Former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was recently hired as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. And now that Kyle is out from under his father Mike Shanahan’s shadow, I think he will be much better off in the position, and will benefit from learning from a head coach other than his father.
When Mike Shanahan hired his son as offensive coordinator, I immediately had a problem with it. Although Kyle had previous experience as a coordinator, the move still came off as being Mike Shanahan running the Redskins like a family business, when it’s not. Coordinator jobs in the NFL are too rare to just hand them over to relatives.
I can see helping your son get started in the business by giving them an entry-level job to get them some experience as a coach. But after that they should build their reputation based on their own merit, and not opportunities given to them by their parent. I think having his son as offensive coordinator is one of the reasons Mike Shanahan failed as head coach in Washington.
You’re going to treat your son differently than you would a coach who isn’t related to you. If they’re not getting the job done the way it needs to be, you’re not going to fire them for fear that you may hurt their future job prospects. I think Kyle Shanahan would have been much better off staying with the Houston Texans, and never working for his father.
And now that he’s in Cleveland I think he’ll have a much better chance of proving his ability there, than he ever did in Washington. And I think more owners and GM’s should be skeptical when a head coach tries to hire a relative for coveted positions. Because there are more than likely better qualified candidates out there who get passed over due to nepotism.