49ers' Kyle Shanahan Predicted to Win NFL Coach of the Year

49ers' Shanahan predicted to win NFL Coach of the Year originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers, led by coach Kyle Shanahan, are garnering plenty of hype prior to the 2021 NFL season. 

Healthy and ready to compete with the best the league has to offer, Shanahan's squad is expected to be one of the better teams in the NFL. 

Shanahan himself is entering his fifth season with San Francisco, only one of which resulted in a winning campaign. In 2019, Shanahan's team represented the NFC in Super Bowl 54, ultimately losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. With how dominant that 49ers squad was, a similar season could be in store for 2021 if they're able to stay healthy. 

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler released a 2021 NFL season predictions article where executives, coaches and scouts around the league predicted winners for awards such as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Coach of the Year, etc. 

Shanahan was the consensus pick for 2021 NFL Coach of the Year by those surveyed throughout the league. If the 49ers are able to bounce back and reclaim their spot as one of the league's elite teams, Shanahan will certainly be in contention for the award. 

"If the 49ers' roster remains well-stocked through Christmas, Shanahan is positioned for his second season of double-digit wins," Fowler writes. "And how he gets there could sway voters for this award: a potential two-quarterback system that has the whole league's attention."

The biggest question mark surrounding the 49ers this season is the quarterback situation. How will Shanahan utilize both incumbent and presumed starter Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie first-round pick Trey Lance? Will Shanahan be able to use both whiles coaching the 49ers to another title-contending season?

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"Oh, he's going to do it," a veteran NFL coach told Fowler. "You can already see it. Jimmy [Garoppolo] will be in the base, and [Trey] Lance will get packages where you can run different play-actions off it. I can't wait to see it. They have the right coach to handle it. He wants that challenge."

How will the 49ers fare this season? We'll have to wait four months to find out. 

How will Lance be incorporated into a Garoppolo-led offense? We'll find out in five days when the 49ers travel to Detroit to take on Jared Goff and the Lions. 

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