New York Jets: The Curious Love of Kyle Shanahan with Dan Quinn


Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive Kyle Shanahan during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are starting to put some focus on both their head coach search and their general manager search. Mike Maccagnan had a second interview for the general manager position yesterday, and many deem him the favorite to land the job. The coaching search is starting to narrow as well. The rumor is that the Jets are waiting for the Seahawks’ season to end so they can sign the man they covet, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

When and if the hire is made, we can debate that decision.

However, the news has come up that if Quinn is hired for a position, and Quinn seems to like the Jets as much as they like him, he plans to hire Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator. This has excited the fan base, with some saying that Quinn bringing Shanahan with him makes him a more attractive coaching candidate.

I don’t understand why. If we look at the numbers, the love for Kyle Shanahan doesn’t make much sense. Let me explain.

May 9, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback

Ronde Barber

(20) talks during his retirement press conference at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan got his start in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, serving as an offensive quality control coach from 2004-2005. In 2004, the Bucs were 22nd in the NFL in yards per game with 310.2. They were 23rd in the league in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game.

Despite winning the division with an 11-5 record, the Bucs offense fell to 23rd in the league in yards per game with 294.8. They again averaged 18.8 points per game, earning them 20th place in the NFL.

Was Kyle Shanahan the offensive “low quality” control coach?

Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver

Andre Johnson

(80) on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jaguars 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The next stop for Kyle Shanahan was in Houston, as he became the wide receivers’ coach for the Texans. Granted, Andre Johnson did improve, posting his first 100+ reception season with 103. It’s not like he wasn’t already a proven talent, however, as he posted over 1,000 yards in 2004, and hadn’t posted a season of under 60 receptions.

By the way, no other receiver on the team posted greater than 57 receptions. So, Shanahan showed that he could allow an already proven talent to excel, but not much else.

But wait, there is more.

Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback

Matt Schaub

(8) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan was moved to quarterback coach for the 2007 season. This marked the second season that Matt Schaub as a full time starter. That year, Schaub threw for nine touchdowns and nine interceptions in 11 starts.

That earned Shanahan a promotion.

Shanahan was promoted to Texans offensive coordinator for the 2008 and 2009 season. Granted, Matt Schaub posted his career high of 29 touchdowns versus only 15 interceptions. We have to give him credit there. But, let’s look at the offense over those two seasons.

In 2008, although the Texans were third in the league with 382.1 yards per game, they couldn’t score, ranking 17th in the league with 22.9 points per game. 2009 was the Texans best offensive season under Shanahan, ranking fourth in yards and 10th in scoring.

I think it’s fair to say that Shanahan’s time in Houston was inconsistent.

Dec 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan walks off the field after a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Redskins 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan joined his two-time Super Bowl winning father in Washington in 2010, serving as his offensive coordinator through the end of their tenure in 2013. In four years, Shanahan’s offense had one great year where they ranked fourth in scoring and fifth in yards per game. No other season did his offense ever rank higher than 23rd, and 9th in yards per game.

2012 was boosted by the only fully healthy, therefore productive, season from Robert Griffin III. It also was Alfred Morris‘ rookie year, when he rushed for over 1,600 yards. Griffin was terrific as was Morris, but some credit has to go to father Mike for the performance of Alfred Morris. For those who don’t remember, Mike Shanahan was able to slide almost anyone into the backfield in Denver and have them be successful, thanks to his offense, in place long before son Kyle was old enough to coach.

Again, Kyle Shanahan had his moments in Washington, but it was a spotty tenure at best.

Sep 21, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last season with the Cleveland Browns, Kyle Shanahan was once again the offensive coordinator. The offense was ranked 23rd in yards per game with just over 324, and 27th in the league in scoring with 18.7 points per game.

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So, where is the justification for the love of Kyle Shanahan. We had an offensive coordinator with a great coach as their father, how did that end up?

The next Jets head coach may very well hire Kyle Shanahan as their offensive coordinator. He may have some moments in New York, and finally put things together. But I don’t understand why he makes everyone so excited.

Look at the numbers, it doesn’t make sense.