1. Quick-Impact Mentality: In his first season as the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator in 2010, Kyle Shanahan's offense set a franchise record in completions (349) and registered the team's third-highest passing yards. In addition, the team recorded a touchdown pass in 15 consecutive games for the first time in club history and led the NFL with nine completions of at least 50 yards. Atlanta's offense is armed with plenty of weapons, each waiting to be utilized by Shanahan's play-calling expertise.
2. Leading a Well-Balanced Attack: The Falcons' rushing attack produced 1,498 yards in 2014, something Shanahan will look to improve next season. He's had success improving the ground games during previous stops as offensive coordinator. In 2012, Shanahan directed Washington's offense during its NFC East title run, becoming the first team in NFL history to pass for 3,400 yards and rush for 2,700 yards in the same season. In the same role with the Houston Texans in 2008, he helped the club total 1,846 rushing yards. If such improvements occur with Atlanta's ground attack, think of the possibilities for the Falcons' passing game in 2015.
New Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan may have been the youngest coach in the NFL to earn coordinator job years ago, but he brings plenty of experience to Atlanta
3. Talent Maximizer: Shanahan is no stranger to coaching Pro Bowl talents and welcomes the opportunity to do the same in Atlanta, inheriting an offense headlined by Pro Bowl stars Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devin Hester. Falcons fans hope their team's new offensive coordinator will have success similar to his efforts coaching Houston Texans Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson, who led the NFL in receptions (115) and receiving yards in both 2008 (1,575) and 2009 (1,569). Under Shanahan's direction, the 2009 Texans led the NFL in passing yards (4,654) and ranked fourth in total offense (6,129), setting franchise records.
4. An Innovative Style: Shanahan is known for being creative on offense, leading to successful numbers. During his run as Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III's offensive coordinator in 2012, CBS analyst Phil Simms praised Shanahan's play-calling abilities, describing them as "creative" and "something different." Shanahan helped RGIII set NFL rookie records in passer rating (102.4), lowest percentage of passes intercepted (1.27) and rushing yards by a rookie quarterback (815) en route to being named the 2012 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. Look for Ryan and company to excel in Shanahan's offensive plan this season.
5. Football Bloodline: Shanahan got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at UCLA in 2003. He played wide receiver at Duke before transferring in 2000 to Texas, where he spent two seasons at wide receiver. His father, Mike, a veteran NFL coach was head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders (1988-89), Denver Broncos (1995-2008) and Washington Redskins (2010-13).