I expect the 49ers to name Jimmy Garoppolo as the quarterback not only for Sunday’s game for the remainder of the season. Then, I expect there to be some backlash. If I were the head coach, I’d start Trey Lance. That would have been to begin the season, though. The 49ers are in a place where they have to win.
Jimmy Garoppolo likely gives San Francisco the best chance to win “today,” which is how all NFL coaches think: in the now. The Colts are not a good football team and the 49ers should win no matter who is under center.
The silver lining of having to leave Denver became apparent immediately. Shanahan joined the San Francisco 49ers as the offensive coordinator, a three-year experience that helped define his coaching philosophy. Former coach Bill Walsh videotaped all of the 49ers’ staff and coaches’ meetings in the early-to-mid 1980s, a treasure chest of tape for Shanahan to dissect. It served as the basis for what he brought to the Broncos when he took over as head coach.
“Mike was learning the Bill Walsh 49ers Way and I saw him take it to another level,” said Kubiak, who joined the 49ers staff in ‘94. “He knew exactly how he wanted to run his program, how he wanted to prepare week in and week out, the type of players he was looking for, the type of coaches he was looking for. What I witnessed was Mike taking a lot of the brilliance of San Francisco and put his spin on it.”
The 49ers’ coaching staff had quiet doubts about Garoppolo, even before the Super Bowl, feeling that it took an inordinate amount of energy to get his head ready for game day and that he perhaps lacked Brady’s extreme drive for excellence. In the playoffs, Shanahan had called plays like a coach with limited faith in his quarterback, leaning heavily on the running game.
Some in the building felt that Shanahan was too hard on Garoppolo, causing him to play tentatively. The coaches liked Garoppolo personally—and so did his teammates, enough to elect him captain—but Shanahan was open to the idea of an upgrade. But then, almost as fast as the 49ers’ interest in Brady rose, it died. The coaches liked Brady’s film—but didn’t love it. He was better than Garoppolo, they thought, but not that much better—not so much that it was worth trading away a locker-room leader, not to mention one who was nearly 15 years younger and coming off a Super Bowl appearance. A few days before free agency began, the 49ers decided to stick with their guy. This time, Garoppolo won.
Here’s what John Lynch said about Aiyuk on Oct. 13: “It’s important you earn your opportunities. You do that during the week. It’s not as if Brandon isn’t working hard. For whatever reason, he hasn’t made the strides we expect him to. We probably hold him to higher standards because he has so much in his body.”
Translation: Aiyuk isn’t practicing well, and he currently is less reliable than Mohamed Sanu and Travis Benjamin. So that’s why he’s not playing. He absolutely is in the doghouse.
Could the 49ers please pick a story and stick to it? It’s getting hard to believe anything they say this year. They contradict themselves from one month to the next.
“I’m fully confident [the pieces are in place to turn things around] because of the people in our room and the character of the people in our room, because of the people we have in leadership positions,” Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “And I do think, when you say, ‘What needs to take place?’ I think, in a hurry, we’ve got to find out who [we are] as a team.”
“Not that we have been making excuses, but there are no excuses. We’ve got to find a way to win football games,” Lynch continued. “And when you have Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers down with 37 seconds left, find a way to close it out. Find a way not to start in a 17-0 hole, such that we’re in that position in the first place.”
- Deebo Samuel is moving to agency Excel Sports in an attempt to land more endorsements and get involved with investing.
- Samuel, who is endorsed by Nike, told CNBC he wants to build his marketing portfolio as he seeks a bigger NFL contract.
- “I want my brand to be something everyone will look at – not just a great football player but also great character off the field,” Samuel said.