Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan 'definitely' ready to be NFL head coach

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he is ready to become a head coach, but he won't let those aspirations deter his goal of reaching this year's Super Bowl.

A source confirmed to ESPN that Shanahan will interview for head-coaching vacancies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Denver over the next two days. Those interviews, to be conducted in Atlanta, were made possible after the No. 2 seed Falcons secured this week's first-round playoff bye.

"I think it would have been an impossible situation if we didn't win last week,'' Shanahan said Thursday. "But getting the bye week, it's actually been pretty convenient. ... The whole staff and the players are going to get Friday off. So that's when I'm taking care of that business. I'm meeting with a few teams those two days.

"You know, my kids are upset about it. They thought I had a couple of off days. But that's about it. It doesn't affect anything here because getting this bye week has allowed me to do this.''

Shanahan's lone interview for an NFL head-coaching vacancy was last year with the Buffalo Bills. The 37-year-old certainly has to be intrigued with the possibility of following in the footsteps of his father, Mike, by coaching the Broncos. Gary Kubiak recently stepped down as coach of Super Bowl champions due to health concerns.

Shanahan, a former Broncos boy ball, was asked about his interest level in Denver. His father won back-to-back Super Bowls with quarterback John Elway, the team's current executive vice president of football operations.

"I know some of the people in that organization, just growing up there, but I know more from when I was younger,'' Shanahan said. "I never worked in Denver. I left there when I was in high school. I haven't been back since. I've known the guys over the years most of my life.

"I've got a lot of respect for them [as] football people, so that's really what's the most flattering. When you've got respect for people, you really think they do things the right way and they're really about one thing and that's trying win a Super Bowl. When you have organizations like that who do want to talk to you, that's what I respect the most.''

Shanahan was asked if he thinks he's ready to become a head coach.

"Yeah, I definitely do,'' he said. "I think I have been. I think a lot of guys are. It's about [being] given that opportunity and hoping it's the right fit.

"It's definitely not something that I have to do. I love it here and love the situation here. I love the team here. There's no one better I could work for. My family loves living here. So, by no means is it something that has to get done. But that's a goal of most people in our profession, and I'd be surprised if most people didn't tell you they were ready.''

Shanahan then was asked if he would take just any NFL head coach job.

"Absolutely not,'' he responded.

The Falcons and MVP candidate Matt Ryan adjusted to the second year in Shanahan's scheme and boasted the league top-scoring offense, averaging 33.8 points per game.
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