Who better to share Father’s Day memories with than the coaching tandem of Mike and Kyle Shanahan?
This week Mike, the former Raiders, Broncos and Redskins head coach, visited his son in familiar territory when he traveled to San Francisco to take a peek at Kyle’s new team and Mike’s old one, the 49ers.
Between watching practice and watching film, father and son sat down with the Talk of Fame Network to share their thoughts about life in the family business, which is the pro football coaching business that Mike first tried to discourage his son from joining.
“My whole life I lived and died football,’’ recalled Kyle. “It was definitely the most important thing in my life. But my parents raised me ‘Don’t be a coach. Don’t be a coach.’ It’s the same thing I’ll tell my son.
“Coaching isn’t all glamourous like people think it is. You’ve got to move a lot. You’ve got to go through a lot of bad times. Everyone is going to get fired …There’s lots of ups and downs with it. My parents always told me not to get into it, but, once they realized that I wanted to, my Dad was pretty flattered that I wanted to follow after him.’’
After venturing out on his own, the son eventually followed his Dad to Washington as offensive coordinator. For the past two years he ran the Atlanta Falcons’ offense all the way to the Super Bowl before taking over as the 49ers head coach this season.
Coincidentally, that’s where his Dad once ran one of the most successful offenses in football before he moved to Denver and made the Broncos two-time Super Bowl champions. He hadn’t been back to the 49ers training base in Santa Clara since he left in 1994, so this week was a reunion both with his old team and his son.
“I think Kyle’s done a good job at different organizations and that speaks for itself,’’ Shanahan said. “I never really thought we’d coach together. I didn’t think it was fair (to his son) unless he’d run a top-five offense. If not, people talk about nepotism. But it was a great experience.’’
Speaking of great experiences, the Talk of Fame Network had one chatting with 39-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison about his long road to NFL success.
Undrafted out of Kent State in 2002, he was cut three times by the Steelers and once by the Ravens before finally getting his chance to play in Pittsburgh. Of all those moments the strangest came after a stint in Germany with the Rhein Fire of the World League.
Sent there by the Ravens in 2003, Harrison was brought back to Baltimore for several weeks when he got a call from a former Rhein teammate informing him he was coming to Baltimore to join him.
“I said, ‘Well, really,’’’ Harrison recalled. “They just released me to pick you up.’’
The two-time Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro Bowl selection and 2008 Defensive Player of the Year certainly made the Ravens rue the day they ignored him, with Harrison admitting that playing linebacker at 39 isn’t easy. Tune in to find out how he keeps the mental edge necessary to play one of the sport’s most violent positions.
“I do the same things I did the year I (first) made the squad,’’ Harrison revealed. “I really study. I break out the flash cards.’’
The Talk of Fame Network’s pre-camp divisional previews continue as our guys take a hard look at the NFC West, calling on longtime ESPN reporter ... and Seattle resident ... John Clayton for his view on that division.
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