Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Young wants Garoppolo playing 10 more years with 49ers, says Shanahan would impress Walsh

Nov 24, 2022 at 7:15 AM--

Steve Young has said he believes there are trust issues between head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. However, the Hall of Fame player, now an analyst for ESPN, wants to see Garoppolo play 10 more years for the San Francisco 49ers.

Garoppolo is having one of the best statistical seasons of his career. He has passed for 2,159 yards through nine games, throwing 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. His 104.1 passer rating is his highest with the 49ers and ranks fourth in the NFL this season.

Over the last three games, Garoppolo has completed 73.2 percent of his passes for 703 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions while earning a passer rating of 123.2. The quarterback's last interception came a month ago, on October 23.

On Monday night in Mexico City, a fan asked Young why he's so hard on Garoppolo. Young was there for the game between the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals and was a bit surprised by the question, feeling that he hasn't been too tough on the quarterback.

Garoppolo is scheduled to become a free agent after this season and is expected to play elsewhere in 2023. Of course, most expected him to be playing elsewhere before the start of this season too.

"I've come to the conclusion [that] I don't want Jimmy around for a couple of more months," Young said Wednesday on KNBR. "I want Jimmy around for 10 years. I think that's why, when we talk about Jimmy, and what's happened, and the fundamental relationship with he and Kyle, that's why I keep talking about it, because something has to improve. ... I think the trip showed me a couple of things. One, I think Brian Griese is making a real impact. There's a sense of accomplishment that I think Brian is bringing out."

Young points to this play from Monday night that gave the 49ers a 14-3 lead on the way to a 38-10 rout of their division foe. That's something Young has not seen from Garoppolo in previous years.

"How can anyone say that the quarterback you saw play on Monday night can't be here for 10 years?" Young asked. "The most exciting thing for me is I want Jimmy to become the full measure of who he is in this offense because this offense is the best offense in the league. If you said, 'Steve, go play right now. ... You get to pick anywhere.' ... If I could choose somewhere, I would choose here.

"So for Jimmy, I know ... I'll choose for him. There's nowhere else you'd want to be. Trust me on this, James Garoppolo. There's no place that you'd want to be than right here. And so, in my mind, if I'm hard on the situations, it's that I don't want him to be here for a couple of months. I want him to be here for 10 years because if you have answers at quarterback for 10 years, then you're in the mix every year, like the Chiefs are every year, like the Bills will be every year."

What about Trey Lance, the 49ers' inexperienced second-year quarterback who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2?

"Don't worry about it," Young said. "What I know is you [can] never have enough great quarterbacks. Never. I want him here for 10 years, and that's what I'm trying to figure out."

Young's comments are somewhat ironic. Early in his career with the 49ers, Young tried to get on the field but had another Hall of Fame player, Joe Montana, in his way. Lance would face a similar situation should Garoppol's stay with the 49ers be extended further.

Young believes Shanahan would impress Walsh

Young has always been high on Shanahan and his offense. On Wednesday, the analyst tossed some exceptional praise in the 49ers coach's direction, saying that coaching great Bill Walsh would be impressed by Shanahan.

"Today, if Bill could watch what Kyle's doing, I know what he would say," Young shared. "It would be like, 'Dang, why didn't I think about that?' Because what's happening is he's taking wide receiver routes, and he's creating these loopy routes ... you see [Brandon Aiyuk] starts off the ball, goes up, shakes, goes out, and comes looping back around. And by the time he's ready for the ball, it's the second read, which I think is kind of cool and genius.

"And so, for Jimmy, I love it because it's the receiver as a second read rather than the fullback or third read coming out of the backfield. The leverage is so much different on the defense. And so that's why, all of a sudden, you come off across the field, Brandon's done his thing, which is delayed, essentially. It's not meant to be first. It's delayed, and as he comes in, it's now time because the first guy wasn't open.

"Now, you don't have to worry about your footwork any more. The receivers and everybody are timing it up so that it's created its own kind of checkdown. And it's for a touchdown. It's not for a five-yard gain. The things that he's doing ... I know Bill Walsh would say, 'Dang, why didn't I think of that?' There's a bunch of stuff that Kyle's doing that I know Bill would just tip his cap for all the cool stuff."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Young below.

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