On the impact Shanahan had on his career: "Kyle had a huge impact on my career. He challenged me to get better, improve in certain areas and taught me a lot about offensive football. Just seeing things from a different perspective, I feel like I made big jumps in the two years we were together and I'm happy for him that he's having great success. He works his (butt) off. He works extremely hard. He's one of those guys, he's grinding all week. I remember when he was here, looking at him by Friday afternoon and being like, 'Dude, you need to get some sleep. Get some rest.' He'd come in looking refreshed Saturday and Sunday, but he would grind through the week. It's no surprise that he has their offense playing well because he's excellent at knowing what to do. I think that was one of his biggest strengths here too. Having an understanding for what he wants as an offense and finding the specific pieces that fit within what he wants to do. He's really good about that."
On whether or not he stays in contact with Shanahan more than he does with other former coaches: "I mean, I stay in contact with a lot of guys. I texted Kyle after the game against the Saints and told him I was looking forward to seeing him this week. At the same time, I was texting Matt LaFleur to see what the environment was like in San Francisco too. I keep up with all of those guys."
On whether or not it's safe to say that Shanahan is running the same system he ran in Atlanta: "I mean, they've got different pieces. Different guys emphasizing different things. It's a lot of the same stuff. Their run game, that's kind of what everything starts and stems off of, is getting the run game going. They're doing an excellent job of that."
Subscribe to "The Bow Tie Chronicles" podcast with the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter on iTunes or on the new AJC sports podcasts page.