DOUGLAS PORTER/Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers have made a concerted effort to improve the performance of their QBs this season.
Injuries to a handful of their key starters have hampered their progress, but coach Kyle Shanahan has been relentless in trying to address the team’s quarterback situation.
The 49er staff has been on the lookout for a signal caller this offseason who could give Shanahan a better shot at developing his franchise quarterback.
Now it looks like Shanahan has found a gem: Kevin Hogan.
Shanahan told reporters Thursday that he met with Hogan at his hotel, a rarity for the team since he’s rarely gone to meetings like this in the offseason.
It’s the first time a 49ers executive has met with a player on the team who is unsigned.
Hogan signed a $10 million contract with the 49er organization in the past week.
Shanahan is now free to explore the possibility of bringing Hogan to San Francisco, a team that will be in desperate need of an upgrade at the position.
Shanahan said Hogan will work with the team “as a position of trust,” as opposed to the general manager position, where players are hired on the spot and often don’t know if they’ll be retained.
But Shanahan has yet to decide if Hogan is the type of guy he wants to work with.
“He’ll be an asset for us,” Shanahan said.
“I’m excited to have him in the organization.
I think he’s a good person, a good competitor and an effective player.”
Shanahan met with several other quarterbacks in recent days and said Hogan has been a “nice guy” and a “very positive influence” on his coaching staff.
Shanahan met Hogan on Wednesday, according to a source.
The source spoke to ESPN.com on condition of anonymity because the team is still negotiating Hogan’s contract.
Shanahan also met with Joe Staley, who was released by the 49, during the offseason and has not been a part of the team this season, according the source.
Shanahan did not identify the quarterbacks he met Wednesday, but sources have told ESPN.
The team has already identified two quarterbacks, Blaine Gabbert and Derek Carr, as the frontrunners to replace Hogan, who is set to make $10.9 million in 2018, according an NFL source.
Gabbert, the former No. 1 overall pick, has been the most impressive rookie of the 2017 season, completing 75.3 percent of his passes for 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns, while adding five interceptions.
He has been sacked just twice.
Carr, the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, has completed 58.3 of his 72 passes for 816 yards and four touchdowns, with three interceptions.
The two quarterbacks are set to compete for the starting job, but Shanahan said Gabbert would be the better fit with the organization this year.
Gabberbert’s success in his rookie season is due to his physical skills, which include running well over the middle of the field and using his arms to control the football.
Carr’s success is due in large part to his mechanics, which are described as “really solid.”
Carr, who has been battling a groin injury, has improved his arm strength, but his accuracy is also lacking.
He’s averaging just 38.4 percent of the passes thrown his way this season and is currently averaging just 13.8 yards per attempt.
Gabbs’s success was a result of his offensive line, which he inherited from offensive coordinator Greg Roman, improving during his time as the team head coach.
Roman, who served as offensive coordinator for the Ravens during the 2013 and 2015 seasons, is now the defensive coordinator with the Jaguars.
He spent four seasons as the Ravens offensive coordinator before taking the position with the Texans in 2016.
His success as an offensive coordinator has helped lead to the 49ERS offensive success, but the quarterback has struggled mightily in recent weeks.
His completion percentage has plummeted to 51.3 this season from 64.3 during his first three seasons in San Francisco.
He is averaging just 16.6 yards per completion and is completing just 34.1 percent of passes.
Shanahan has struggled with the quarterbacks that have been thrown to him in recent seasons, including Trent Baalke, Kyle Shanahan and Brian Hoyer.
The teams that have fared best with their quarterback in the playoffs are the teams that rely on their veterans most heavily, according a source familiar with the league’s best teams.
It could be time to add some young, talented, young players who can step in for veterans in the next few seasons to help the 49ER offense.
The Raiders signed Derek Carr last year, but he was signed as a free agent.
Shanahan was hired by the Browns in 2012, but that team was eliminated from the playoffs by the Steelers in the AFC championship game.
The Browns were able to retain Carr, and he was one of the most productive