What Tom Brady appreciates most about 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

What Tom Brady appreciates most about 49ers, Kyle Shanahan originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

If anyone can recognize a great offensive NFL unit, it's Tom Brady.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion looked back at the 49ers' Week 1 performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers and shared why he's already so impressed with his hometown team following their dominant 30-7 win.

“They do an incredible job – and Kyle [Shanahan] does an incredible job of - maximizing the talents and abilities of his players," Brady said on a recent episode of his "Let's Go!" podcast. "And he knows what he's working with. And guys who are dangerous with the ball in their hands, like Christian McCaffrey, like Deebo Samuel. He finds such unique ways to get them the ball. Then it's [Brandon] Aiyuk. And all those guys are hard to bring down. Then it's [George] Kittle."

Brady knows an elite coach when he sees one.

Playing under three-time AP NFL Coach of the Year Bill Belichick for 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, the two made nine Super Bowl appearances together and won six of them.

But Brady pointed to something specific when analyzing what separates San Francisco's star-studded offense from others around the league.

“I think the thing I appreciate about the 49ers that's a little bit lost, I think, in today's football, is their ability to run the football," he said. "Every team wants to run the football, but there's so few teams that are running the ball well in the last few years, too.

"A lot of the good running now is from running quarterbacks, guys that are doing more of zone reads and keeping the ball and they're using their legs to gain yards, which I don't particularly love that style of play for a quarterback because I think it puts you at a lot of risk for your career.”

Luckily for 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, he has McCaffrey and doesn't have to worry about being too mobile.

McCaffrey had a huge game as he began his first full season with the 49ers, rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts, highlighted by a 65-yard touchdown to the house.

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk had himself a day, too, grabbing all eight of his targets for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Like McCaffrey, he's poised for a big season with the 49ers.

And we already know what Samuel, Kittle and the rest of the 49ers' weapons are capable of.

“I think the way that the game is going, they're allowing players to run the ball a lot more and use the quarterback for the run game. And I think what I appreciate about San Francisco is they don't necessarily do that," Brady continued. "They have a great run scheme. It fits with their pass game. They create a lot of misdirection with their boots, and they run the ball, run the ball, run the ball, they make you defend it, then they play action and they get a lot of receivers open.

"So they’ve got a tough system. I think running the ball has always been the way to control the football game. … The teams, to me, that are always gonna be the ones that are tough to beat are the ones that can run the ball effectively and rush the quarterback. So, you know, San Fran's gonna be in it all season long if they continue to do that.”

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