Good quarterback news all around for 49ers and Raiders


Good quarterback news all around for 49ers and Raiders

And speaking of two things that have seemingly nothing to do with each other, Eli Manning has been demoted as the starting quarterback for the New York Giants by his soon-to-be-fired head coach, and Jimmy Garoppolo has been promoted to it’s-about-time quarterback by his now-and-future head coach.

Garoppolo was named as the San Francjsco 49ers starter for Sunday’s game in Chicago against the decrepit Bears, and presumably from this point forward, as the experiment to see how much punishment C.J. Beathard could take before the spring in his neck broke and he became irreparable ended with him leaving the Seattle game . . . well, injured.

This is not a surprise, as people have been specuguessing about Garoppolo’s start date since he arrived in San Francisco as the Montana-In-Training. Now the clock really begins on him, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.

Across the bay, though, the Oakland Raiders now have to prepare (if that is the word) for Geno Smith as the Giants’ guide Sunday rather than Manning, who was clumsily replaced by Ben McAdoo in a move that almost surely will lead to his demise and maybe that of general manager Jerry Reese as well. Manning has been the third rail of the Giants train for years now, and he has suffered as the team has been ravaged by injury, a miserable offensive line and general talent drain.

But to imagine a scenario in which Smith wins the Giants and their customers over is simply too sci-fi for words, and that can only help a Raider team that is looking like it will have to win a game without its two best receivers, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Oakland needs every win it can get, and a dispirited Giants team that has now lurched toward fully chaotic is just the gift that can reassemble what expectations the Oaklands still have for this season.

In other words, there is potentially good news in both Santa Clara and The Town for their largely forlorn football operations . . . if for no other reason than the fact that there are more miserable operations than theirs. Notably, the two operations that serve as their opposition this Sunday.

In other words, it looks like God is playing a Raiders-49ers teaser Sunday.

Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'


Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'

The 49ers’ coaching staff made its feelings known to center Daniel Kilgore throughout the season.

But, in the past, that would not have necessarily meant everyone in the organization had the same thoughts about Kilgore, who was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

“The whole season, coaches and I had a good relationship,” Kilgore said Wednesday on conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Just talking and having one-on-ones with various coaches, I had a positive outlook for the future.

“But that’s just one thing. The coaches have an opinion of you, but then there’s also the front office. That’s two totally different things. And I think for the first time in a long time, our coaches and the front office are on the same page.”

Kilgore was working out back home in Tennessee on Wednesday when he signed a three-year contract to avoid hitting the free-agent market. Kilgore, 30, a seven-year NFL veteran, described the contract as a team-friendly deal.

The 49ers presented Kilgore with a contract offer during the season but negotiations did not get serious until just recently. While the 49ers expressed interest in retaining Kilgore, he said he did not know what the future held for him when he packed his belongings from the locker room on the day after the season ended.

“It kind of makes you nervous because in this profession, people like the younger guys,” Kilgore said. “You just never know what will happen at any time, any given day, in the NFL. So toward the end, that last day of clearing out the locker, I didn’t know if I’d be back. I didn’t know if the Niners would want me back.”

Kilgore was named the winner of the organization’s top honor for an offensive lineman. Kilgore won the Bobb McKittrick Award for best exemplifying the dedication, excellence and commitment of the long-time 49ers offensive line coach. Kilgore started all 29 games in which he appeared the past two seasons, including a career-high 16 games last season.

"I've been here seven years and I consider the Bay Area my second home,” Kilgore said. “To be able to extend my career wearing the 49ers jersey was special to me. This team is heading in the right direction, I wanted to be a part of it."

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

Matt Maiocco

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

When Jimmy Garoppolo signed a contract that could pay him up to $137.5 million over the next five years, he was asked what convinced him during his nine weeks with the organization that he wanted to be with the 49ers for the long term.

“I think it was a number of things,” Garoppolo said last week. “The team, the acceptance that they had of me when I first got here from the get-go, the coaching staff, Kyle and Rich. It was a very welcoming environment, and I really liked that. We had some success down the stretch, and you could see that pieces were falling into place. We've got a long way to go, but I think we're moving in the right direction.”

Kyle, of course, is head coach Kyle Shanahan. Rich Scagarello is the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach, and the person from whom Garoppolo spent the most time after arriving in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 after a trade with the New England Patriots.

Garoppolo earned $3.5 million in his first four NFL seasons. His new contract makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player, making an average of $27.5 million per season, with $48.7 million fully guaranteed.

Scangarello, appearing this week on The 49ers Insider Podcast, talked about what he learned about Garoppolo from working so closely with him to teach him Shanahan's offense. Scangarello said there is no question in his mind the money will not change Garoppolo’s approach to his work.

“That’s why it was easy for the organization and everyone to invest in somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo,” Scangarello said. “I just think that’s not the kind of person he is. If you met his family, you know where he comes from, what he’s about. His brothers, his parents, are just good, solid people people. He’s made of the right stuff and I just don’t see that affecting him in that way.

“It’s just not who he is. That’s the fun part of working with somebody like that every day. When they’re really talented and they appreciate everything and they work at it, you have a chance to be a successful organization and they can be a great player. And I don’t think those things will ever affect him.”