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Shanahan on Deebo: He wants to run you over

The 49ers head coach is ready for Jimmy Garoppolo to play some football

San Francisco 49ers Rookie Camp Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Kyle Shanahan was on KNBR Thursday night to discuss the San Francisco 49ers training camp, as well as how Jimmy Garoppolo is coming along in the offense, Deebo Samuel, and much more. Usually, when you talk Jimmy G, it’s about his rehab process. The hosts spun the conversation in a different direction. They asked Kid Shanahan what Garoppolo’s understanding of the offense was. On a scale of 1--which would mean you were just introduced to Jimmy G--or ten, which meant that Garoppolo understands the offense front and back in its entirety.

Shanahan said in the middle, which makes sense. Nobody is going to understand this offense fully, but he’s far from a novice. Here’s what he had to say:

“You can’t say [you has a full understanding] until you go out and play. We can all sit there and talk it, and know what we’re doing. It doesn’t take as long to repeat it and talk like you know what you’re doing. It’s not like we’re studying how to do heart surgery here. You can repeat it, and learn it, and know it, but getting in the heat of battle and just reacting, and having a clear mind, and it just being automatic to different looks, different situations and stuff, that comes with experience. Jimmy hasn’t gotten a lot of that in our games yet. I was really hoping to go through that last year. We all know the unfortunate thing happened, so we didn’t.”

Like the rest of us, Shanahan seems eager for his franchise quarterback to get on the field.

“Jimmy’s done as well as he can learning it mentally and stuff. From that standpoint, he’s right there at a 10. He knows all the stuff. He knows the offense, but a lot of guys do. It’s about going out there and performing at a high level, and that’s something [where] we’ve just got to put him in those situations, and keep him healthy. I know if he gets that opportunity to play in all 16 games this year, it will be a matter of time before he does know it.”

You can tell Shanahan is confident, he’s just not going to crown Garoppolo until he’s played. There’s nothing wrong with that.

The other noteworthy part was about Deebo Samuel. Shanahan talked about where the rookie was lining up, and some traits he likes about the rookie.

“Not only can he run but he’s a very physical player. He’s got some size to him. He’s not the tallest guy in the world — I think he’s six-foot — but he plays big. He’s built big. He’s a lot thicker than our other guys. He plays physical. He’s got a mentality where you throw him a screen, and he can make you miss, but he also wants to run you over, too.”

Shanahan also said that Samuel has been practicing at “X,” which is the wide receiver position that’s isolated. That’s the guy you throw to that gets the most 1-on-1 opportunities. Dante Pettis lined up there when he was on the field last year. Marquise Goodwin as well towards the end of 2017. Shanahan said that he lines up his fastest receiver there. He is all about the speed.

I’m looking forward to the role Samuel carves out for himself this season. Check out the rest of the interview below: