Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo says Kyle Shanahan is a mastermind at breaking down the game

May 30, 2019 at 4:13 PM--

The San Francisco may have only won 10 games over the past two seasons, but head coach Kyle Shanahan remains highly regarded around the NFL. That's not just coming from Santa Clara where his staff and players continually praise the team's play caller. Former players rarely have anything negative to say about Shanahan.

Austin Hooper, the Atlanta Falcons' fourth-year tight end, remembers Shanahan's game-planning sessions during his rookie year when the 49ers' head coach was the Falcon's offensive coordinator.

"If he called it, it actually happened," Hooper recently told Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report. "It was crazy. I just thought that's what an NFL offensive coordinator was. I just didn't know any better."

Hooper was left stunned when a play would unfold just as Shanahan had predicted.

"I'm like, 'This guy is Nostradamus. This guy is a fortune teller,'" Hooper added. "And it would happen every time."

Now, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the beneficiary of Shanahan's mastery of the game. Much like the Falcons of 2015, the 49ers feel like they are on the cusp of something special. The team just needs to stay healthy. San Francisco was devastated by injuries last year, including the loss of Garoppolo for most of the season.

RELATED Austin Hooper on his time with 49ers' Kyle Shanahan: "This guy is Nostradamus. This guy is a fortune teller."

Garoppolo joined KNBR on Thursday and discussed his head coach. The quarterback knows having Shanahan as a play caller might be the 49ers' most significant asset this season.

"It makes my job a heck of a lot easier, that's for sure," Garoppolo said on the "Fitz and Brooks" show. "That was one of the cool things about being on the sideline [last] year. He calls an outside zone to the left, and the entire time, everyone's looking at the running back running to the left side, and he's just looking at the backside safety saying, 'Alright, what's this guy going to do?' He's setting that guy up, and the guy doesn't even know it."

Garoppolo knows it is tough to appreciate examples like that while watching the game on television but those in the meeting rooms with Shanahan benefit from his knowledge.

Garoppolo continued, "When you get into the film study, and you're talking football with him, and, 'Hey, what were you thinking on this?' and everything, he's really a mastermind of breaking it down and being able to teach it to you. He's so good at that with me, and I really appreciate him for that."

You can listen to the entire interview with Garoppolo below.

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