Kyle Shanahan: Falcons’ loss 'as hard as anything I’ve gone through'

Former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has moved on to a new team but he says the pain of Atlanta’s Super Bowl loss to the Patriots Sunday is still with him.

“I was definitely grieving it and I probably will for a while,” said Shanahan, who was introduced as the San Francisco 49ers’ new head coach Thursday. “But to be able to go up to the building in Atlanta the next day and get to talk to all the players, all of us spent some time together and go through it again, really gave us some closure on it.”

Shanahan has come under criticism for his play-calling in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, especially for calling passes instead of using the run to bleed the clock with the Falcons holding a lead.

“We played that game how we played the entire year and I thought I called plays in that game the way I had the entire year,” Shanahan said. “Doesn’t mean I’m always right. Doesn’t mean they’re always going to work, but I promise you I prepare as hard as I possibly can. I always do what I believe is right with our coaching staff and the players and then you live with the consequences.”

The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead and lost 34-28 to New England in overtime.

“It’s as hard as anything I’ve gone through,” he said. “I remember every single play, and I will go over those for the rest of my life,” Shanahan said. “That’s kind of the life we live as coaches. It’s magnified in the Super Bowl, but it’s also that case in every game.”

🏓 w/ John Taylor every night as a kid at #49ers training camp + 7 more presser takeaways: https://t.co/exBzNEA7US pic.twitter.com/0qEM3Blqa3— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) February 10, 2017

In San Francisco, Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch received six-year contracts and a promise of patience from team ownership.

“(It) shows that (CEO Jed York) he’s willing to give you some time,” Shanahan said. “What I didn’t want to do was come here and make a bunch of decisions just trying to win to save ourselves right away. I want to win the first day to the last day. I’m going to do everything possible to do that. But, I also want to make the right decision for the organization. John wants to make the right decision for the organization.”

The 49ers have won just 15 games the past three years and hit rock bottom in 2016 with a 2-14 mark that matched the worst in franchise history.

Lynch will have control of the 90-man roster, the draft and free agency, while Shanahan has final say on the 53-man roster.

Shanahan said he is racing to put his staff together and only confirmed one hire in running backs coach Bobby Turner, who worked with Shanahan in Washington and Atlanta.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.