Falcons' Kyle Shanahan clear for second meeting with 49ers this weekend

ByVaughn McClure ESPN logo
Monday, January 23, 2017

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be able to go through a second interview with the San Francisco 49ers this weekend, as NFL rules permit, as the Falcons have a lull before their Feb. 5 Super Bowl matchup against the New England Patriots.

Shanahan had a first interview during the first week of the playoffs, when the Falcons had a first-round bye as the NFC's No. 2 seed. Shanahan acknowledged there is mutual interest but said no contract has been offered yet.

The 49ers have been given a window of Friday afternoon through Saturday to meet with Shanahan, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The players are off Saturday before the team leaves Sundayfor Houston.

Quinn said he admires how Shanahan has handled the process and hasn't allowed it to become a distraction for the league's top-scoring offense. The Falcons have scored 44 and 36 points in their two playoff games.

"I'm really proud of him because it's not easy to do, when there's a lot of speculation and things going on outside your world, to stay dialed in,'' Quinn said. "I think it's one that should be commended. Being on point and going for it, he totally nailed that, knowing how to attack and how we were going to go through. It gets more attention, obviously, the longer it goes. We recognize that. The league does structures that there's another opportunity for them to talk, and I'm sure they'll do that.''

NFL rules state that no contract between Shanahan and the 49ers can be finalized until after the Super Bowl. The second interview would give Shanahan a better idea of which general manager might work best alongside him. The 49ers still need to fill their GM role.

Quinn went through a similar process when he was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks and became the Falcons' head coach after the Seahawks lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl two years ago.

"I tried to just give him my experience," Quinn said, "not tell him what to do, but tell him, 'This is some of the pitfalls that happen; these are some of things I thought went well.' I tried to do the same things with him this week.''

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