Jimmy Garoppolo reason for conservative 49ers play-calling, Steve Young says

Young: Jimmy G reason for Shanahan’s conservative play-calling originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The arsenal of offensive weapons the 49ers have at their disposal this season makes a “mastermind” of a coach like Kyle Shanahan feel like a kid in a candy shop.

But if the candy never is eaten, what’s the point of going to the shop in the first place?

That’s the question, to some regard, that the NFL world ponders as Shanahan’s “conservative” play-calling has been a growing concern for 49ers fans.

But 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young believes Shanahan’s cautious approach on offense is due to his current quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.

“It goes back to the conversation we had before, it’s ad nauseam,” Young told KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Wednesday regarding Shanahan’s trust in Garoppolo. “I can guarantee you that kyle would love to throw for 500 yards a game. He’s like his dad, I’m telling you. It’s really just how they manage each other and how they create the space for each other. The management is full-speed ahead, they’re managing each other and that’s how it is. And that’s fruitful and that’s fine.

“That’s why I encouraged Jimmy to go to Kyle and find out what it is, dive into the relationship and find out where we can build more trust. Because the idea that philosophically Kyle wants to run the ball is not true. People need to leave that behind.”

Shanahan’s play-calling has been an area of concern since Week 6 and the hot topic of discussion in two of NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers insider Matt Maiocco’s “49ers overreactions.”

San Francisco’s Week 10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday was the first game where running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receivers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, running back Elijah Mitchell, tight end George Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk all were available, and able to show off the group’s “nightmare” potential.

And even though they pulled out the important 22-16 victory over the Chargers to improve to 5-4 on the season, and still hit their average of 22.0 points per game, it doesn’t feel sufficient enough for a team with all the players previously listed.

RELATED: What Kittle sees as biggest factor in Jimmy G’s consistency

The 49ers rank 16th in the NFL in scoring touchdowns on 54.8 percent of their drives inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. On Sunday, the 49ers got inside the Chargers’ 10-yard line five times but scored just two touchdowns.

Last season, the 49ers were fourth in the NFL with a touchdown on 64.4 percent of their red-zone possessions.

The 49ers opting to settle for a field goal versus going for it on 4th-and-short many times this season could be a result of Shanahan’s trust in DeMeco Ryans and his defense.

But with so many weapons, it’s hard to comprehend why Shanahan doesn’t fully open up the offense.

Perhaps we’ll just have to stay patient and hope Shanahan can have a little more fun with this elite offense.

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