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Steve Young explains how Garoppolo needs to ‘graduate’ as a quarterback



© Darren Yamashita | 2021 Sep 26

Kyle Shanahan made it pretty clear on Wednesday that Trey Lance won’t be the 49ers starting quarterback any time soon.

The fans’ clamoring for Lance has begun to increase in volume over the last two weeks, on the heels of two uneven Jimmy Garoppolo performances, exacerbated by the team’s struggles running the ball.

Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young joined Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks for his weekly chat on Wednesday, and said it’s time for Garoppolo to take the next step as a quarterback if San Francisco is going to be successful this season. Put simply, Jimmy needs to learn how to win games with his arm, and not because of the running game.

“When we went to the Super Bowl two years ago, it was really off of the run game,” Young said. “Then off of that run game, George [Kittle] is wide open. You come off a play-fake and George is just running down the field.

“It just rolls. So if we’re not going to run the football, if we’re not going to be that explosive running game — which is ironic because of all the unique and innovative things Kyle does in the passing game … For quarterbacks that can throw their way through it, the ‘I can’t run the ball today, but I got this.’ That’s where Jimmy needs to graduate to, that’s the next space he needs to be. And I think that will help Kyle have more trust in him too.”

“It’s just going to get even harder,” Young added. “Those big games, if we can’t run it, (Garoppolo) needs to be that guy that can say, ‘Let’s call it and throw it 45 times and I can throw my way through it.’ I think (there needs to be) that trust that Kyle has to allow Jimmy to do it, it’s double-sided. That’s where we were in the offseason when they decided to go all-in with three first-round draft picks, there’s a concern that it can’t happen. If I were Jimmy, I would say, ‘Trust me, I can do this,’ and let him pass or fail on that.” 

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Listen to the full interview below.