Shanahan led the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance as head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively, in 2016, and Peters was previously a top 49ers executive before taking the Washington general manager job.
“I’m so pumped for Dan,” Shanahan said. “I’m so pumped for Washington. Dan’s a hell of a coach, they got a hell of a one. I know they’ve gone through some stuff these last 20 years, but having [Peters] and [Quinn] is as good as it gets. Dan taught me so much in Atlanta; I’m very grateful for how much he’s helped my career. … They’re set up very well.”
Shanahan’s “gone through some stuff” comment was an apparent reference to Dan Snyder, who owned the team when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator there under his father Mike as head coach. Snyder endured harsh criticism and several on-field and off-field scandals before selling the team to a group run by Harris last offseason.
After famously leading an offensive staff in Washington that included four current NFL head coaches (himself included) in 2013 and a rocky 2014 stint in Cleveland, Kyle Shanahan went on to become Falcons offensive coordinator under Quinn for two years, where the two found success together.
But things derailed after Atlanta’s 28-3 Super Bowl collapse against the New England Patriots in 2017 and Shanahan’s subsquent departure for San Francisco that offseason, and Quinn was fired in 2020. But after a successful three-year stint as Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, Quinn got his second NFL head coach opportunity with the Commanders.
Shanahan also praised the way Quinn would carry himself, run meetings and talk to the team as traits he learned from his former boss, saying Monday that Quinn’s ability there was “as good as I’ve been around.”
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