Kyle Shanahan calls Jimmy Garoppolo the ‘best’ 49ers QB since Steve Young

Aug 11, 2023, 6:00 AM

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Jimmy Garoppolo #10 prior to the gam...

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Following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season, Kyle Shanahan was asked about the possibility of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo returning to the 49ers. He gave a stern response, stating “No, I don’t see any scenario of that.”

Six months later, the coach feels misinterpreted by the ordeal.

The San Francisco 49ers began joint practice with the Las Vegas Raiders Thursday, facing their old QB for the first time. When asked about his former gunslinger, Shanahan was a bit more clear on the conversations that led to Garoppolo’s departure from The Bay.

“I think I’ve talked about his legacy. I think Jimmy was unbelievable for us. We won lots of games. I think that was a simple question. Is there a scenario where he’ll be back here next year? And I give a common sense answer of no,” Shanahan told the media Thursday. “I think that was a little overblown on trying to be a shot at him or anything. We knew Jimmy wasn’t coming back on his standpoint and our standpoint financially and everything.”

Now that that’s out of the way, the coach took time to thank his former franchise QB for his service over the course of six years. Winning 38 of 55 games, Jimmy Garoppolo gave the Red & Gold all he had on the field, impressing Shanahan to say the least.

“Jimmy was unbelievable here. I think he was the best quarterback here in about 20 years since Steve Young,” the coach said. “Has an unbelievable record and every time he played and stayed healthy, we were either in the Super Bowl or NFC Championship Game. So, I hope no one insinuates I ever said differently.”

The 49ers coach has always been enamored with Garoppolo’s talent, able to take command of an offense like few others. That, and his overall charismatic personality, made him a natural leader on the field.

“There’s not many people in this planet who can play quarterback at the level that Jimmy can. I mean there’s definitely not 32, and I really don’t think there’s 15. So to have one of those guys always gives you a chance and they got a guy that they got a chance to win with. That’s all you can ask for. And the type of thrower he is, the type of plays he can make and guys like to play hard for him also,” Kyle Shanahan explained.

Other members of the 49ers feel the same way about Jimmy G, including his successor, Brock Purdy.

The second-year sensation was thrilled to see his former teammate this week. While the two didn’t spend much time off the field, the veteran left a lasting mark on the young QB, appreciative of his guidance last season.

“Yeah, it was good to see ole Jim. He is doing good. He looks healthy and good and just talking about how everything is here and how he loves it and how we miss him and it’s always good seeing Jimmy, so it’s great,” Brock Purdy said about Garoppolo.

The time for reunions is only on the practice field though. Because at the end of the day, they’ll have to face one another on the gridiron for the first time this weekend.

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