Shana­han off to rough start as 49ers coach

Ledger-Enquirer - - Sports - BY JOSH DUBOW

SANTA CLARA, CALIF.

Kyle Shana­han’s coach­ing ten­ure hasn’t quite got­ten off to the great­est start in San Fran­cisco.

He lost his first nine games with the 49ers last year be­fore the ar­rival of Jimmy Garop­polo pro­vided a late-sea­son spark with five straight wins to close a 6-10 cam­paign.

With Garop­polo side­lined by a sea­son-end­ing knee in­jury in Week 3 this year, the Nin­ers have started the sea­son 2-10 for the sec­ond straight year un­der Shana­han. Shana­han is just the fifth coach to be­gin his ten­ure with a team by go­ing 2-10 or worse in each of his first two sea­sons. Cleve­land’s Hue Jack­son (2016-17), Detroit’s Jim Schwartz (2009-10), Tampa Bay’s Lee­man Ben­nett (198586) and Tampa’s John McKay (1976-77) are the oth­ers.

Ben­nett got fired after his sec­ond sea­son and Jack­son didn’t make it through his third with the Browns. Schwartz and McKay stayed long enough to lead their teams into the play­offs, progress Shana­han hopes to be able to make with the 49ers.

“I’d love it to be a lot more ob­vi­ous and a lot eas­ier,” he said. “We fin­ished 6-10 last year and I’d love to be im­prov­ing from this year. I also know it was hard work to get to 6-10, es­pe­cially start­ing 0-9. I think we came in this year with a fran­chise quar­ter­back and we lost him early in the sea­son, which def­i­nitely makes that much harder.

“I think we came here know­ing that it was go­ing to take some time. I think the way we fin­ished last year def­i­nitely ex­cels every­one’s feel­ing and what they thought. But, by no means did I think we were com­ing into it this year and it was just go­ing to be easy. I knew it was go­ing to be ex­tremely hard.”

Here’s a look in­side some more in­ter­est­ing num­bers head­ing into Week 13:

Elite com­pany: Todd Gur­ley of the Rams finds him­self in ex­clu­sive com­pany. He has gained 1,649 yards from scrim­mage and scored 19 TDs so far this sea­son. Only six play­ers have topped those marks in the first 12 games, in­clud­ing Hall of Famers LaDainian Tom­lin­son (2006), Em­mitt Smith (1995), Eric Dick­er­son (1983), O.J. Simp­son (1975), Jim Brown (1965). Priest Holmes is the other, do­ing it in 2002. Touch­down Tom: Tom Brady’s next touch­down pass will move him past a cou­ple of all-time greats. Brady is tied with Brett Favre for third place for the most reg­u­lar-sea­son TD passes with 508. Brady is also tied with Pey­ton Man­ning for the most ever com­bined in the reg­u­lar sea­son and play­offs with 579.

Pro­lific Pat: Kansas City’s Pa­trick Ma­homes is join­ing some spe­cial com­pany in his first sea­son as a start­ing quar­ter­back. He joined Brady and Man­ning as the only play­ers to throw at least 40 TD passes in the first 12 games of the sea­son. Man­ning and Brady each won the MVP in the sea­sons they ac­com­plished the feat. Ma­homes also just had his sev­enth game of the sea­son with at least four TD passes, a mark topped only by Man­ning when he had nine in the 2013 sea­son.

Dou­ble threat: Gi­ants re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr. is prov­ing to be al­most as adept throw­ing TD passes as he is catch­ing them. Beck­ham threw a 49-yard TD pass and caught a 1-yarder against Chicago last week, the sec­ond time this sea­son he has caught and thrown for a TD pass in the same game. The only other time some­one did that twice in a sea­son was 1924, when Ed­die Kaw and Benny Boyn­ton did it for the Buf­falo Bisons.

Kyle Shana­han

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