Learning from your mistakes is good. Learning from the mistakes of others is even better. Early Wednesday morning, ESPN.com posted an article by Lindsey Thiry about how the relationship between Rams Head Coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff fell apart after they were defeated in Super Bowl XLIX. The 49ers would do well to make sure Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch give it a read.
In the article, Thiry points out multiple issues between the two that ultimately led to their separation (including a blow-up after last year’s Week 12 loss to the 49ers). I’ve quoted some of them below:
- “It became apparent to some inside the building that Goff had not developed into a quarterback who could thrive without a strong cast.”
- “McVay told people around him he felt as though he had to call every play perfectly for Goff. And Goff felt increasingly micromanaged as McVay continuously ramped up the complexity of his offense in an attempt to out scheme the defense, a league source said.”
- “Goff’s natural throwing talent was not an issue, but his inability to consistently use it became one.”
Does that sound like anyone you might know?
Naturally, Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo are different people from Sean McVay and Jared Goff, but the situations do seem to mirror each other. The only real difference is that McVay was able to get a taste of what life would be like without Goff when John Wolford looked fairly competent in relief. Perhaps that helped cement the decision to move on in McVay’s mind.
As we all know by now, the 49ers haven’t sniffed competent quarterback play during Jimmy Garoppolo’s many absences.
(Levin Black and I dove deeper into what the 49ers could learn from the situation in today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard Podcast. Check it out below or anywhere you get your podcasts.)
What will be interesting is whether the 49ers choose to handle things the same way their division rivals did by jettisoning the quarterback.
And before the Jimmy stans come at me waving his win-loss record and his Super Bowl appearance, keep in mind that Jared Goff has all that on his resume and more. Since Sean McVay became the Rams' head coach, Goff has missed just one start due to injury. In four years with McVay, Goff is tied for the second-most wins of any starting quarterback in the league, and he also has a Super Bowl appearance.
And the Rams still traded him.
And they took a bigger dead cap hit than anyone else in NFL history to do it (at the time).
Would it be so terrible if the 49ers made the same decision the Rams did without destroying their salary cap? For many of you, it would, but there’s only one man whose opinion really matters, and we all know who it is.
Time will tell.