Ex-Bears Starter Destroys 49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan: ‘I Don’t Like His Arrogance’

Kyle Shanahan

Getty Former Bears DE Corey Wootton had some strong words for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Corey Wootton played defensive end for the Chicago Bears from 2010 to 2013, playing in 45 games and starting 22.

A fourth-round pick for the Bears out of Northwestern in 2010, Wootton also played a year for the Minnesota Vikings before announcing he was retiring from the game in 2016. The former Bears defender currently serves as an analyst for CHGO Sports, and he appeared on the 49ers-centric Murph & Mac Podcast on September 9 to discuss why he felt the Bears would upset the Niners in their Week 1 matchup.

As it happens, Wootton was correct — the Bears handed the 49ers a 19-10 loss at Soldier Field on September 11 — and after the game, he let his feelings for the San Francisco head coach be known.

Shanahan & Wootton Had Bit of Back & Forth Before Week 1

Wootton was one of the few analysts to pick the Bears over the Niners Week 1, and the primary reason he did it was because he said 49ers’ second-year quarterback Trey Lance didn’t have the full support of the locker room.

Two days before the game, just hours after Wootton’s appearance, Shanahan also went on the Mac & Murph pod and was asked if there was any truth to Wootton’s comments about his team not believing in Lance.

“Zero,” Shanahan said in response to Wootton. “It sounds like a fan talking, and someone who really doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Not to insult a fan or anything, but there wasn’t anything substantial right there. That’s just reading headlines and trying to make that into a football opinion.”

Wootton predicted a final score of 21-10, and had Bears kicker Cairo Santos made the two extra-point attempts he missed, he would’ve predicted the score on the nose. The Bears held the 49ers to just a field goal in the second half, while Lance struggled often against an aggressive Chicago defense, finishing with 13 completions on 28 pass attempts for 164 yards and an interception.

After the game, Wootton made a point to note the majority of his Week 1 predictions were correct — and he also made it clear he has very little fondness for the 49ers head coach.

Wootton on Shanahan: He’s Arrogant & Rubs Me the Wrong Way

When speaking about the Bears’ win with fellow CHGO analyst Mark Carman on September 14, Wootton went after Shanahan right away. “I said that they don’t buy into Trey Lance, I said there was some conflict in the locker room, I don’t know if they buy into him,” Wootton said, adding:

“Then Shanahan comes on the show later on and says: ‘He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s just reading into headlines’ … Well you know what, Kyle? I was right. The same thing happened in the Falcons game. You abandoned the run game when you had the game on lock,” said Wootton, referencing Super Bowl 51, in which the Atlanta Falcons held a 28–3 lead over the New England Patriots at halftime.

The Falcons wound up losing the game, 34–28, in overtime and Shanahan, who served as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator at the time, was heavily criticized after the loss for not leaning on his running game enough.

When Carman said that the back and forth with Shanahan almost sounded personal, Wootton replied:

“It is. It is. I don’t like his arrogance,” Wootton said about Shanahan. “I feel like he carries himself in a different manner and it rubs me the wrong way — and it rubs a lot of people who played in the league the wrong way too.”

Wootton didn’t name names of others bothered by Shanahan, but it’s clear the former Bears pass rusher is sitting comfortably at the top of that list.

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