. . . the ones that don’t happen. As in the ‘Klay Thompson for Kevin Love trade’ that never happened, the ‘trade Steph Curry instead of Monte Ellis’ talk, or even *gasp* ‘keep Joe over Steve’ talk of the early 90s (too soon to reopen this wound?). The Niners faced their crossroads in late October last year when they garnered the services of Jimmy Garoppolo. This was a fairly risky trade, a high 2nd round pick for a guy who was pretty untested. Beyond that, the head coach’s feelings were VERY obvious in that Shanahan seriously wanted Kirk Cousins.
Well, as we all know so well, Jimmy G came in and laid the Cousins talk to rest. He went 5-0, and beat 3 playoff teams (well, 2.5 as the Rams weren’t playing for anything), and the reason for the wins can be placed at Garoppolo’s feet. Shanahan was reportedly very sad that he wouldn’t be reunited with his QB, and John Lynch said the following:
“Jimmy, we made the trade, but then there were some days that Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually. I was proud of Kyle, because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise. And he didn’t hesitate. But then, even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself. Kyle, I think was really smart. He didn’t play him right away.”
As it was, the team was set to move on from Garoppolo if the season went south-er than it had already gone, but Shanahan saw the stellar play and went with the flow. It may sound patently obvious, but plenty of coaches have tripped over their own hubris at the cost of a favorite player. Shanny said the following regarding the decision to stick with Jimmy:
“I would tell you that Jimmy really impressed Kyle to the point that he said, ‘this is our guy. ‘We’re excited in that. He really didn’t have a thorough understanding of what we were asking him to do. He kind of piece mailed game plans that we were putting together. So our thought process is, if he can go in through a complete offseason and really master the system, it can get even better. So we gotta keep adding talent about him and we’re really excited about his future.”
You really have to like the fact that the team is now fully engaged in the process of building a team. 2 years ago at the draft combines, there was little to no 49er presence at the site. These last 2 combines, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a Niner coach or front office guy either helping to run drills or merely watching the action.
For all the shit that Young Sir Jed gets, and rightly so, he’s certainly got the team pointed in the right direction. He should be getting a little love from the fan base.