After months of uncertainty, Jimmy Garoppolo confirmed yesterday that he is, in fact, the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 against the Lions.
That in and of itself isn’t surprising to a lot of 49ers fans, but what was surprising was Kyle Shanahan still choosing not to answer the question.
“I’m not going to answer that because I feel like all you guys have to do is look how I’ve talked since July 27th, I think that was my opening day of press conference. I almost wish I wasn’t being hardheaded with it, but I feel like you guys are being a little hard headed to keep asking. I feel like I’ve already answered it, so we’ll keep it at that.”
Kyle can act like he’s been crystal clear about things all he wants, but that simply isn’t true. He is partly responsible for this topic remaining a story. Here’s a quote from that July press conference:
“Just having Jimmy going, he’s our starter. And we’re going to give all [the quarterbacks] every opportunity to improve. And if someone ever looks like they give us a better chance to win, we’ll make that decision.”
In subsequent answers about the position, he has always left qualifiers in there that cast doubt upon his final decision. When you’re a head coach in the NFL, and you leave the door open for a quarterback controversy like he did, you’re going to get questions about it until you close that door. Kyle has grown up in the NFL and knew (or should have known) exactly what he was getting into by answering the question that way.
Regardless, the decision has been made, and it’s full speed ahead with Jimmy G. to Week 1. All that remains now is to see whether Trey Lance or Nate Sudfeld will be the man backing him up.
For more on that possibility, as well as why Deebo Samuel thinks the 49ers ground game is going to be “crazy” this year, download today’s 49ers in Five podcast wherever you get your pods.