LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Just because Kyle Shanahan didn’t join his 49ers players mud-sliding in celebration after shutting out the Redskins didn’t mean he enjoyed beating his old team any less.
Shanahan, who served as Washington’s offensive coordinator under his father, Mike, from 2010-13, celebrated the occasion by giving his dad the game ball after the 9-0 victory Sunday. Kyle has made little secret of his hard feelings over how things went working for owner Dan Snyder and president Bruce Allen.
He lost his only previous visit to FedEx Field as a head coach in 2017, his first season in San Francisco. With a much better team this time, Shanahan didn’t waste his opportunity to hand the Redskins another loss in a season full of them.
“Everyone’s a little more sensitive to things that involve your family,” Shanahan said after the 49ers improved to 6-0 by beating the Redskins 9-0. “That’s why I’m always a little more sensitive to this because of what I went through with my dad here, and that’s why it was nice to get the win. But it definitely had nothing to do with the game, has nothing to do with the score.
“But you always want to take care of things the right way when you’re bothered by how some things happened to a family member.”
The Shanahans were fired after the 2013 season, a year after quarterback Robert Griffin III reinjured his right knee on this same field. Shanahan said “everyone knows how the field always is” at Washington’s home stadium, which was just one of many things to go wrong during his time there.
During the week, Kyle said working with his dad and other good coaches were the best parts of his Redskins tenure and that “everything else” was the worst part. His players knew how badly he wanted to win this game.
“We were aware,” tight end George Kittle said. “It was a game we wanted to win for him and Mike Shanahan, and it was really fun that we could get that for him.”
Kittle said “it was pretty special” that Kyle gave his dad the game ball. Shanahan tried to de-emphasize history after the Redskins fell to 1-6.
“I’ve been in a number of buildings and not all of it always ends good,” he said. “It had nothing to do with the game.”