Manning reveals why he'd play for Shanahan, 49ers in today's NFL

Manning reveals why he'd play for Shanahan, 49ers in today's NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Peyton Manning's illustrious 18-year NFL career came with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, but if he still played today, he'd love to be in the Red and Gold under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

While the Hall of Fame quarterback retired after the 2015 season, Manning was asked to position himself in today's NFL and share which offense he would want to be a part of.

"I'm probably headed out to San Francisco to play for Kyle Shanahan," Manning said on Tuesday's "This is Football" episode. "I met with Kyle when I was a free agent. I was talking to Mike Shanahan, who was coaching the [Washington] Commanders at the time [and] Kyle was his coordinator. I remember just sitting with Kyle, we'd watch film for two hours and I was extremely impressed.

"It's been no surprise to me the success he's had, not only as a coordinator in Atlanta, and now as a head coach. I think he's innovative. He grinds, he really works at it. It starts with their run game, but the stuff they do off their run game is unique. It's different.

"I think as a quarterback, I can just tell [49ers quarterback] Brock Purdy is mentally stimulated every single Sunday. And that's what you want. You want to come to work every single day and go, 'Wow, what's going to be in the offense today?' I can tell Kyle's calling a lot of plays where he's telling Purdy, 'Just trust me. [George] Kittle is going to be wide open on this play.' That's a fun offense to play in."

Shanahan is regarded as one of the greatest playcallers in the game. He is the mastermind behind the most electrifying offensive scheme in the entire league right now.

With players such as Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle, that certainly makes his job a little easier. But Manning broke down why he believes San Francisco's offense has been so successful.

"It starts with their run game," Manning said. "Chris Foerster is their [offensive] line coach. It starts there. They're challenging those guys up front. They're spending time and analyzing over and over. Obviously, when you got a guy like Christian McCaffrey, it sure does help. The shifts and the motions, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense and keeps them from ever being totally comfortable.

"It's still a player-led offense. Kyle is designing that offense around what his guys do well. And to me, that's a great quality in a coordinator. If Brock doesn't do this particular thing particularly well, let's not make him do it. Let's find the things he does. And I think it's very collaborative out there, and I think that's why they're the No. 1 seed in the NFC."

While fans won't get a Manning-Shanahan player-coach duo, it's still fun to imagine.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast