I don’t think I need to restate the obvious, but just for some...um...tired narratives, the 49ers are not getting rid of Jimmy Garoppolo. Sorry haters. In Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch’s season-ending press conference Shanahan was about as direct and candid on Garoppolo as you might think:
“I think Jimmy is one of the main reasons we got to the Super Bowl. I think he overcame a lot. This was his first year in his career going through an entire NFL season. He still doesn’t have as many starts and stuff as [Cleveland Browns QB] Baker Mayfield. I think he had a hell of a first year truly playing the position, especially coming off an ACL where you have to fight through that a ton as a quarterback, where your rhythm and everything is not there at the beginning of the year. For him to be like that and to not let the pressure get to him, and to improve as the year went, I think says a ton about Jimmy. I can’t tell you how much I loved coaching the guy as a player and as a person this year.”
Translation: Jimmy G is going nowhere. That’s about as glowing of a recommendation as you can give someone.
Now to be fair, let’s bring up some history. When Alex Smith flourished in his first season under Jim Harbaugh, Harbaugh had the same praise for Smith. And then the organization promptly tried to get Peyton Manning. And they denied it.
I think it’s fair to say with what we’ve seen out of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch that they don’t have the same free agency/coaching practices of Jim Harbaugh/Trent Baalke. Furthermore, there has to be a note somewhere in that building on how that was the first screw to come loose in the organization that led to the locker room getting divided.
I have said Garoppolo needs a fire lit under him, and they need to take a look at him, but under no circumstances should he be benched. The 49ers just need to have a plan in place of expectations and what to look for at the end of the season to decide on improvement. I think Garoppolo can get them back to the Super Bowl.
And if you don’t want Garoppolo, my answer is: What is the alternative? Teddy Bridgewater? Taysom Hill? A rookie? Does anyone really want to go back to a quarterback learning Kyle Shanahan’s offense? Was Garoppolo so bad that we need not see what full-season No. 2 yields?