Justin Fields' quarterback coach goes way back with Kyle Shanahan. So does Trey Lance's.
It helps that they're the same person.
John Beck, who played for the 49ers coach when he was Washington's offensive coordinator from 2010 to '11, has been working with Fields for a few months and Lance for a few weeks.
As you might expect, Beck and Shanahan have talked a lot recently.
“Knowing that I’ve been around [Fields] the last three months, he’ll reach out and just want to ask questions or talk,” Beck told The Athletic's Matt Barrows on Tuesday. “And kind of like prod into: What are the things we’re working on, the things that I think having played in his system, having been coached by him, I know how he’s going to coach quarterbacks. I know what he’s looking for. So I think it’s an easy extension of Kyle in terms of the eyes I have for quarterbacks.”
It's a good time for Shanahan to be in contact with his former QB. Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch will attend Fields' second pro day Wednesday, with the Ohio State product integrating some of the 49ers' concepts into his workout. Lance will do the same in his second pro day next Monday.
Beck has worked with Shanahan's quarterbacks before, according to Barrows. He coached Matt Ryan while Shanahan was the Falcons' offensive coordinator, as well as incumbent 49ers starter Jimmy Garoppolo, restricted free agent Nick Mullens and former backup C.J. Beathard.
Of course, by the nature of Beck's work as a private QB coach, he works with a lot of teams' signal-callers.
“I have a unique relationship with the folks in that 49ers building because I’ve known them for a while,” Beck told Barrows. “So there’s like a big familiarity there. And it’s not just Kyle that I talk to. [Vice president of player personnel] Adam Peters is a guy that I also talk to. Because they don’t have the opportunity to go to these private workouts, I’m somebody that can give them information. So it’s not just Kyle. Just like it is with the [Denver] Broncos. I mean, I have a lot of teams … I have scouts, I have scouting directors, I have general managers. And they all reach out with questions. They’re all gathering information.”
The links between the 49ers and Alabama QB Mac Jones, whose second pro day was the first Shanahan and Lynch attended together after the Niners traded up for the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, have only intensified over the last three weeks. Shanahan's contact with Beck about his clients, and his attendance at their second pro days, would indicate that the 49ers' decision isn't set in stone.
At the very least, Shanahan has a trusted contact working with the 49ers' top options at No. 3. In a draft following a season as strange as 2020 was, any piece of information helps.