Steve Young doesn’t have to be inside the San Francisco 49ers locker room or huddle to gain the sense that there’s a level of trust missing between two of the more important relationships in football: Head coach and quarterback.
The Super Bowl 29 Most Valuable Player and NFL Hall of Famer appeared on KNBR in the Bay Area to state his belief that Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo aren’t on the same page during the 49ers’ 3-4 start.
‘I Don’t Think We’re There’
Young appeared on the Tolbert and Copes Show on Wednesday, October 26 to state his examples of why he’s believing Shanahan and Garoppolo aren’t on the same page.
“There is, and when I say lack of trust between Jimmy and Kyle, what I’m saying is, and I repeat this all the time — Mike [Shanahan] said this to me,” Young began. “I know that [Bills head coach] Sean McDermott has said it to Josh Allen. I know that Patrick Mahomes has heard this because Andy [Reid, the Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach] told me this — but turning to those guys and saying, ‘I am going to be aggressive for four quarters. You protect me.’ And that’s that trust level. I don’t think we’re there.”
Another words, Young has observed the 49ers on offense that Shanahan is less aggressive and playing things safe with Garoppolo behind center…out of fear his quarterback will be mistake prone. In tracing back to past championship teams for the 49ers, Young and his head coach George Seifert never showed disconnect during the 1994 championship run. Bill Walsh and Joe Montana learned to be cohesive while snatching four Vince Lombardi trophies for S.F.
“People start to see your game plan. You’ve got to kind of be iterative,” Young said. “And then I think either Kyle has to go all in and say, ‘I’m just going to do it. I’m going to let it rip the way I want to and take it where it comes,’ or, ‘I’m going to continue to manage through the second halves.’”
Speaking of the second half, that’s where Shanahan-led teams have stunningly struggled the most. Under the sixth-year head coach, the 49ers are the following:
- 7-30 overall when San Francisco trails at halftime.
- 4-31 when the 49ers have trailed after three quarters.
- More disappointing among the 49ers Faithful, S.F. is 1-30 overall when losing by three or more points when entering the fourth quarter.
Young, again, points out how he’s watching a disconnect between the head coach and the quarterback — especially when the game is on the line.
“And that would speak to why we’re not coming back in the fourth quarter and all of that,” Young said.
Can it Get Turned Around Against a Team They’ve Had Success Against?
Good news for Shanahan, Garoppolo and the 49ers: Their next opponent has had trouble with the 49ers.
In the Shanahan/Garoppolo era, the duo are 7-0 in the regular season against the Los Angeles Rams — including their 24-9 romp earlier this season in Santa Clara.
But the bad news for both men: The Rams snatched the last meeting held inside SoFi Stadium in the NFC title game. And, the Rams are nearing being at full health especially on the offensive line (their hardest hit area regarding the injury bug) for this upcoming contest on Sunday, October 30.
But again, the 49ers icon Young believes that head coach and QB1 must be on the same page and increase their trust.
“It’s both of them, and they’ve got to figure out how to make those adjustments for each other so they can be more aggressive and create more opportunities and not kick field goals against the best teams,” Young said.