1) Presided over 2016’s No. 1 scoring offense
In his second year with the Falcons, Shanahan has developed the offense into a a franchise record-breaking unit. Atlanta finished No. 1 at 33.8 points per game, 4.5 points better than No. 2 New Orleans. The Falcons broke their single-season franchise scoring record in their Week 14 victory over the Rams.
Over the course of 2016, Shanahan displayed how well he could utilize the talents available on the Falcons' squad, with 13 players recording a touchdown reception.
In his ninth NFL season, quarterback Matt Ryan played the best football of his career, throwing for 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions to become a serious MVP candidate. He led the league at 9.3 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 117.1 while completing 69.9 percent of his passes.
2) At age of 37, has extensive experience
While Shanahan is young to be a potential head coach, he has plenty of NFL experience. He became an offensive coordinator in 2008 with the Texans, and in 2009 coached quarterback Matt Schuab to a Pro Bowl season.
Spending the 2014 season with the Browns, Shanahan’s offensive system helped quarterback Brian Hoyer finish with a league-leading 13.7 yards per completion, and running backs Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell end the year with a combined 1,280 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns.
Shanahan’s ability to fit his system for different players at four different stops around the league is one of his most impressive qualities.
3) Has a strong coaching pedigree
Aside from his own experience, Shanahan can undoubtedly draw upon that of his father.
Mike Shanahan ranks 15th all-time in wins as a head coach (170), having led three different teams from the 1980s to 2013. The elder Shanahan won three Super Bowls in the 1990s — one as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator in the and then a pair with quarterback John Elway and the Broncos as head coach in 1997 and 1998.
As such, Kyle spent plenty of time around the Broncos as a teenager.
“I went there and worked out at the Broncos' facility every day that school ended since I was a freshman in high school, and the guys I used to work out with were like Bill Romanowski," the younger Shanahan said in October, via ESPN. "I carried my briefcase of vitamins around, also. Wasn’t trying to be something I wasn’t.”
Football is clearly in Kyle Shanahan’s blood, and that certainly wouldn’t hurt him as a head coach in the NFL.
“…[T]hat’s really the only thing I’ve had a great passion for," Shanahan said via ESPN. "I was never the best student. I was really committed to sports and always did good enough in school. But football is what I lived and died. And my mom and sister have been mad at me and my dad probably every dinner we’ve ever had our entire life, because eventually they’ve got to tell us to stop talking about football.”