Young senses elements of Jimmy G’s resentment toward 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
After everything the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo have gone through over the past year, it wouldn’t be the most surprising revelation if the veteran quarterback had a little bit of resentment for San Francisco.
Hall of Famer and 49ers legend Steve Young joined KNBR 680’s Tom Tolbert and FP Santangelo on Wednesday, where he speculated about Garoppolo’s current relationship with the team and how a tumultuous offseason might have impacted the 30-year-old’s perspective on the organization.
“What I don’t want is six months of victimization, which I mean by people saying in his circles, ‘Hey Jimmy you’re getting screwed, you’re 34-14, you’re awesome, you’re the king, these guys suck, Kyle [Shanahan] sucks, everybody sucks.'” Young said Wednesday. “And then a whole six months of waiting to go somewhere else and you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s right, I’m the man’ instead of, ‘Wait a minute, why am I getting fired? Why am I being pushed aside? What do I need to learn?’ “
It’s not realistic to expect there to be zero tension whatsoever throughout any team that experiences the ups and downs that the 49ers have experienced. Young understands that and even experienced tension on great 49ers teams led by head coach Bill Walsh and alongside fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.
But Young believes the 49ers must avoid any type of tension that might develop into something toxic.
“Look, there’s creative tension and there is toxic tension,” Young explained. “Creative tension is what Bill Walsh and I had or Joe and Bill Walsh had. It was not [all happy], there was tension but it was creative, everybody got the best out of each other, they drew from that. But then there’s toxic tension and that’s when toxic tension, it goes into the ground, that’s when the airplane rams into the ground.
“What we can’t start now in a tough season if this is going to be a tough one … that we need an environment where the coach and the quarterback are not full of resentment, they’re not creating more and more toxicity, but they can find a place of creative tension because it’s never going to be easy.”
With everything Garoppolo has been through in the past year-plus — the 49ers drafting his replacement, an up and down 2021 season, battling through multiple injuries during a deep playoff run, a crushing NFC Championship Game loss, then an offseason that began with a shoulder surgery that prevented him from finding a new home, only to eventually remain with the 49ers as a backup — there certainly is an opportunity for different emotions to develop.
Young believes that one of those emotions might be resentment, which is what the Hall of Fame quarterback is “most concerned” about.
“Whatever he said at the end of the game, whatever he mouthed, whatever he said after to the media, I sense that it’s resentment. And I totally understand it, completely rationalized around it, I’ve been there.” Young added. “I get it, I get every part of it, but if we want to find profitability amongst the teammates in the games under pressure and with Kyle and with John [Lynch] we’ve gotta create an environment of creative tension. It can be tense, but it has to be creative and we need to spit out and kind of reject the resentments that are natural.
“You do something publicly which kind of started slightly maybe last week, and especially in the postgame, if that starts to find flowering, then we got a lot more problems. That’s the thing I’m most concerned about.”
Young is referencing Garoppolo’s comments after San Francisco’s 11-10 Week 3 loss to the Denver Broncos and the veteran quarterback blaming some of his struggles on his lack of training camp and preseason practice.
Some took it as Garoppolo not taking accountability, thus catching some by surprise with his comments. That is one reason why Young is starting to sense some resentment from Garoppolo.
“What I saw last week … look, there’s tension, we can still hold onto it and say it’s creative at the time … but it feels like there’s elements of the resentment that can build over the last six months and some of the things that feel like they’re too heavy for people to find common ground and it could get toxic and I don’t want that,” Young concluded.
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Of course, nobody knows what is going on behind closed doors other than Garoppolo, Shanahan, and the players on the team.
It’s understandable if Garoppolo is working through some emotions that carried over from a chaotic offseason, but Young believes that it is paramount that San Francisco doesn’t let it impact an already-difficult season.
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