San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR on Thursday night for a 22-minute conversation. During the discussion, the topic of the team's franchise quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, came up. That shouldn't surprise anyone since it is tough to discuss the 49ers without bringing up Garoppolo.

Surprisingly, the discussion didn't surround the quarterback's health, as it typically does. Everyone always wants to know how Garoppolo is doing as he works to return from the torn ACL he suffered last September. Instead, Mark Willard and Tom Tolbert wanted to know where the quarterback is in his understanding of the 49ers offense.

A scale was offered to Shanahan, with one on that scale being his quarterback just met him. Ten would be the quarterback having a full understanding of the system and offense in its entirety.

Where does Garoppolo fall? Shanahan said somewhere in the middle — so about a five. Before you freak out, declare the upcoming season a loss, and start looking toward the draft, Shanahan did offer some context for his response.

"You can't say [you has a full understanding] until you go out and play," Shanahan said. "We can all sit there and talk it, and know what we're doing. It doesn't take as long to repeat it and talk like you know what you're doing. It's not like we're studying how to do heart surgery here.

"You can repeat it, and learn it, and know it, but getting in the heat of battle and just reacting, and having a clear mind, and it just being automatic to different looks, different situations and stuff, that comes with experience. Jimmy hasn't gotten a lot of that in our games yet. I was really hoping to go through that last year. We all know the unfortunate thing happened, so we didn't.

"Jimmy's done as well as he can learning it mentally and stuff. From that standpoint, he's right there at a 10. He knows all the stuff. He knows the offense, but a lot of guys do. It's about going out there and performing at a high level, and that's something [where] we've just got to put him in those situations, and keep him healthy.

"I know if he gets that opportunity to play in all 16 games this year, it will be a matter of time before he does know it."



Deebo Samuel was one of two wide receivers drafted this year. Shanahan says he has been practicing at the X position on offense, which is the wideout who lines up away from the tight end. That's where Marquise Goodwin has lined up. It's also where Dante Pettis started playing toward the end of last year. It's where Shanahan likes to line up his fastest receiver.

But Samuel isn't just fast. He's so much more.

"Not only can he run but he's a very physical player," Shanahan said. "He's got some size to him. He's not the tallest guy in the world — I think he's six-foot — but he plays big. He's built big. He's a lot thicker than our other guys. He plays physical. He's got a mentality where you throw him a screen, and he can make you miss, but he also wants to run you over, too."



You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.