Kyle Shanahan is expected to accept the 49ers head coaching job (Brett Davis USA Today)

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is expected to land the 49ers head coaching job once the Falcons season has concluded. Atlanta will be playing in the NFC title game this weekend on the heels of one of the best offensive seasons in NFL history. Falcons team owner Arthur Blank fully admits that losing Shanahan next season will be a big blow.

“Well, I think Kyle would be a big loss,” Blank told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “But great coaches and great teams, that’s what happens in the National Football League, unlike when I was running [Home Depot]. When we had somebody who was ready to run a large division, it wasn’t a problem. You’d take [him] and move him out of his division and give him his own division. In the NFL, you only have one NFL team. And unless we’re going to put Kyle in charge of our soccer team — and we already have a good coach there — that’s it. We only have one great football coach.

“Great coaches like Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells in the past, Coach [Joe] Gibbs and Andy Reid — and the list goes on and on — are great NFL coaches who have produced over time, and they lose their coordinators. Same with Mike Tomlin.”

In my opinion, Shanahan has a bright future as an NFL head coach. Getting the right quarterback in place will be the biggest challenge for the new 49er regime. It remains to be seen who will replace Shanahan next season as the Falcons play caller.