Kyle Shanahan has Lukewarm Praise for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo – Sports Illustrated

And you guys think I’m tough on Jimmy Garoppolo.

A reporter asked head coach Kyle Shanahan on Monday if he thinks Garoppolo has improved his decision-making this offseason. This question came a day after 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh praised Garoppolo for making quicker decisions this year than last.

I assumed Shanahan would echo Saleh’s statements.

He did not.

Shanahan was much more measured with his praise of Garoppolo than Saleh was. “The more you’re in a system, the more you go against the same defense over and over, the more things become second nature,” Shanahan explained. “So you expect that from (Garoppolo). You expect that from him. You expect that from a lot of guys who are going through camp and going against the same players and coverages for a couple years here.

“I think our whole team is pretty sharp at going against each other. We’ve had enough of that. We’re ready for that to end. So the quicker we can go against some other people, we’ll see how it’s panned out.”

Gee, Kyle. Tell us how you really feel.

Shanahan essentially disagreed with Saleh. Implied Saleh was getting ahead of himself. Suggested it’s too early to say Garoppolo has improved his decision-making, because he hasn’t faced a defense other than his own all offseason. The real test will come next Sunday against the Cardinals.

The reason reporters asked him and Saleh about Garoppolo in the first place is because Garoppolo threw five touchdown passes in the red zone on Sunday. Granted, four of touchdown passes were against the second-string defense. But still, five is a big number and reporters wrote about Garoppolo’s practice performance.

Here’s what Shanahan said about it: “I thought Jimmy played very well; I also thought he had some better looks, which helps, makes it less hard on him.”

Translation: Shanahan gave Garoppolo wide-open receivers and expected Garoppolo to hit them. Sounds like Shanahan praised himself more than he praised his quarterback.

Shanahan clearly understands he can win with Garoppolo. But Shanahan also has extremely high standards. So until Garoppolo proves he’s a great decision-maker and an elite quarterback, Shanahan will be stingy with his praise.

Remember that when I write or say something about Garoppolo which makes you hoot and holler.

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