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Shanahan's lack of trust in Jimmy G crystal clear to Young

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Coach Kyle Shanahan may not be lacking much as an offensive coach.

But his lack of trust in his quarterback is an obvious symptom of why the 49ers have not maximized their offensive potential.

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young spoke on 49ers Talk about his admiration for Shanahan and the root cause of the team's offensive issues.

Young played under Kyle’s father, Mike Shanahan, and sees similarities in their offensive objectives.

“He’s like his dad,” Young said of Kyle. He smells weakness from a defense. He can sense it, then he wants to attack.”

Young attended a night-before-game meeting during the 2019 season. He said he was blown away with how the simplistic nature of the team’s offense creates complex issues for defenses.

Young said he grew envious as he watched Shanahan in front of the team.

“I know if he was calling plays for me, I’d go to the moon and back,” Young said. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to run these plays. I want to do this.’”

But Young said he also observed an important element of a coach-quarterback relationship was lacking.

He said it was obvious from the way Shanahan called plays during the 2019 playoffs that he lacked faith in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

In playoff victories over Minnesota and Green Bay, Garoppolo attempted a combined 27 passes.

“If Jimmy and Kyle could get a trusting relationship so that Kyle when he smells . . . he can go after it with Jimmy taking care of it all, we would be really humming.

 

“But because he doesn’t trust him — and we saw that in the playoffs of 2019. Because of that, he doesn’t feel he can call those plays that . . . ‘Let’s go.’”

RELATED: What Young told Jimmy G in pregame chat

What Young saw during the 49ers’ Super Bowl run of 2019 was proven with the organizational decision to trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select Trey Lance, the player who will ultimately replace Garoppolo.

Young said he sees times when Garoppolo has demonstrated the ability to be at the controls of a dynamic offense.

But Young believes Garoppolo has not earned the trust of Shanahan, and Shanahan has not shown the trust in Garoppolo to allow him to gain confidence and take off.

Young said the 49ers’ selection of Lance was Shanahan’s way of saying, in effect, “I’m going to get somebody in there because I know when I can sense it, I want somebody who can go with me.”

Regardless of the inconsistencies of the 49ers’ offense, Young said he still believes Shanahan is at the top of the league when it comes to designing and running an offense.

“But there’s nobody more innovative and more on-point to put a team in position to go score a lot of points than Kyle Shanahan,” Young said. “As far as calling plays and putting people in position to be successful, I’m sorry, I don’t think there’s anyone better.”

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