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Kyle Shanahan: Scout team QB

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Ummm...what?

So here’s something that’s both surprising and not at all shocking. Kyle Shanahan has been serving as the San Francisco 49ers’ scout team quarterback. A story written by SI’s Conor Orr ran on Thursday about how Shanahan’s quarterback abilities were called on again to emulate Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“He gets us sometimes,” Jimmie Ward said, via Orr. “He does the no-look passes the way Mahomes has been doing them. Throwing back shoulder. He’s got a little cannon on him.”

Shanahan played wide receiver in college and has been known to be harder on those who play that position than anything else. He did play quarterback once upon a time. This great interview with Mike and Peggy Shanahan is priceless. Being the former offensive coordinator of the 49ers and winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Mike Shanahan knows a thing or two about quarterbacks, and in that interview, he describes how he had to break the news that Kyle Shanahan was physically built better to play wide receiver instead of quarterback.

But Kyle Shanahan can still play quarterback apparently. 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has called upon the abilities of young Kyle more than once and has had to have him change things up for the defense:

“Sometimes it’s frustrating that he knows the quarterback position so much that he’s actually more advanced than some of the quarterbacks we play in terms of looking players off. It’s actually funny. I’m like, ‘hey dude, the quarterback we’re facing is this kind of player [one who doesn’t look off defenders as much]. I need you to do that.‘ And he’s like ‘OK. OK. OK. I gotcha. My bad.’”

I know we all want to say this is surprising. After all, the 49ers have C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Two signal callers would be working with the scout team. But this is Kyle Shanahan we’re talking about here, and he’s incredibly detail-oriented. So then you realize it’s not too shocking at all.

If the 49ers defense can contain Patrick Mahomes, Kyle Shanahan will get even more credit, since he...well...simulated Patrick Mahomes.