SANTA CLARA – USA Today called Rams coach Sean McVay’s tactic to get quarterback Jared Goff to the line quickly, so he could call audibles for him, “Ingenious.” The story cited commentator Tony Romo saying that Goff does more at the line of scrimmage than any young player he has ever seen.
However, it’s not McVay’s manuever. It’s Kyle Shanahan’s. The 49ers head coach started doing it as an offensive coordinator in Washington and then Atlanta. McVay was an assistant tight ends coach and then a tight ends coach when Shanahan was Washington’s offensive coordinator for four seasons (2010-13).
McVay then became the Redskins offensive coordinator after Shanahan left in 2014. There’s plenty of cross coaching between the two young head coaches. Shanahan’s receivers coach and passing game coordinator is Mike LaFleur. His brother Matt is the offensive coordinator for the Rams.
“We have done that all year with our guys too,” Shanahan said of hustling to the line so Shanahan can help his quarterbacks adjust to the defensive looks. “That’s nothing new. We’ll do that at times (on Sunday). … That’s part of our offense.”
It’s one reason the 49ers have gone to lots of hurry up plays this year. Last season in Atlanta, the Falcons took very little time between plays so Shanahan could help with audibles. The speaker in the helmet of the quarterback shuts off the voice of the play caller after 15 seconds, which can allow Shanahan some time to help his quarterbacks adjust if the team gets to the line quickly.
“There’s a loud beeping sound so I know when (the 15 seconds is up),” Shanahan said.