49ers Report: Trying to avoid letdown, and Jimmy Garoppolo’s hot streak

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo against the Arizona Cardinals during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

One of the biggest questions surrounding the San Francisco 49ers (4-5) after beating the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 on Monday night has centered on their ability to keep the same focus and level of play moving forward. After all, they go from playing one of the better teams in the NFL to playing one of the worst in the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.

Kyle Shanahan was asked about this Wednesday when he met with Bay Area media.

“It’s pretty easy when you start watching the tape not to overlook them. You talk as a coach, you read the numbers, but when you watch the tape, they’ll see that they’re a good team and they’re getting a lot better. I don’t think that people let down after something like that, but you’ve got to realize the emotions that go into a Monday night game is a little bit bigger where we were coming from with how bad we had played before that …” said Shanahan. “And so, you’ve got to watch for that stuff. Your emotions can’t be high every single day, but that means we’ve got to practice accordingly every single day and make sure that we’re ready to go on Sunday.”

Odds and ends

> Jimmy Garoppolo is in the middle of one of the best stretches of his career as a 49er. Over the last three weeks, Garoppolo has posted a passer rating over 100 each week, one short of his career high of four set in weeks 11-14 during 2019.

Another noticeable area of improvement for Garoppolo this season has been an increase in his depth of targets. Garoppolo currently has the sixth highest average air yards per completion (6.6 yards) in the NFL. This is an increase of 2.5 yards from 2020 and 1.1 yards from 2019.

If Garoppolo can maintain his level of play over the remainder of this season, the 49ers should not only make the playoffs but be a dangerous team for whoever they end up playing.

> Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell returned to the practice field today after having surgery for a broken finger on his right-hand Tuesday. He did not work with the team; however, his presence is a step in the right direction for his availability on Sunday.

> Fans of the docuseries “Last Chance U” might recognize a name on Sunday. One of the top players for East Mississippi Community College during season two was linebacker Dakota Allen.

Allen started his collegiate career at Texas Tech, finishing second on the team in tackles as a redshirt freshman. After the season, Allen would be expelled from Texas Tech after being charged with second-degree burglary. The charges were later dropped but Allen’s collegiate football career had been derailed.

Allen decided to enroll at EMCC, a school known for helping players get back on track, and he would make the most of the opportunity. After leading EMCC in tackles he received several offers, but chose to return to Texas Tech.

The hard work paid off when the Los Angeles Rams selected Allen in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. Allen would start the 2019 season on the Rams practice squad before being signed to the Oakland Raiders active roster. Allen would appear in two games for Oakland before being released.

Eventually, Allen would land with the Jaguars late in the 2019 season. He would stick with Jacksonville for 2020, and although most of his snaps came on special teams Allen would make two starts.

This season, Allen has primarily played on special teams and has a total of nine tackles.

While Jones did not appear on Last Chance U, there is a tie in with the 49ers. San Francisco defensive lineman D.J. Jones began his collegiate career playing his first two seasons at EMCC before transferring to the University of Mississippi.

> Thursday practice report: RB JaMycal Hasty (ankle), DL Maurice Hurst (calf), RB Elijah Mitchell (rib, finger) did not participate, and OL Jaylon Moore (knee), CB Josh Norman (rib), WR Deebo Samuel (shin) were limited participants.

This article has 18 Comments

  1. Interesting story over at ESPN about Aiyuk’s recent resurgence. Seems he wasn’t quite running out his plays in the first 5 weeks or so. They have GPS trackers implanted into the equipment so Shanny says the coaches always know if a player isn’t committed to running out their plays. The interesting part was they also know through technology the average separation distance on Aiyuks’s targets from last year to his year. The numbers are quite staggering and he’s much closer to his numbers of last year these last few games. I find it interesting that teams can use the GPS data from opponents as well. How else do you calculate the separation distance from a defender using GPS? I suppose it helps everyone, but an interesting tidbit on how technology has impregnated the sports world, especially in this era of analytics.

