Lynch recalls Shanahan initially shocked by Jimmy G backup idea originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The idea to keep Jimmy Garoppolo as the 49ers' backup quarterback first came from John Lynch, and when he suggested it, coach Kyle Shanahan couldn't believe what he had just heard.
"I don't like sitting a whole lot, so I like walking around the building and making sure everyone's doing alright, and most of the time that's Kyle, we kind of hang out a lot," Lynch said. "That's kind of how we talk about the team, just being around each other. So we're constantly talking, and at one point, we were talking about that entire room. Oddly enough, not about the starter, but do we have enough in that room?"
Lynch described the back-and-forth dialogue he had with Shanahan, who, at first, was taken aback by the mere thought of keeping Garoppolo as a backup.
"I remember I kind of looked at him and I was like 'well, we could ..."
"And he goes: 'What...?'
"And I go: 'You know, we could keep Jimmy.' "
And he goes: 'How? There's no way, he won't do that.'
And I said: 'Well, we don't know. I'm not getting any calls, which I'm shocked about, and who knows? Let's marinate on that.' "
After Shanahan had slept on the idea, the 49ers' coach had changed his tune the following day. After floating the idea to Garoppolo and his representatives, both parties were open to making something work if no outside opportunities came to fruition after the third and final preseason game.
"[Kyle] thought it was crazy, then the very next day came back in and (said) 'You know what, you're right. Why Not?' And I said: 'Well, you see Jimmy a lot, he's part of our roster so there's no tampering or anything, why don't you introduce it?' " Lynch recalled. "And so I think he did at that point, and I think the initial reaction from Jimmy was 'Look, I think we've taken an approach that we are going to wait and see this thing through and see if any perfect scenario opens up, but if not, that's not a bad idea.' When that was, I don't know, probably a month ago.
"And then it kind of went down the road that it did and they were very clear their intentions ... I remember [Garoppolo's agent Don Yee] saying to me 'Hey, if this were your son, I would advise him the same thing, it would be to wait until the last preseason game before we're making any of those decisions.' And once it was done, there were talks on what a contract would look like and all that and the parameters there and it happened really quickly."
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From there on out, the rest was history.
Nobody, not even Lynch and Shanahan initially had thought that Garoppolo could end up on the roster for Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, but lo and behold, the 49ers have themselves one of, if not the NFL's best backup quarterback.
One that they hope they never have to use.