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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan on why Thursday was a ‘real good’ practice despite interceptions, and how picky 49ers are about Jimmy Garoppolo’s destination

Jul 29, 2022 at 10:39 AM--

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Trey Lance didn't exactly have a great stat line during Thursday's training camp session for the San Francisco 49ers, but head coach Kyle Shanahan says Lance was correct when he said Thursday's practice was better than Wednesday's despite multiple interceptions by the team's quarterbacks.

Lance threw one of those interceptions and completed seven of 15 passes throughout the practice, while backups Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy threw three combined picks, according to 49ers beat reporter Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. But afterwards, Lance told reporters he was encouraged with Thursday's practice because it gave the offense a chance to make some mistakes and rebound from them in a positive fashion. Shanahan spoke about Lance's comments Thursday morning, telling reporters he agreed with Lance's assessment.

"I think he said that because it was a real good day," Shanahan said. "I left the field feeling real good about not just him but a number of the quarterbacks -- all three of them, what they did. I never feel good about the number of picks, but it's nice to be the head coach because on those plays I get excited about the defense. But I just like that they're ripping it."

Shanahan also explained why now is the ideal time for 49ers quarterbacks to make mistakes.

"What you don't want guys to do, especially in training camp, is to say 'I thought it was there, but I don't want to throw a pick so I check it down,'" Shanahan said. "Sometimes you need to know whether it's there, and the only way you do that is by letting it rip. That's why you don't kill guys for picks in practice. If it becomes too much, then you've got to start coaching them how not to do it. But at least you've got an idea of what they're capable of, what they can make, the plays they can make so as a coach, you can somewhat protect them a little bit or realize, 'Oh man, he's going to throw that no matter what, so I've got to make sure I only get that versus the right look.' So that's what we're working through right now."

In the meantime, the mystery continues over what will happen with former starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as he awaits word on where he'll be playing during the 2022 season. Garoppolo has been with the 49ers during camp but not taking part in team drills while the team has been at work trying to find a trade partner. Maiocco reported Thursday that the 49ers are being cautious on that front because they don't want to see Garoppolo land with their NFC West rival, the quarterback-needy Seattle Seahawks, who face the 49ers in Week 2.

"The 49ers would prefer Garoppolo does not end up with the Seahawks," Maiocco wrote Thursday. "That is something they will not entirely be able to control. If no team steps up to present a trade offer, the 49ers will be forced to release Garoppolo and, then, he can sign with any team before the start of the regular season. At the very least, the 49ers do not want to cut Garoppolo loose now, paving the way for him to sign with a division rival and getting a full training camp to become acclimated to the Seahawks' offensive system."

Maiocco asked Shanahan about that issue Friday morning by not mentioning the Seahawks by name but asking him if the 49ers were concerned about Garoppolo landing with any teams they might play early in the season.

"Jimmy is working out hard, throwing the heck out of the ball," Shanahan said. "I've told you guys everything about the situation. I'm not going to tell you guys every single thing in my head. But you can figure it out when I say we have to do what's right for this organization. And we're going to do everything we can to make it as good as possible for Jimmy while doing what's right for this organization at the same time."

Is Garoppolo getting antsy about finding out what his future holds? Probably, but Shanahan says his former starter is continuing to remain professional.

"I think everyone does," Shanahan said. "I think he's handled it great. But the reality of this business is the reality of everything. Sometimes you've got to wait on stuff and I think he understands that. You wish you could do differently, but this is business, and he understands that. It makes complete sense to him and to us, so it is what it is, as we keep saying."


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