With two head coaching vacancies already open in Los Angeles and Jacksonville, the odds of Kyle Shanahan becoming a head coach continue to increase. Here are a few names to watch as possible replacements.
Again saddled without their top playmaker, the Falcons’ offense still proved to be too much to handle for the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan has demonstrated all yearlong why he should be on top of every head coaching wishlist this offseason.
The last two gameplans—showing he can do more with less—solidified his impending departure to the head coaching ranks. It’s time we accept that and move on to who his eventual successor might be.
The following three candidates make the most sense for Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons.
Falcons fans may remember Greg Knapp as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator from 2004-2006. Paced by the trio of Warrick Dunn, Michael Vick, and T.J. Duckett, Knapp guided the Falcons to the league’s best rushing attack in each of his three seasons.
Greg Knapp comes from the Alex Gibbs’ coaching tree, which has fathered the modern-day zone blocking scheme and other coaches such as our own Kyle Shanahan. Also working in Knapp’s favor is the coach’s long-standing history with Dan Quinn. The two worked together in San Francisco from 2001-2003 and also in 2009 during Knapp’s lone season with the Seahawks.
The combination of his offensive scheme and connection to Quinn make Knapp the ideal fit to replace Kyle Shanahan as the next offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
Currently the quarterbacks coach of the Colts, Brian Schottenheimer is best known for his time as the Jets’ offensive coordinator. Schottenheimer was the play caller on the 2009 and 2010 squads that reached consecutive AFC Championship games.
Aside from those two seasons, though, Schottenheimer has had little success as a coordinator in the NFL. However, he’s never had a quarterback the caliber of Matt Ryan until this year in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck is currently on pace to set career highs in completion percentage and quarterback rating under Schottenheimer’s tutelage.
Like Knapp, Brian Schottenheimer also has an affiliation with Dan Quinn. He and Quinn were on Eric Mangini’s staff in New York from 2007-2008. The work Schottenheimer has done with Luck will entice Quinn to bring his former colleague in for an interview.
The wildcard on this list is former Chargers and Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Cameron recently spent the last four years as LSU’s offensive coordinator, but now stands as a free agent after the program cleaned house.
LaDainian Tomlinson and Ray Rice will both vouch for Cameron as the two running backs had their most prolific seasons under his direction. Devonta Freeman could be the next in line if Quinn decides to hire his former boss. Cameron was the head coach of the Dolphins in 2007 when Quinn served as the team’s defensive line coach.
Who do you want leading the Falcons offense in 2017 and beyond?