Bill Walsh won three Super Bowls during his 10 years as the head coach of the 49ers and pieces put in place during his tenure helped the team win another title the year after he left, which leaves a record that most coaches will struggle to match during their careers even before you get to Walsh’s outsize influence on offensive football.
One of Walsh’s star players from that era thinks that the 49ers’ current head coach has brought some of what made Walsh so successful back to the team, however. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott invoked Walsh’s name while talking about 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Lott said he loves the way that the 49ers have built their team in the last few years and that Shanahan’s offensive acumen is reminiscent of what Walsh brought to the team decades ago.
“To me, they’re there,” Lott said. “They’re there on the offense and the reason I think that they’re there on the offense is that, and I’ve said this is, Kyle is our version of Bill Walsh. I think he’s one of the most innovative guys in pro football when it comes to offense.”
Lott noted the challenges that come from playing in an NFC West with the Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals before saying he thinks the 49ers are “right there” when it comes to being positioned for a championship. Following through would erase the dismal end to last season’s Super Bowl and likely lead to more thoughts about a run similar to the one Walsh enjoyed with the Niners.