49ers fans are anxious to see newcomer Jimmy Garoppolo, right, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan intends to play CJ Beathard, left, until the time is right. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

49ers fans are anxious to see newcomer Jimmy Garoppolo, right, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan intends to play CJ Beathard, left, until the time is right. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

CJ Beathard remaining 49ers starting QB is another sign Kyle Shanahan is rebuilding team his way

SANTA CLARA — Before the bye week, the 49ers answered the biggest question facing their new braintrust: Will they win a game? Now, the question is when the team will unveil its quarterback of the future.

The thinking goes, a team can’t trade a future second-round pick for someone who’s welcomed like a conquering hero, only to plant him on the bench. The Niners need to know what it has in Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s going to be a free agent after this season, and it’ll be decision-time then. Without game reps, how can the personnel department ensure it’s properly informed?

Yet, Kyle Shanahan remains unswayed.

“He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week. I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.

There’s no reason to rush Garoppolo when he can learn a ton behind the scenes. Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch know his pedigree, they like him and fans shouldn’t be worried, they insist.

And in the near term, Shanahan doesn’t want to take another step backward in implementing his complex playbook. He’s already done that once this season, out of necessity, when Brian Hoyer proved incapable of playing the placeholder.

Another reboot means another delay for everyone on the team because, contrary to popular belief, Shanahan isn’t assessing just the quarterback position. He said he doesn’t want to scale back anything, and his Week 12 opponent has noticed an evolved approach, too.

“You can see the offense growing,” Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said in a conference call on Wednesday. “You can see Kyle be able to expand and do more stuff. He’s an incredible offensive coordinator and play-caller that we’ve respected for a long time. I think they’ve just grown and they’re getting more proficient at what they’re doing.”

Shanahan said he announced his decision to start Beathard on Wednesday for two reasons: First, it would be exhausting to keep the will-they or won’t-they talk alive. Second, there’s no competitive disadvantage to picking one publicly when the two choices play a similar style.

Shanahan’s willingness to acknowledge the outside noise speaks to his familiarity with this situation.

In 2014, when he was the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns — another team going through a seemingly endless rebuild — he was forced to draft and play Johnny Manziel before he was ready.

By coming to Santa Clara under the terms he did — with a six-year contract that allows him to be patient, and an empowering hand-picked general manager — Shanahan wasn’t going to allow mistakes of the past to repeat themselves.

He doesn’t care what anyone else might think about his assessment process. Shanahan is going to rebuild the Niners his way.

Contact Examiner Sports Editor Jacob C. Palmer at jpalmer@sfexaminer.com or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.cj beathardjimmy garoppolojohn lynchkyle shanahanSan Francisco 49ers

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation intended to help California schools reopen. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Newsom signs $6.6 billion school reopening legislative package

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Gov. Gavin Newsom and state… Continue reading

Most Read