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Look who’s questioning Kyle Shanahan’s Super Bowl play-calling

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan didn’t directly blame Kyle Shanahan for Atlanta’s epic Super Bowl LI collapse, but he left no doubt the new 49ers coach played a big role in the overtime loss to the Patriots.
Ryan revealed to CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco he was frustrated with Shanahan and questioned the offensive coordinator’s play-calling in the fourth quarter that led to New England overcoming a 25-point deficit.
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Specifically, Ryan thought Shanahan’s inability to quickly call plays, and his choice of those plays, in the final 4-5 minutes doomed Atlanta. Foremost in his criticism was Shanahan choosing not to call a running play while the Falcons were in range to kick a game-clinching field goal, instead calling a series of pass plays that led to a turnover. Plus, Ryan said the calls came in so late he didn’t have time to audible.
“Kyle’s play calls — he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan told Prisco. “As I was getting it, you’re looking at the clock and you’re talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don’t have a lot of time to say, ‘There’s 16 seconds, no, no, no, we’re not going to do that. Hey, guys, we’re going to line up and run this.’ You’re talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.
“With the way Kyle’s system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator Dirk Koetter). You couldn’t get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I’m all for it. But there’s also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”
For his part, Shanahan also has said he’d do things differently if given another chance, telling reporters he’ll never stop second-guessing himself for what happened late in the Super Bowl.
“I’ll go back through every play for the rest of my life,” Shanahan told reporters a couple of days after he was hired as the 49ers coach in February.
It sounds as if Ryan also plans on constantly re-living the Super Bowl loss.
“There’s always going to be a little sting,” Ryan said. “You never lose that. Hopefully we’ve got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be like, ‘Damn, let’s talk about the other one we should’ve had.”
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