Shanahan: Jimmy G has ability to be one of best QBs of all time

The San Francisco 49ers briefly considered courting Tom Brady earlier this offseason, which led coach Kyle Shanahan to dial up current starter Jimmy Garoppolo to let him know before rumors leaked.

The dalliance with Brady didn't last long, as the Niners determined quickly they already had their QB.

"When you have to talk to Jimmy about one of the best quarterbacks of all time being available, I know Jimmy has a goal to be that," Shanahan said Thursday, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "I know Jimmy. I believe Jimmy has the ability to be that and that's what both of us are going for. If we can get him there and he has the ability to do it, we're going to be pretty happy with who we have for a long time."

While this offseason has been unprecedented, Shanahan said he's seen a different Jimmy G after the quarterback spent all offseason last year dealing with knee rehab.

"I can tell his thoughts are a lot clearer because he's not worrying about an ACL and rehabbing," Shanahan said. "He's 100-percent focused and getting better mentally from knowing the offense -- from just knowing defense.

"Jimmy's learned the offense. He's fine with that. It's just being automatic. It's understanding coverages, going through everything where, I can't tell you how much more I know as a coach in year 17 or whatever then I did in year two. That never stops."

Leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, Garoppolo finished last season tied for fifth in TDs (27), fourth in completion percentage (69.1), third in yards per attempt (8.4), 12th in yards (3,978), 11th in DVOA by Football Outsiders and 12th in QBR. The biggest adjustment Garoppolo needs to make is negating the bad interceptions, as his 2.7 INT percentage put him 25th in the NFL.

Shanahan said Garoppolo's improvement with another year in the offense could make the 49ers even more potent in 2020.

"So to go through an offseason where you don't have to rehab the whole time, it gives you a chance to take that to another level," Shanahan said. "I think Jimmy's fired up for this year. Last year was his first year to play a whole year and he had a hell of a year and got us very close to winning the Super Bowl."

The next step is hoisting that Lombardi Trophy.

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