49ers Head Coach Says He Wants Team to Emulate the Golden State Warriors Dynasty

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday he wants his team to emulate some of the winning aspects of the Golden State Warriors dynasty, with the mentality that any player can become the star.

"I remember saying in Atlanta when we were there, I wanted our receiver group to be similar to the Warriors—to where, who knows who the starter is, they all play," Shanahan said during the National Football Conference (NFC) championship week press conference.

Shanahan was speaking about the different Warriors teams that went to five consecutive NBA finals, and won the title in three of them, while also finishing the 2015-2016 regular season with the best record in NBA history, 73-9.

While the team featured two former NBA MVPs—Steph Curry and Kevin Durant—as well as former defensive player of the year Draymond Green, it also had a strong supporting cast of players that helped it win three separate NBA championships. Shanahan also cited the Warriors' supporting cast, specifically Andre Iguodala, who was not a starter on the team but won the NBA finals MVP in 2015, for showing that any player can become the team's star.

"You've got an MVP, you've got a defensive MVP," Shanahan said about the Warriors. "You've just got guys who seem really not to care how it gets done. They all just go out there and ball and see where the weakness in the defense is and wherever that ends up, that guy shoots, and that's a lot how I see offense."

While Shanahan made his comments about the Warriors and the 49ers this week, the idea of players not caring "how it gets done" seems to have been instilled in the 49ers culture already.

During this past Saturday's game between the 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings, Shanahan benched cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon after giving up a 41-yard touchdown to Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs. Witherspoon was replaced by second year cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, but that did not stop him from wanting to help his team win.

After being benched, Witherspoon went to the 49ers' special teams coordinator, Richard Hightower, to find a new role, according to Shanahan.

"Guys are helping out every way they can," Shanahan said during a press conference on Monday. "For Ahkello to get replaced by Emmanuel early in that game, he handled it great. He went right up to Hightower, which Hightower told me yesterday, went up to him and was like, 'Hey, coach pulled me. They're going with E-man, but I'm good. Make sure you give me all E-man's reps, everything he has on special teams. I want to do whatever I can to help."

According to ESPN's Nick Wagoner, Shanahan's observation about Witherspoon's motivation to help the team in any way possible, even after being benched, shows the way their team is built.

The 49ers will take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC championship game. The winner will go on to Super Bowl LIV.

Kyle Shanahan
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan wants his team to emulate the Golden State Warriors dynasty. Ezra Shaw/Getty
49ers Head Coach Says He Wants Team to Emulate the Golden State Warriors Dynasty | Sports