49ers' Kyle Shanahan on Jimmy Garoppolo: "He's 100 percent focused and getting better mentally"
Despite a virtual offseason, 49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with local Bay Area reporters for the first time since the NFL Draft in late April. He was asked about a variety of things, from the current issues plaguing our society to his day-time routine with his three children, but Shanahan was not going to avoid a Jimmy Garoppolo question.
San Francisco's young head coach was asked about the NFL's most polarizing quarterback and how Garoppolo's offseason has been progressing.
“Oh yeah, I can tell his thoughts are a lot clearer because he's not worrying about an ACL and rehabbing like you just said. He's 100-percent focused and getting better mentally from knowing the offense from just knowing defense. It’s not just, everyone says, learning the offense. Jimmy's learned the offense. He's fine with that.
It's just being automatic, it’s understanding coverages, going through everything where, I can't tell you how much more I know as a coach in year 17 or whatever than I did in year two. That never stops. So, to go through an offseason where you don't have to rehab the whole time, it gives you a chance to take that to another level.
I think Jimmy's fired up for this year. Last year was his first year to play a whole year and he had a hell of a year and got us very close to winning the Super Bowl. When you have to talk to Jimmy about one of the best quarterbacks of all time being available, I know Jimmy has a goal to be that. I know Jimmy, I believe Jimmy has the ability to be that and that's what both of us are going for. If we can get him there and he has the ability to do it, we're going to be pretty happy with who we have for a long time.”
The 49ers' new regime has been refreshingly transparent with the media since they took over in 2017 and Shanahan was no different on Thursday, as he was effusive with his praise of his franchise quarterback.
It should be noted that this is Garoppolo's second true, full offseason with the team, despite being a member of the 49ers since 2017. The first summer was spent learning the ins and outs of Shanahan's highly dense playbook and now the quarterback can spend this free period taking his game to the next level.
Last offseason, the 49ers' signal-caller was re-learning how to walk and run, rehabbing from an ACL injury.
This time around? He's already working out on the field with a group of his receivers, including wideouts Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, Jalen Hurd, and Kendrick Bourne at nearby San Jose State University.
San Francisco's coaching staff is hoping that Garoppolo's off-the-field work will translate to a better finish than the last time they were on the field together.
(Cover Image: Lachlan Cunningham, Getty Images)
Media courtesy San Francisco 49ers