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Steve Young identifies the one thing Jimmy Garoppolo needs to focus on moving forward

Jul 17, 2020 at 2:09 PM--

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Steve Young knows what it's like to try to prove yourself to San Francisco 49ers fans. MVP, Pro Bowl, and first-team All-Pro selections didn't matter. He had to get over that hump and finally did so during the 1994 season by winning a Super Bowl.

Jimmy Garoppolo is kind of in the same situation. Yes, he had a historically great season last year in his first full NFL season as a starter. But until he can get over that hump, no one is going to forget head coach Kyle Shanahan taking the football out of his hands in the playoffs or the fourth-quarter collapse against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

Young, who joined KNBR this week, can relate. He knows better than most that the blame that comes with failing to win a championship will fall squarely on the quarterback's shoulders. It doesn't really matter who beat you.

"No one cares. No one cares that you ran into Patrick Mahomes," Young said on the Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks show. "It just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter."

Young said he feels Garoppolo is built the right way, though. The 49ers quarterback isn't the sort to play the victim or get down on himself.

Young does feel, however, that there is one thing Garoppolo has to focus on moving forward.

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"There's something about Kyle and him that you felt through the playoffs, a lack of trust," Young explained. "And whether it was true or just perception, it doesn't matter, at some level. That's the number one thing, if I were Jimmy, that I would be focused on is making sure both truth and perceptually, that Kyle trusts me and is willing to put the ball in my hands at any time, at any place, in any form, and continually."

Young wants to see Garoppolo want the football, even demand it, when the game is on the line. But that trust between coach and quarterback needs to be earned.

"That's the thing that this season is really about, to me, is Kyle and Jimmy, and Jimmy earning Kyle's trust," Young added. "And Kyle might say, 'I trust him 100 percent.' I don't doubt that. The perception is another piece of the puzzle, and we want to see that out in the play calling and in key moments."

Young added: "I totally understand where Jimmy is. I think he's up to the task, and if I were him, I would go demand the ball. We're not going to run the ball for three quarters again — never — and put me in a little bit of a tight spot. We're going to throw that football, at some point, to show people that you trust me."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Young below.

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