On Friday, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be “totally comfortable” until 2018, and that’s understandable. He also said that Garoppolo is working hard, spending a ton of extra time learning the complex offense, which is also a good sign.
But whatever happens with his grasp of the offense, Garoppolo has to take the field for the 49ers this season. They want to extend him in 2018, potentially with the franchise tag, but everyone would feel a lot better about the situation if Garoppolo plays and pays well.
If he doesn’t play well, I don’t think Garoppolo is suddenly off the table. I think Kyle Shanahan knows what he’s looking for to enough of a degree, that even middling play could be viewed as a positive due to the lack of surrounding talent and the limited grasp of the playbook.
Either way, the 49ers need to see him. It’s good to see what else C.J. Beathard has to offer, but I hope we get to see Garoppolo at least two-three times this season.
There’s no rush as far as the next game or two is concerned — there are many suggesting Shanahan is mishandling this by keeping Garoppolo on the sidelines, but I think they’re just being impatient. Shanahan should be careful, but I doubt there is any real chance that Garoppolo doesn’t see significant playing time this year, regardless of what Shanahan says about his grasp — or lack thereof — of the offense.