Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan jokes he wants Jimmy Garoppolo to completely eliminate incompletions and interceptions

Aug 29, 2020 at 9:51 AM--

Last season, Jimmy Garoppolo had one of the best performances by a San Francisco 49ers quarterback in franchise history, passing for nearly 4,000 yards, guiding the team to 13 wins, a division championship, and a trip to the Super Bowl. And he did that in his first full NFL season as a starter while coming off an ACL injury.

Yet all the offseason talk surrounding Garoppolo has been about the quarterback not doing quite enough and faltering in crucial moments — like a specific throw to a wide receiver in Super Bowl LIV.

No one will argue that Garoppolo is perfect. Although, when asked to evaluate the quarterback, cornerback Richard Sherman responded, "Well, first off, he's handsome."

So, there's that.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Garoppolo during a Friday-morning interview on KNBR and didn't discuss his quarterback's looks. He did, however, respond to some of Garoppolo's critics when asked what the quarterback can improve.

"Jimmy's been great," Shanahan said. "I want him to improve on (everything). I want him to never have an incompletion, and never have an interception. So, we're going to keep working on that until that gets done."

Shanahan was obviously joking, as those expectations are unrealistic. That doesn't mean that you don't continue striving for lofty goals, though.

Garoppolo was asked about his coach after Friday's practice, and what it's like working with someone who is such a perfectionist.

"Yeah, that's what you want in your coach, though," Garoppolo said. "When your coach is like that, it trickles down to the other players. Me specifically, it's kind of how I am. So, I think we match up well in that department, but it's just, that's part of football. You want to be coached hard. You don't want, when a coach starts ignoring you, that's when you're in trouble.

"I love having Kyle as a coach. He pushes me. He demands perfection, and that's what you want."

Despite looking into a certain future Hall of Fame quarterback this offseason, Shanahan is happy with Garoppolo. His upside is part of the reason why the 49ers decided to stick with their signal-caller.

"Jimmy has been great," Shanahan continued. "It's been fun to have him this training camp, coming off an offseason where he wasn't injured.

"Last year, when he came into it, his mind was just 100 percent consumed with recovering from that ACL, as all players are who come back from an ACL. And it was just really cool coming into this camp where you could tell the whole offseason, he didn't have to think about his ACL. That was out of sight, out of mind, and he could just focus on preparing for camp the best way that he could.

"And that's why I think he's come into camp definitely ahead of where he was last year coming off the injury. That's allowed him to work through things better and get better from each practice, when you're not consumed with, 'Am I going to be able to take this? When it going to be my first hit on my knee?'

"When you're not thinking about all that stuff, and you can just have a clear mind and playing the position better, it's a lot more fun to coach, and it's a lot more fun for him to go to practice each day."

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