Kyle Shanahan learned pre-draft secrecy at home

(RM) BRONCOSCAMP08- Head Coach Mike Shanahan, left, look out over practice as Jay Cutler works on a few drillsduring Broncos training camp at Dove Valley before heading to Texas for their first pre-season game. RJ Sangosti/ The Denver Post
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49ers coach Kyle Shanahan seemed relieved.

Relieved that the analysis of multiple options for upgrading the quarterback position had ended. Relieved that his team had a plan. Relieved that there would be no further need for a ruse.

Shanahan explained on Monday the simple reality that, given his team’s move up to No. 3, they no longer had to be coy about where they go or who they look at or what they do that could cause someone else to figure out what they’re thinking.

“I have been kind of grown up in the idea that you don’t like to go everywhere and show people things,” Shanahan told reporters on Monday. “When you’re sitting at [No.] 12, I don’t want to go to a bunch of quarterback Pro Days. . . . Now that you move up to three, you don’t have to hide as much. It’s not as big of a deal to me as it might’ve been when we were sitting at 12.”

Shanahan literally grew up in that mindset. In 2006, his father, Mike, showed Kyle and everyone else how to properly go about playing the pre-draft game.

That year, the Broncos traded from No. 15 to No. 11 (with the Rams) while the pick was on the clock. Mike Shanahan, then the head coach in Denver, took quarterback Jay Cutler.

The Broncos had done nothing to indicate any interest in Cutler. They didn’t interview him at the Scouting Combine. They didn’t go to his Pro Day. They didn’t meet with him anywhere. They didn’t call him.

“The first time I talked to him was after they picked me,” Cutler said.

At the time, Kyle was entering his third year as an NFL assistant coach, working for Mike Shanahan’s longtime lieutenant, Gary Kubiak, in Houston. Kyle’s approach to pre-draft words and deeds surely was shaped by the Cutler situation, where Mike gathered his information and made his decision without ever creating a trail of breadcrumbs that led from Denver to Vanderbilt.

Now, with 30 days to go until the draft, Kyle doesn’t have to play that game. He runs the board after Trevor Lawrence and, presumably, Zach Wilson are drafted first and second overall. Kyle can do his due diligence on Mac Jones, Justin Fields, and/or Trey Lance without worrying about someone else cracking the code on which guy Kyle covets.

9 responses to “Kyle Shanahan learned pre-draft secrecy at home

  1. Cutler turned out to be a prima donna that ultimately cost Mike Shanahan his job in Denver, and RGIII did the same to him in DC. It would seem that if Kyle should learn any lesson, it would be a lesson that if one is going to draft a potential franchise quarterback, character is just as important as ability. Interview the person and figure out what kind of person he is before the draft.

  2. This is very interesting because no one from the 49ers were at Trey Lance’s Pro day. I still think they moved up to get Mac Jones at 3, but after seeing him say this, maybe they are higher on Trey Lance.

  3. You’re seriously holding up the Broncos drafting of Jay Cutler as the shining example of pre-draft cloak & dagger?
    They didn’t win anything with Cutler and he quickly wanted to get on the first thing moving out of town.

  4. In hindsight, maybe his father *should* have done his due diligence on Cutler. Hiding his intentions led to the Broncos spending a premium pick on a QB who wasn’t all that good.

  5. I wonder if he learned how to cheat the salary cap from daddy too

  6. SO funny how many commenters miss the point of Mike’s article. Mike’s point has ZERO to do with Cutler’s lack of success in Denver. The article is about concealing pre-draft player interest

  7. theimmaculatedeception says:
    March 30, 2021 at 11:30 am

    SO funny how many commenters miss the point of Mike’s article. Mike’s point has ZERO to do with Cutler’s lack of success in Denver. The article is about concealing pre-draft player interest

    —————

    I think people get that. What posters are pointing out is that all the cloak and dagger becomes self defeating. To ‘hide’ interest means no interview, in person etc. So you conceal the weapon but shoot yourself in the process.

  8. Jon R says: “In hindsight, maybe his father *should* have done his due diligence on Cutler. Hiding his intentions led to the Broncos spending a premium pick on a QB who wasn’t all that good.”
    ————-

    Did you even look at the 2006 draft? Cutler was the ONLY good QB in that group of: Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Kellen Clemens, Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst, Brodie Croyle, Brad Smith, Ingle Martin, Omar Jacobs, Bruce Gradkowski and Reggie McNeal.

  9. I seriously question if any of the QBs after the first two will be successful NFL QBs. Seems like this class has serious bust potential.

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