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Steve Young recounts why his mind was blown the first time he saw Kyle Shanahan’s play sheet

© Robert Deutsch | 2020 Sep 27

When you can impress the likes of Steve Young to the point of amazement, you’re doing something right.

The hall of fame quarterback, who played for Kyle’s dad when he was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator, told the story on “Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks” of the first time he ever looked at Kyle Shanahan’s play sheet, which scripted first 20 plays he planned on calling before a game last season.

“I was in awe of Kyle through the first quarter,” Young said of last week’s win over the Rams. “Is there anybody better? There’s no one better today, but like maybe all time that can roll into a big game and you know that first drive is something…

“Last year I spoke to the team before the Rams game. It was late November, maybe December, and he did the first 20 plays and he was going through them and they were very specific. All the reads felt really simple. Like it was 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, and I’m like man, as a quarterback I like the simplicity of this, this is good, I like this. But he never said anything about blitz. There’s always a blitz check against something, and he was just going through them like this is what we’re going to do.

“At the end I went over to him like ‘Hey, those are great plays, I love those plays…but what about blitz?’ And he said, ‘Oh it’s good against everything.’ And I was like ‘What?! It’s good to go?!’

“That’s when I changed. I always sensed that the game had changed and we were more college-like — you can’t patrol the middle of the field, flats are open and there’s yards to get, all that stuff we talk about every week — but that’s where I changed. Cause I was like wait a second, you’re telling me in the first 20 plays, those 11 passes you just went through are 1-2 reads and there’s nothing to worry about with blitz? Sign me up!”

Listen to the full interview below.


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