No. 1: Competition at the quarterback position
The 49ers are on their third quarterback of the season. After Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season to injury, C.J. Beathard proved that he couldn’t protect the football. He personally accounted for 12 turnovers in the six games he played. In nine career games, Beathard has won just one.
Second-year quarterback Nick Mullens, in only six career starts, has three times as many wins as Beathard. There is any number of analytical statistics that are proof of his competency. Such as the following tweet from The Athletic’s David Lombardi:
Mullens’ performance with a diminished roster has proven that he is an NFL-caliber QB.
Where he belongs in a team’s QB hierarchy is yet to be determined. This is exactly why Shanahan needs to have an open competition for starting quarterback going into training camp 2019.
Competition, healthy at every position, distills a team’s roster. It gave an edge to every team, at every level, coached by NFL Hall of Famer and former 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. It ensures that the team that takes the field is motivated. Complacency becomes the fat that every butcher must trim.
Garoppolo has approximately $96 million and four years left on his contract after this season. Performance, not contracts, must shape the 49ers depth chart.