Guest of the League
GSOFFL Est. 2010
FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

Shanahan returns to face Redskins as coach of unbeaten 49ers

Thu Oct 17 4:31pm ET
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer

Players: Adrian Peterson, Logan Paulsen, Case Keenum, Chris Thompson, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Terry McLaurin

In this Dec. 15, 2013, file photo, then-Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan speaks to then-Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, before the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta. Kyle Shanahan is in a better place now. After serving as the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator under his dad, Mike Shanahan, from 2010-2013, he returns Sunday to face them as coach of the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)


In this Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan works the sideline during the second half an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. Almost nothing has gone wrong for Shanahan and the unbeaten 49ers, who are in position to establish themselves as the favorite in the division that the Los Angeles Rams dominated since head coach Sean McVays arrival. (AP Photo/Gary Landers, )


LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Kyle Shanahan is in a better place now.

After serving as the Washington Redskins' offensive coordinator under his dad, Mike Shanahan, from 2010-2013, he returns Sunday to face them as coach of the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.

Six years after the Shanahans were fired, the Dan Snyder-owned and Bruce Allen-run Redskins are about to embark on another coaching search. The position might be harder to fill if candidates go to Kyle for advice.

He said the best part of Washington was being able to work with his dad and be around some other good coaches. The worst part? ''Everything else.'' The 49ers coach paused. ''I liked a lot of the players - some good people,'' he said.

''We've accepted what we had to deal with there, and we've moved on,'' Shanahan said. ''We'll watch other people deal with it.''

Shanahan was one of three future NFL head coaches on the Redskins' staff in 2012 and 2013, along with Sean McVay and Matt LaFleur. McVay took the Rams to the Super Bowl last season, LaFleur is in his first season in charge of the Green Bay Packers, and the three coaches' teams have combined to go 13-4 this year.

Snyder and Allen fired Jay Gruden after the Redskins lost their first five games, and Washington eked out a 17-16 win at the hapless Miami Dolphins last week in interim coach Bill Callahan's debut. The 5-0 49ers look like justifiable double-digit favorites and are rolling under Shanahan, who has transformed the culture in San Francisco, in part because his time with the Redskins taught him what not to do.

''I just learned it's very important to work with people that have the same intentions and you want to go in the same direction,'' Shanahan said. ''Football is a very tough game and no matter how close you are with people, there's adversity that faces everyone and when you lose one game, two games in a row, you know what's going to be written and everything and (if) people live off that type of stuff, it's very hard to survive and get through any tough times.

''So, you've got to make sure people are made of the same stuff you are, that have the same intention, same goals and they're ready to fight and work through things and see it to the end.''

Shanahan, who coached a game with the Niners at FedEx Field two seasons ago, said his well-timed visit this time on Redskins alumni ''Homecoming Weekend'' is not personal. The only offensive players left from his time with Washington are injured running back Chris Thompson and holdout left tackle Trent Williams.

''I've moved on with my life in many other ways, and I think my family has also,'' Shanahan said. ''It's not an issue. We've got our team coming to play their team and we're looking forward to that.''

Shanahan has grown significantly from the introverted, closed-off offensive coordinator he was in Washington to now. Players then appreciated his football acumen, but more goes into being a head coach.

''As an OC in Washington, you saw kind of how smart he was, the way he saw the game,'' said Houston Texans tight end Logan Paulsen, who played for Shanahan in Washington and San Francisco.

''The thing that I thought that was really cool going from Washington to San Francisco was seeing his maturity in terms of talking and dealing with players and different personalities. He was always a very bright football guy and to see his leadership skills really come into his own was really cool to see.''

Paulsen said Shanahan exercised patience waiting for the right opportunity to take a head job and ''did it on his own time.'' With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo running his offense and one of the best defenses in the league, Shanahan is an early front-runner for coach of the year.

''He is a football junkie, and I think guys really respect that,'' Paulsen said. ''They see kind of the standard that's set by him in terms of what they need to know and how they need to respond in certain situations, and I think that's really special.''

Washington's current offensive coordinator, Kevin O'Connell, could be the coach next season, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's name has been tossed around. Whoever interviews and gets offered the job, Shanahan doesn't expect to be asked for his thoughts on the organization.

''Just look into it, see what the situation is and who you want to work for,'' Shanahan said. ''Any time you get opportunities you've got to look into it, but I'm not there and I don't know how it is right now. That would be up to that person. I'm probably not the person they want to call on that advice.''

Some things to watch when Shanahan's 49ers visit the Redskins:

ROAD WARRIORS

After going winless on the road last year, the Niners have been outstanding away from home so far this year. They opened the season with back-to-back wins at Tampa Bay and Cincinnati and then won 20-7 last week at Los Angeles against McVay and the defending NFC champion Rams. San Francisco hasn't had a winning record on the road since going 6-2 in 2013 on the way to the NFC title game.

''I know we didn't win a road game last season, preseason or regular season, so those plane rides weren't very fun,'' tight end George Kittle said. ''Being able to get on those planes and come back with a victory makes it so much more fun.''

The Redskins haven't won at home since Week 7 in 2018.

RUN, RUN, RUN?

Callahan promised to commit to the ground game after taking over for Gruden, and boy, did he. Adrian Peterson rushed 23 times for 118 yards at Miami.

San Francisco's run defense might force more throws from still starting QB Case Keenum.

''We'll do whatever we need to do,'' Callahan said. ''Of course we want to establish the run and we want to keep that identity just like everybody else around the league, but they're good.''

