The San Francisco 49ers feel like they have a good problem on their hands. They believe that both C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo have incredible promise and are capable of being NFL starters.
Beathard is coming off his best game as a rookie, a 288-yard, two-touchdown performance against the New York Giants in Week 10. The Iowa product added his third rushing score of the season as he propelled San Francisco to its first win in 2017.
Meanwhile, everyone is still eager to see Garoppolo make his first start in a 49ers uniform. Garoppolo spent most of his bye week at team headquarters going over the offense with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello. The week off provided the much-needed time for Garoppolo to go over the basics of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Until then, he’d been hastily learning a watered down version of the playbook so that he could step in if Beathard went down with an injury.
Garoppolo also spent a day with Shanahan pouring over the verbiage and other intricacies of the system. The days spent going “back to the basics”, as John Lynch put it on Tuesday, were crucial for the quarterback. Lynch explained that Garoppolo is essentially starting from scratch given that there’s no carry over from the system run by the New England Patriots.
“That’s a big ask of a guy,” Lynch said during an informal discussion with local reporters. “Like all our players, we want to set him up for success, even more so since he’s a guy we think can be our franchise guy.”
Beathard’s strong play has given the 49ers a chance to be patient with Garoppolo. And yet, it still feels like Garoppolo’s time is coming near. Lynch lauded the quarterback’s intangibles, praising his work ethic since arriving in the Bay Area. The GM believes that other players are drawn to Garoppolo as a leader.
“He’s getting more comfortable with each passing day, and he’s working at it extremely hard,” Lynch said.
Garoppolo is passing the eye test with Lynch as well.
View the top images of Jimmy Garoppolos's playing career from his time at Eastern Illinois, the New England Patriots and the 49ers.
“He does some things that are pretty special that it doesn’t take a quarterback savant to see,” Lynch said. “He can spin a football in a big time way.”
Shanahan will ultimately have the final say on when San Francisco will make the switch at QB. That move could potentially be made this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. If not this week, there are still five more chances for the 49ers to get Garoppolo on the field in 2017.
On that note, with Garoppolo set to become a free agent this offseason, Lynch wouldn’t confirm whether or not the 49ers are in contract discussions with the quarterback. He did share that they made the trade without talking to Garoppolo’s representation.
Put simply, it didn’t matter. Having Garoppolo on the roster gives the 49ers several options. He’s a valuable asset that has plenty of value to San Francisco with or without a long-term contract. That said, Lynch is planning on Garoppolo being under center for the 49ers in 2018.
“We feel he’s going to be our guy,” Lynch said.