Pro Football Writers name Falcons OC Shanahan assistant of the year

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan holds his press conference while preparing for the NFC divisional playoff football game against the Seahawks. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan holds his press conference while preparing for the NFC divisional playoff football game against the Seahawks. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The Professional Football Writers of America voted Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as the NFL assistant coach of the year, the organization announced Thursday.

Shanahan helped lead the Falcons to a franchise-record 540 points this season. It’s the eight-most points scored by a team in NFL history.

Shanahan reportedly is the top candidate for the 49ers' vacant head-coaching position after he interviewed with them during the Falcons' bye week. By league rule, the 49ers won't be able to talk to Shanahan until after the Falcons play the Packers the NFL championship game on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

Shanahan is the first Falcons assistant to win the honor, which was established in 1993. The PFWA honored Ryan as its MVP earlier in the week.

The PFWA named Jason Garrett of the Cowboys as its coach of the year and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie as executive of the year.

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