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Watch mic’d-up Kyle Shanahan predict defensive penalty on George Kittle in NFC Championship


It’s very rare that Kyle Shanahan gets surprised by anything on a football field. His football knowledge and preparation is the stuff of legend, to the point that he’s often been described as knowing exactly what’s going to happen on specific plays before it actually does.

Shanahan’s former tight end with the Atlanta Falcons, Austin Hooper, described Shanahan as “Nostradamus… a fortune-teller,” having seen him predict plays as a rookie.

Earlier this season, left tackle Joe Staley said Shanahan knew that there would be a touchdown to George Kittle against the Cleveland Browns in Week 4.

“That was actually pretty awesome,” said. “I didn’t even know Kyle was next to me. I was right in front of him. And immediately when the ball was snapped, all I heard behind me was, ‘Touchdown!’

“I looked and Kyle is walking away and the play is still going on. He’s just walking away, I look at him and look at him, and it’s a touchdown. I’m all, ‘That’s so badass.’

Kittle said he knew that Browns touchdown was coming after reading the safeties and watching them both leave the middle third of the field open for him.

“I thought it was a touchdown before they eve said hike,” Kittle said after the 31-3 win.

The same thing happened last year, when Kittle went for this 85-yard touchdown against the Denver Broncos.

“Definitely one (moment) that sticks out the most is last year when we played the Broncos,” Kittle said. “I had an 85-yard touchdown and on Wednesday when we installed it, he goes, ‘Hey, as long as you don’t trip and fall, you’re gonna score an 80-yard touchdown here.'”

The same thing, again involving Kittle, happened in the NFC Championship game. Instead of a touchdown, though, it was defensive hold turned pass interference.

With Kittle set up on the inside of Packers safety Will Redmond and no help to the outside, Shanahan correctly predicted that when Kittle faked inside then ran an out route, Redmond would hold him. He alerted the referee next to him, and it played out exactly as Shanahan said it would.

“Five-yard out route. 85 versus their guy,” Shanahan said. “He’s gonna go inside and break out. He won’t let him out, watch.”

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