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Stats & Eggs: Is Kyle Shanahan thinking about a mobile quarterback next year?

Everything you need to know in less than five minutes

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Nothing fuels hope for a fan base more than the possibility of the team bringing in a new starting quarterback. Whether it’s in-season or during the offseason, no single transaction can sustain a fan base better than someone new under center.

Certainly plenty has been written on this site and other places about the 49ers’ plans for that position beyond this year. The team, however, has been mostly coy about the issue - until yesterday.

During his weekly press conference, Kyle Shanahan was asked whether he looks at quarterbacks any differently now that he’s a head coach. Here’s what Kyle said.

“How I evaluate everything is always changing. Things change, people change. You start to see you can win football games with any type of quarterback as long as they are good enough and you can be good enough in hundreds of different ways. So, I evaluate quarterbacks in terms of trying to find people who can have a chance to be one of those elite-type guys and there’s lots of different ways to do it. You can see now there’s plenty of different ways, so I don’t think that’ll ever change. I don’t think you have one certain thing you’re looking for. You’re just trying to find a guy who is better than about 98-percent of the people on this planet or in this country and when you find that, you get him and you adjust to him.”

When I hear that, it makes me think Kyle has shifted his thinking when it comes to quarterbacks. Kyle’s history with QBs clearly indicates he preferred pocket passers. The same year his team was forced to draft RG3 second overall, they also took Kirk Cousins in the fourth round. He’s admitted in the past that he didn’t scout Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson as well as he should have. But now, after years of seeing Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson up close and personal, I believe his thinking has evolved.

Earlier this year he spoke about how the athleticism of a lot of mobile guys hindered their development as pocket passers. He finished his thought, however, by saying that many college systems now incorporate things that have solved that issue, which you can see when you look at quarterbacks around the league.

That comment combined with the quote yesterday all point to one conclusion for me. Jimmy Garoppolo should not buy any green bananas, because his days in red and gold are numbered.

I provide a little more of my argument in today’s Stats and Eggs podcast, which you can find on this page and everywhere podcasts are available. There’s also another great bite in there about how Kyle is coaching the team to get over the disappointment of the Buffalo loss on Monday Night. The whole thing will take you less time to finish than a cup of coffee.