Rich Eisen Blasts Idea of 49ers Firing Kyle Shanahan: ‘Did I Stutter?’

Kyle Shanahan

Getty Kyle Shanahan walks onto the field before the 49ers' road game at Arizona on Sunday, October 10.

Count NFL Network personality and Sirius XM radio host Rich Eisen as a staunch critic of anyone who believes the San Francisco 49ers should fire head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Eisen, during the Wednesday, October 13 edition of the Rich Eisen Show was asked by co-host Chris Brockman if the franchise should part ways with the 41-year-old Shanahan, whose team sits at 2-3 overall and has been marred by criticism of porous offensive play and growing scrutiny at the quarterback position.

Eisen immediately responded with an emphatic “no” answer.

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“Did I stutter?” Eisen said on his show.

“You want to explain?” Brockman asked.

“Yeah, because he’s one of the sharpest minds in football and he would be on the street for three minutes,” Eisen explained.

Rich Eisen Wants No Part of Your “Kyle Shanahan on the Hot Seat or Not” Debate | The Rich Eisen ShowRich Eisen and Chris Brockman debate whether or not 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan should be on the hot seat. Watch the Rich Eisen Show, an Emmy-nominated sports talk show, streaming live on NBC's Peacock, Audacy, and SiriusXM Ch. 211 Monday through Friday, noon–3 PM ET. Showcasing Rich Eisen’s uncanny ability to blend insightful sports…2021-10-14T00:30:00Z

Eisen Addresses Former First Rounder & Shanahan

Another chief reason why there are fans turning their back on Shanahan: Brandon Aiyuk.

Eisen addressed that situation, admitting something needs to be figured out between the former Arizona State Sun Devil and his 49ers head coach.

“Here’s what’s going on with Shanahan that people are wondering about. It’s Brandon Aiyuk,” Eisen said. “That he’s so talented last year and now, right now, there’s all sorts of mysterious people. He’s been targeted 15 times this year. Trust me, I know that’s not an exaggeration. The fullback has been targeted twice/three times as Aiyuk. Folks are wondering: How does he become totally outcast?

“Whatever doghouse he’s in, get him out of the doghouse yourself because you’re going to need him,” Eisen ended.

San Francisco general manager John Lynch was vocal about Aiyuk’s decline, telling KNBR 680 AM on Wednesday that “Brandon has not made the strides we expect him to. We probably hold him to a higher standard because he’s got so much in his body, and it’s important for a team to see people earn those opportunities.”

Deadspin Blasts Shanahan

While the 2020 NFC champion head coach Shanahan has a backer in Eisen, it’s not the case with one national publication.

In an October 12 article written by Joe Hoefling of Deadspin, the headline reads “Wait…Why Isn’t Kyle Shanahan on the hot Seat?”

“Shanahan has coasted off the success of his 2019 season, but it’s time the 49ers start looking at Shanahan with a little more scrutiny,” was one excerpt Hoefling wrote, citing Shanahan’s sub .500 record of 31-38 overall and the fact that his 49er teams have either finished third or fourth in the NFC West in three of his first four seasons as early reasons.

Hoefling later adds that Shanahan has Pro Bowl talent surrounding him, yet the 49ers are still on a decline.

“What’s even worse is that the 49ers have immense talent at several positions: Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Trent Williams, Fred Warner, Jimmie Ward, Nick Bosa, and Arik Armstead are all very talented players, and still the 49ers are a sub-.500 team,” Hoefling points out.

Hoefling also blasted Shanahan’s usage of first-round quarterback Trey Lance from the Arizona loss.

Eisen Believes Shanahan & Lance Pairing Is ‘Perfect’

While Deadspin’s Hoefling wasn’t fond of how Lance was utilized on Sunday, October 10, Eisen is still a firm believer that Shanahan — who has been labeled a “quarterback whisperer” because of past success with Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo — is the perfect coach for the rookie.

“What coach would you hire to be better [with] Lance than him? I mean, he’s perfect,” Eisen said. “He’s perfect for the situation. He’s got a long-term contract, and this is a team that I think one-and-doned two straight head coaches (Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly). So they had three different coaches in three years (four in four years if you count Jim Harbaugh).”

Brockman also pinpointed Shanahan’s record, to which Eisen countered with a rebuttal and 49ers history lesson.

“Look what Bill Walsh was in the first few years of his deal,” Eisen stated. “They would be crazy — crazy. Who would be better to hook up with Trey Lance, that’s out there right now, than Kyle Shanahan? Should he be on the hot seat? The answer is most emphatically no. Zero. The seat should have no temperature on it.”

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