    1. “Shanahan is not a head coach, he’s an offensive coordinator. Fire him next time the 49ers lose a game. I’ve committed to being a 49ers fan therefore they are not allowed to lose games.”

    2. The Aiyuk situation is interesting. How many first year players think they’ve got it made and suffer the sophomore jinx. Kudos to Shanahan for holding him accountable and explaining to him what he needed to do. It’s probably harder to take that approach with a first round pick but essential for keeping the rest of the team motivated.

      1. I think Deebo was in a similar situation in season 2 and that’s one area where Shanny’s tough dad approach probably worked. He’s having a fantastic/all-pro year in his 3rd season.

  2. Jack,
    Do you think that JG’s recent upgrade in his level of play has increased his trade value? Do you think the 9ers will hold on to JG until the draft so they can trade him? I don’t have a good feeling about this weeks game, a short week followed by a cross country trip. I am having my best year, wagering wise, in over a decade But I am not sure about the Jags and the points. I did score big last night with the Pats. As much as I hate the Pats they have been making me big money this year so far.

    1. Coach,

      If he can keep playing this way I think his trade value goes up. I also think there’s a possibility they decide to keep him for 2022. It’s what they’ve said they are willing to do and if they get on a roll I can see him coming back as the starter.

      1. I think his performance is tied to the rest of the team. After all it is a team sport. If the defense plays well and keeps the opponents score to a reasonable level that will help the offense and of course Jimmy. If we don’t have any fumbles, or dropped passes or too many penalties all these things will benefit the quarterback.
        That’s an interesting point that the Niners might want to keep Jimmy next year. I thought they might try to keep him as the back up but as the starter that would surprise me. Do you think Lance won’t be ready to start next year?

      2. That thought has occurred to me, but then the team loses one of the major benefits of the starter being a rookie or 2nd year player – namely, the low wage scale which allows other positions to be upgraded (i.e getting Jimmy’s cap hit off the books).

        1. Understood. They’d still have 2 years of Lance’s rookie deal to work with and their next big money re-signing likely won’t happen until 2023 when they need to deal with Deebo Samuel’s contract.

    2. Would be an absolutely crazy scenario if Jimmy started lighting it up this year so the 49ers decided to trade Trey Lance in the offseason. If Lance is not doing well in practice then who knows. Would be kind of interesting to see what the 49ers could get for Lance. Wonder if they could get two first round picks for him.

      I’ve been a Dakota Allen fan since I saw his story on some football pregame show. The kid was a good football player. He made a horrible mistake. Then he showed amazing resilience and accountability to re-earn his spot at the D1 level. I love that he chose to go back to Texas Tech after the JC route. He’s the poster child for a young man who made a devastating mistake and then made a conscious choice to be a man of honor and integrity. Love that kind of story.

      1. I doubt they would consider trading Lance. I think they are committed but maybe realize it would be best to give him more time?

        1. If Rodgers were available do they jump at the chance after passing on Tom Brady?

          If Rodgers were willing to do a discount double check like Brady it’s something to consider.

          Only problem I can think of is how GB handles the massive dead cap number.

    3. I know your asking Jack but my opinion is that the 49ers will try and leverage a 1st round pick for Jimmy. There is already rumblings he could start next year. I don’t believe that, but I think they send him off for a 2nd pick in the off-season.

      Jimmy’s value goes up if he stays healthy. His mobility is better this year than last or 2019.

      1. There is no conceivable scenario where Jimmy returns a 1st round selection.

        He’s got a $24M base salary next year and he’s only signed for one year.

        A round 2 pick is also wishful thinking.

        1. I don’t think you understand the value of a starting quarterback. He has the 13th highest rating and there are teams desperate for good GB play.

          1. Could you elaborate on what teams would give up a 1st rounder and don’t already have a quarterback they’re happy or experimenting with?

            1. Also.. since you went there- I don’t think you understand how draft picks as well as average quarterbacks with a high salary an extensive injury history are valued in the NFL.

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