If Kyle Shanahan was hurt by the criticism from his former quarterback, Matt Ryan, regarding the speed in which the now-former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator sent in the play calls during Super Bowl LI, he didn’t let it show.
Ryan said Shanahan – now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers – pushed the limits of the clock and restricted the pivot from adjusting any of the calls that ultimately led to the Falcons scoring just seven second-half points and allowing the New England Patriots to mount a 25-point comeback.
While he admitted there is always room for improvement, Shanahan defended the speed of his play-calling.
“Any play-caller that you talk to that’s usually one of the most important things and something I pride myself on a lot, is how quick can you get a play call into a quarterback,” Shanahan said, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
“And the quicker you do the more comfortable it is, not just for him but the entire offense. They’re not panicked. They’re being able to move to the line. And with me as a coordinator personally, I try almost every situation to get it in as fast as possible. And I can be honest, there’s sometimes I do better than others. There are sometimes I don’t do it as good. There’s sometimes I do it real good.”
In Shanahan’s defense, this didn’t seem to be an issue for the Falcons during his tenure. Over the past two years, Atlanta was one of only three teams to avoid a delay-of-game penalty throughout an entire season, and was the only club to do so in both 2015 and 2016.
Whether the pressure of the Super Bowl and Atlanta’s dwindling lead caused Shanahan to make uncharacteristic mistakes is unclear, but he refused to enter a war of words with Ryan – even praising the 2016 NFL MVP.
“I was really proud of those guys on offense, which is a lot of credit to Matt and the rest of the guys, that regardless when we did get it in, two years straight without a delay of game and being the only team to even do that one year I think was a pretty impressive task,” Shanahan said. “We did a good job of that as a whole.”
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