After milking impressive production out of a milquetoast roster in Cleveland, Atlanta's new offensive coordinator now inherits a bona fide franchise passer in Matt Ryan.
"First and foremost, he has a ton of experience," Ryan said of Shanahan, per the team's official website. "He's a young guy, but he has a ton of experience. I've enjoyed working with Kyle so far and Matt LaFleur, our quarterbacks coach, as well. I think there's been really good collaboration on the offensive side. We've got a lot of work to do, a lot of time and effort to put in. The first couple of days have been really, really good."
Ryan thrived under former Falcons play-caller Dirk Koetter, but Shanahan brings an impressive resume of his own.
The creative schemer was the architect for Robert Griffin III's sensational rookie campaign in 2012 after helping a younger Matt Schaub author the finest years of his career in Houston. Before the wheels fell off in Cleveland last autumn, Shanahan was talked about as an Assistant Coach of the Year candidate for the early results he produced with Brian Hoyer.
Shanahan's run-first philosophy might lower some of Ryan's gaudy totals from previous seasons, but the coordinator has shown an ability to morph his approach around the talent on his roster.
The new attack still promises big numbers for Pro Bowl wideout Julio Jones. During his two seasons as Texans OC in 2008 and 2009, Shanahan unleased Andre Johnson for back-to-back league-leading outbursts of 1,575 and 1,569 receiving yards, respectively. In Washington, Pierre Garcon busted loose under Shanny for 1,346 yards off an NFL-best 113 catches in 2013.
New coach Dan Quinn was hired to fix Atlanta's scattershot defense, but maintaining Atlanta's high-powered offense remains an equal priority. With Shanahan at the controls, we like their chances.