FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Kyle Shanahan feels he's ready to lead his own NFL team.
"I definitely do. I think I have been," Shanahan said on Thursday. "It's about getting that opportunity and finding the right fit, and it's definitely not something I have to do."
The Falcons' offensive coordinator isn't going to just go anywhere. He has a good gig after all. In just two seasons into his position with the Falcons, he's helped form a high-powered offense that utilizes a good part of the roster.
"I love it here. I love the situation here, the team here. There's no one better I could work for," he said. "By no means is it something that has to get done, but it's a goal of our profession. I'd be surprised if most people didn't tell you they were ready.
Shanahan, 37, is reportedly set to meet with the San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams. He also has high interest in coaching the Denver Broncos.
His father, Mike Shanahan, spent 13 seasons with Denver. Shanahan said he hasn't been to Denver since high school, but said he knows a lot of people within that organization and has respect for them doing the right thing to win games and the Super Bowl last season.
Shanahan said the players have Friday and Saturday off because of the bye week, and that is when he will take care of things like interviews. He said head coach Dan Quinn told him to go into the process with no stress and with an open mind.
That's a lot easier to do with the Falcons on their bye. Quinn did his head coaching interviews during the Seattle Seahawks bye week during the 2014 NFL Playoffs. Quinn was the Seahawks' defensive coordinator.
"For me, it was everything. The guys who have a bye, it's a big difference for those who don't. I've never experienced it the other way, but I would not have been comfortable doing that," Quinn said.
The Falcons finished the regular season last Sunday by beating the New Orleans Saints to finish 11-5. They are the NFC South Champions. Despite having Matt Ryan completing an MVP-caliber season and the offense scoring a franchise high in points (540), Shanahan said he never fully felt great about the turnaround the offense made from last season until Monday morning.
"Being able to have this bye week and sit back at the end of the year on Monday and look back at some stuff, some numbers, it's pretty cool. You didn't realize totally, exactly what we did on some numbers things because you don't want to get up in that during the year," he said.
Shanahan said he was surprised by some of what he saw when looking back at the season. But at the same time, he's careful not to get too excited about the positives. Just like how, after last season, he tried to not get caught up in the negativity surrounding the offense and him.
"I've had a lot of highs and lows," he said. "Whether it's good or bad, you try to not let it affect you. The main thing is when it's good, you don't want to listen to it and feel great. I've done that before, and then it feels that much worse when it goes bad. So, you start to realize you don't do it for that stuff because you really enjoy it."
"You don't totally do it for the praise. That makes it a lot easier when you realize you don't do it for the people killing you, also."