Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


‘Kyle Shanahan is all about substance, not sizzle’: Scott Pioli details what 49ers coach seeks in a QB

Apr 27, 2021 at 9:20 AM--


Mac Jones is a very different quarterback compared to other top prospects like Trey Lance or Justin Fields. If analysts are to be believed, Jones may very well be the No. 3 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch spoke for 30 minutes on Monday. That led to media and fan analysis of what Shanahan told reporters, with everyone deciphering every word, hoping to discover hints of which quarterback the coach prefers.

Scott Pioli, the former assistant general manager for the Falcons, spent two seasons in Atlanta with Shanahan and may have some good insight into what the coach seeks in a signal-caller. Pioli joined Good Morning Football on Tuesday. Host Peter Schrager asked the former executive turned analyst to detail the quarterback qualities that are important to Shanahan.

"Kyle looks for a guy who's going to represent a lot of the same values that he believes in," Pioli responded. "Kyle Shanahan is all about substance, not sizzle. So, he's going to be looking for a quarterback that is all about preparation, that is all about team. Again, he wants a guy who's smart and makes good decisions. Those things sound like they should be the same thing, but they're not."

The upcoming franchise-altering pick could set the 49ers up for long-term success. It could also be yet another draft misfire. And after surrendering so much draft capital to move up from the No. 12 spot, it could be a costly one.

That has left everyone trying to figure out if Shanahan seeks a quarterback in the mold of a Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, or even Jimmy Garoppolo. Or has the coach seen enough from the changing NFL landscape to acknowledge that it's time to find his own dynamic weapon, à la Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen?

"In terms of tools, what he really values, the most important thing, in terms of physical tools, is accuracy," Pioli continued. "But what he really wants is a player who's going to be a partner, and that is willing to prepare and share thoughts. But once it comes game time, Kyle absolutely wants a quarterback that's going to do what he is told to do because Kyle knows that he's going to put that quarterback in the best position.

"So, again, he wants a guy that is more selfless than anything, Peter."





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