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SANTA CLARA In case there was any doubt about who is the 49ers starting quarterback, Kyle Shanahan cleared it up Monday.
Asked if Jimmy Garoppolo would start Sunday at Houston, Shanahan said: “I’ll let you know at the end of the week. Just kidding. Yes, he is starting.”
Garoppolo led the 49ers to a 15-14 victory in Chicago on Sunday, their second win of the season. He completed 26 of 37 passes for 293 yards and engineered a 14-play, 86-yard drive that ended with Robbie Goulds game-winning field goal with four seconds left on the clock.
Shanahan enjoyed watching the film of Garoppolos performance on the flight home from Chicago, then took in a couple of encore presentations Monday.
Seeing him out there live, you can tell he made some impressive throws, Shanahan said during his weekly news conference. Theres definitely situations where he got a little confused and still was able to make plays. The more he plays and is around us knowing the scheme and plays, I think hell have less of those.
Garoppolos teammates were so enthused by his debut that receiver Marquise Goodwin even offered to give up his first row seat on the team bus to his new quarterback, according to ESPNs Jim Trotter. Shanahan was not on the bus when that reportedly occurred, but hes not surprised by the love Garoppolo is already getting from the rest of team.
Any time you trade for a quarterback in the middle of the year, especially one whos talented like Jimmy, I dont think its hard for people to see the talent he has as a thrower, Shanahan said. Guys get excited about that in the building and out in practice. I think they recognize the talent and theyre also pulling for the person.
There were occasions when Shanahan felt Garoppolo could have done better, mainly on two drives that resulted with only field goals after stalling inside the 10 yard-line. Shanahan said the 49ers cost themselves two touchdowns after being called for multiple false starts and a holding call that turned a pair of second-and-short situations into second-and-long. But he believes that Garoppolo will improve as he learns the playbook which will be expanded for Sundays game.
I try to just be realistic. Im not going to get too high or too low. But Ive been very excited since the first day we got him, so just the opportunity to have him in the building, there was a lot of great things he did yesterday. I know theres still a lot of work we have to do too, and the coolest thing about him getting out there and having some success and having a win is weve been through it for a week now. It was a lot more fun watching tape today.