49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has a longstanding and well-earned reputation for having clear, rigid, and specific expectations when it comes to the manner in which his quarterback runs the offense. Starter turned backup turned starter Jimmy Garoppolo had some eyebrow-raising remarks earlier this week about feeling not quite so constricted in his latest stint under center.
Specifically, Garoppolo said after Sunday’s win over the Seahawks that he felt like it was 2017 again, a season in which he felt more freedom to throw the ball own the field. He was asked about those remarks on Thursday.
“I’d love that,” Garoppolo said Thursday. “Yeah, there’s a lot of things that go with that obviously, but yeah, I love doing that stuff. In ’17, there was a freedom where me, the receivers, tight ends, we had a good chemistry going. And when you get that with offensive skills and a quarterback, it makes for a tough offense.”
On Friday, Shanahan was asked about Garoppolo’s comments.
“You’d have to ask him what he meant by that,” Shanahan told reporters. “There was no difference in that game than every game, so you can ask him on that. It was probably just going in when the game plan is for someone else and just coming off and winging it and going with it. That’s what I would guess, but it sounds like that’s a question for him.”
Later in Friday’s press conference, Shanahan was asked whether he was surprised that Garoppolo was so willing to be outspoken about his preferences.
“No, I really don’t know the quote that he said,” Shanahan said. “I’m with Jimmy a lot, so nothing really surprises me. I get to talk to him every day. I hear your huge interpretations of that quote and you guys just said it. I can’t interpret it. I interpret it with my relationship with him every day, so just go ask him what he meant by it.”
Pressed on the issue again, Shanahan was ready to move on.
“I’m not going to waste my time with that, but you can,” Shanahan said. “I’ve got some real stuff to do.”
Damn, Kyle. Don’t be so testy. Reporters are just doing their jobs. That’s the real stuff they do.