FILL-IN TACKLES

The Niners managed to win last week despite playing two backups at tackle. Rookie Justin Skule made his third straight start at left tackle in place of Joe Staley, while Daniel Brunskill got his first career start at right tackle in place of Mike McGlinchey. San Francisco was still able to move the ball fairly consistently without altering the offense too much.

''I thought the two rookies did a great job stepping in and filling their roles,'' Garoppolo said. ''Those guys are just battling up front. What they do in the run game and pass game is so impressive.''

McLAURIN MADNESS

Washington's Terry McLaurin is the first rookie with 50-plus yards receiving in each of his first five NFL games since Terry Glenn in 1996. McLaurin leads all rookies with 23 catches, 408 yards and five touchdowns and is already the Redskins' best offensive player.

''He's done a really good job for them stepping in as a rookie, which is rare for receivers,'' Shanahan said. ''But you've got a very good football player and he's tough and the game's not too big.''

DOMINANT D

San Francisco's defense has played at a high level all season but might have been at its best last week. The Niners are allowing a league-low 150.2 yards per game passing, and rank second in points allowed (12.8 per game) and total defense (237.4 yards per game) thanks to a dominant defensive line that has put heavy pressure on opposing passers. San Francisco allowed just 48 net yards passing last week against the Rams and held Los Angeles to no conversions on third or fourth down.

Player Notes
Kareem Hunt Nov 16 10:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt will 'absolutely' continue to play a big role in the passing game, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN.

Fantasy Spin: Hunt has 13 catches for 90 yards in two games for the Browns, and he has become a safety valve of sorts for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Throw in a handful of carries, and he is worth considering as a flex option in PPR formats.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Nov 16 9:53pm ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson has 13 total receptions in five games since QB Sam Darnold returned from a bout with mono.

Fantasy Spin: He actually had a big performance in Darnold's first game back, but Anderson has just eight catches for 97 yards in the last four games combined. A Week 11 matchup with Washington looks good on paper, but he is a big-play dependent flex option, at best.

From TheHuddle

DeVante Parker Nov 16 9:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker's 'upside' may be limited in Week 11 because of the coverage skills of Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com.

Fantasy Spin: Parker had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Buffalo, but with Preston Williams sidelined, White and the Bills can focus all their attention on Parker. He is a touchdown-dependent WR3.

From TheHuddle

Blaine Gabbert Nov 16 9:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) won't be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this season, head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Justin Evans Nov 16 9:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Justin Evans (foot) needs surgery on his foot and won't be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this season, head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Jerry Hughes Nov 16 5:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills DE Jerry Hughes (groin) likely will be a game-time decision for the Week 11 game.

From TheHuddle

Obi Melifonwu Nov 16 5:53pm ET

New England Patriots S Obi Melifonwu (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad Reserve/Injured list this week.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Nov 16 5:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns signed a two-year contract extension with the Dolphins Saturday, Nov. 16, worth $8 million, according to a source. The deal includes $3.27 million in guaranteed money.

From TheHuddle

Deon Cain Nov 16 5:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts practice squad WR Deon Cain and Chicago Bears practice squad RB Kerrith Whyte were signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster Saturday, Nov. 16. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The Steelers also waived LB Jayrone Elliott and RB Tony Brooks-James.

From TheHuddle

Bo Scarbrough Nov 16 5:13pm ET

Detroit Lions practice squad RB Bo Scarbrough was signed to the 53-man roster Saturday, Nov. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived RB Paul Perkins.

From TheHuddle

John Kelly Nov 16 5:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams RB John Kelly was waived Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Maxx Williams Nov 16 4:43pm ET

Arizona Cardinals TE Maxx Williams signed a two-year extension with the Cardinals Saturday, Nov. 16, that will run through the 2021 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Chung Nov 16 4:43pm ET

New England Patriots RB Damien Harris (hamstring) and SS Patrick Chung (chest, heel) have been ruled out of the team's Week 11 game.

From TheHuddle

Thomas Davis Nov 16 4:33pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers OT Sam Tevi (knee) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and has been ruled out for Week 11. WR Geremy Davis (hamstring) and RB Justin Jackson (calf) did not practice and are listed as doubtful. OT Russell Okung (groin) did not practice and is listed as questionable. S Roderic Teamer (groin) and LS Cole Mazza (illness) fully participated in practice but are listed as questionable. LB Drue Tranquill (calf) was limited during practice but is not on the injury report. LB Denzel Perryman (knee), DT Justin Jones (shoulder), OG Dan Feeney (shoulder), LB Thomas Davis (non-injury) and OT Trey Pipkins (toe) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Sammy Watkins Nov 16 4:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (groin) fully participated in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is not on the injury report for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Watkins has been targeted 27 times in three games since returning from injury and should have a solid role against the Los Angeles Chargers. He can be considered a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Frank Clark Nov 16 4:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs TE Blake Bell (ankle), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (pectoral) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and have been ruled out for Week 11. CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) was limited during practice and is listed as questionable. OT Mitchell Schwartz (knee) was limited during practice but is not on the injury report. DE Frank Clark (neck), OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle), OT Cameron Erving (ankle), OT Eric Fisher (groin), DT Chris D. Jones (groin) and DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Nov 16 4:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (non-injury) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is listed as questionable for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Williams is not dealing with an injury, so he should have a good chance to play in Week 11. He can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Nov 16 4:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) fully participated in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is not on the injury report for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Mahomes has thrown 18 touchdowns and one interception in eight games this season and continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle