Posted: 2/9/2017 11:54:14 PM
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. The Falcons suffered what is arguably the worst loss in American professional sports history (at least the 1986 Boston Red Sox still had Game 7 to play after blowing Game 6 in the 10th inning) and that will never leave the players or coaches. For someone like Shanahan, who has been criticized heavily since Sunday, it has to be an extra burden.
Think about it this way: As Shanahan was introduced as San Francisco 49ers head coach, one of the biggest moments of his career to this point, he had to answer questions about his role in a Super Bowl he and the Falcons just lost. He said the Super Bowl loss is “as hard as anything I’ve gone through.”
“Jed [York, 49ers owner] told me to take my time and he allowed me to take a day-and-a-half before I cameg out here,” Shanahan said. “I was definitely grieving and I probably will for a while.”
There was a report from Zach Klein of WSB in Atlanta that Shanahan told people at the team hotel after the game, “I blew it.”
“I don’t know if I used those exact words, but that sounds about how I talk,” Shanahan said Thursday. “When you’re the coordinator of an offense or the head coach of a team, you’re responsible for what happens out there. If a play doesn’t go right, if a player misses something, that starts with the offensive coordinator. I did believe we had a very good chance to win that game, especially at the end, and we didn’t get it done. When you use the the words ‘I blew it,’ I don’t look at it that way. I believe we missed an opportunity.”
This isn’t the best way to start a head-coaching career. And it’s easy to be critical of his calls. Shanahan said he will be critical of himself. But he understands why he called the plays he did.
“Yeah it’s going to be hard living with that loss,” Shanahan said. “And every play that didn’t work, I regret, as always. But I can deal with it. I can look at myself in the mirror and know I did what I thought was right at the time. I didn’t change because of the circumstance. I did what I thought was right.
“I remember every single play and I’ll go over those for the rest of my life. That’s kind of the life we live as coaches.”