Did Justin Fields make Kyle Shanahan tweak for second pro day?

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Dalton Johnson
·3 min read
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Did Fields make Shanahan tweak for his second pro day? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Kyle Shanahan sure did look happy Wednesday at Justin Fields' second pro day, and for good reason. 

The Ohio State star quarterback again put on a show, this time in front of the 49ers' head coach, along with general manager John Lynch and QB coach Rich Scangarello. He aired it out with all eyes on him, showing off his rocket arm rolling to his left and firing balls down the field on the run. Fields also appears to have made a major tweak to his mechanics that Shanahan might have had say in. 

Throughout his college career, Fields began his setup under center or in shotgun with his right foot forward and left foot back. But at his second pro day, his first with Shanahan and the 49ers' trio in person, he switched it up. This time, he put left foot forward and right foot back. 

Why is this significant? Quarterbacks starting with their right foot back is a Shanahan staple. 

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The Twitter detective work pans out, too. When looking up Matt Ryan highlights from the 2014 season, you can see he starts with his left foot back. Shanahan then became Ryan's offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2015 season and he switched to his right foot back. With Shanahan as Ryan's offensive coordinator, the Falcons QB was named the NFL's MVP for the 2016 season with the footwork change. 

Jimmy Garoppolo appears to have started with his right foot back as both a member of the New England Patriots and the 49ers. And for what it's worth, it looks like Alabama QB Mac Jones started with his left foot back at his second pro day, which Shanahan attended. 

I'm no QB guru, but beginning with your right foot back as a right-handed quarterback seems much easier to get set quicker and in your drop more efficiently.

The 49ers are in constant contact with Fields' QB coach, John Beck, who also happens to be Trey Lance's QB coach. Beck played for Shanahan when the 49ers coach was Washington's offensive coordinator in 2010 and 2011, and now has helped train Shanahan's possible quarterback of the future. When recently talking with NBC Sports' Peter King, Beck highlighted Fields' coachability and his desire to adapt. 

"There's been a lot of times where he's asked to come in and work on an off-day," Beck said. "He'll say, 'I just got this information from an NFL team, can you help me go over it so I can learn in the best I can?' To me, that demonstrates someone who has a great desire to be the very best he can. 

"To the team that picks Justin, they're going to love the way he approaches improving at his craft." 

RELATED: Fields should be clear 49ers choice, even if not known yet

Though it isn't clear Shanahan or anyone from the 49ers asked Fields to make the change, he certainly did so in what essentially was a showcase for the team with the No. 3 pick the NFL draft. Shanahan was all smiles, Scangarello dapped up Fields after one of his eye-opening throws and the 49ers might have quietly been celebrating finding the QB they've dreamed of after moving up nine spots in the draft. 

Fields has it all. From arm strength to accuracy, size and athleticism, he's who you make a franchise-altering move for. This is just the latest example.

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