Jimmy Garoppolo’s numbers were pretty good last season, but they could be even better this year if Kyle Shanahan lets him air it out more.
That’s the opinion of Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who joined the Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks Show on Wednesday. Some of Shanahan’s reasons for not doing so are understandable; the 49ers’ running game is amongst the best in the league. But with another year under his belt in the system, Young is going to be looking to see how much trust Shanahan shows in his young quarterback.
“When are Kyle and Jimmy, and maybe it’s just perception, the perception that ‘Jimmy has my full confidence in my game plan and in my play calling. I’m a very aggressive, tactical and innovative play caller,'” Young said speaking from Shanahan’s perspective.
“In a way, Jimmy could break all the records if Kyle chose to put him in that spot. Granted, we’re running the ball so well, we don’t necessarily have to. We proved that. That’s OK. But I just want to make sure, and maybe I just want to double-check that those two trust each other, and Kyle’s willing to put, week after week after week, Jimmy in a position to go win it.
“Look, he’s done well. You’re asking me, (Garoppolo as) a top-10 quarterback, top-12, 14 quarterback, ‘How’s he doing?’ Well, that’s pretty good.
“But now you’re saying, ‘How does he get better?’ That’s the pieces that need to get better — that you can see that every week, Kyle is saying, ‘Jimmy, I’m going to call crazy plays. You protect me. You watch out for me.'”
Garoppolo finished 12th in the NFL in passing yards (3978) in 2020, but was third in yards per attempt (8.4) and fifth in touchdown passes (27).
Listen to the full interview below.