Garoppolo’s progress raising hopes for 49ers

James Jones, analyst on the NFL Network, laughs during an interview with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the 49ers football team’s training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers just took another scheduled day off from training camp to rest and heal their bodies. Here are the top-five takeaways from the past four days of camp.

1. Jimmy Garoppolo has improved.

The first four days of camp, Garoppolo completed only 50 percent of his passes — he seemed hesitant and rusty following ACL surgery. But, then he took a day off, and since he returned to camp he has completed 60 percent of his passes during 11-on-11 team drills. He seems poised and confident like he did in 2017 when he won his first five starts with the 49ers.

“You saw Year 1, he raised the level of everyone’s play,” general manager John Lynch said of Garoppolo during an exclusive one-on-one interview with The Press Democrat. “That’s what special players do — they make everyone around them better.”

But, in 2018, Garoppolo did not make the players around him better. And he seemed to lose confidence as he lost two of his first three starts. Why did he lose confidence?

“His first year, he had very limited game plans,” Lynch explained. “The second year, he knew just enough (of Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system) to be dangerous, but also enough to get bit every now and then. Our hope was that would improve throughout the year. This offseason, he took a lot (of information) in, and we’re really happy with where he’s at.”

Meaning Garoppolo knows the offense better than he did a year ago.

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This article has 70 Comments

    1. Good stuff Grant Cohn! I’m working a stock report of my own, hoping to get it posted by the end of the day.

      I’m glad to see McKinnon off of the PUP, but I’m hoping they slow roll his return. Adding Tevin Coleman was a coup for Kyle, it will allow them to take their time easing Jerick into the mix as his knee permits. Flare ups are not uncommon at this stage of the recovery process, and just like Dee Ford, rest is usually the best prescription, so having the luxury to allow his knee to dictate how gradually they can ease him back into the fold at this point, is a very big deal.

      Go NINERS!

  1. Nice. Sounded like KS was barking out plays, and the players were supposed to get in the right formation an fire off the play. Hmmm, is he installing the Hurry-up offense?
    JG had a nice interview.

  2. You are differently on your A game Grant enjoying, your candidness, humour honesty and so forth, I appreciate you still interact with knuckleheads like us instead of big timing your audience like others do! Thank you! These last nine months have been very trying and you put a smile on y face, I appreciate you are willing to improve or whatever but in the you do need to be true to your self! And I am sure your dad as modeled this or told you always make time for your better half. I do not know where I would be without my wife of 26 years!

      1. Hey seb, we are going through the process but very slow and lots of red tapewe may just stay in Chico but my wife wants to rebuild then decide if we stay in Chico or live back on the ridge(paradise) living my most of life in Paradise it will never be the same so I think I would prefer to just stay in Chico. We will see. Getting excited about the niner year. I see big things but I usually drink the cool aid too fast, as much as it might be coming together some of Grants words are sobering and haunting at the same time, As the YORKS HAVE A bad track record and I have been saying that for sometime. Basically great teams start from the top and the York’s scare and tick me off. Any way I will hope for the best, still think Coach Is a special play caller, as much as you want a offensive play caller, I think that is what Coach S. Does best, still like this roster than any roster Blake put together after Coach Harbaugh put together!

        1. You listen to your wife. Chico is nice, but Paradise is probably a lot cooler.
          I have been trying to think of some positives that will have come from this tragedy. The only one I came up with is- bet you have a nice view, with all the trees gone. ;p
          I, too, have been getting excited about this upcoming season. The pass rush may force some more turnovers. The team has improved, and I hope they win despite Jed being the owner.

  3. Nice Article,
    However, I doubt fans will see the massive jump they want to from Jimmy this year. Players need live reps to put what they learned on the chalk board into practice. I expect Jimmy’s second half will be much better than his first half of the season.

    As for the Justin Smith vs Nick Bosa comparison I think their games were very different. Justin was 20 pounds heavier. He relied heavily on a bull rush on a bull rush.
    Nick and Justin are both high effort guys but Nick has a lot more moves and strings them together more fluidly than most vets, let alone rookies. Justin on the other hand just collapses the pocket.

    Of the players Ive seen in recent years I think Nick is a slightly less physically gifted, but more refined version of Bradley Chubb. He’s probably a 10 -12 sack a year guy if healthy… but I expect he will never touch the 15-18 sack marks of the elite pass rushers.

    1. I think of Bosa more like Justin Smith coming out of college. Smith was a 265 lb power rush end. At first he was a rush end but then became more of a 5T Big End type. But remember when he first came to the 49ers they were still trying to transform from 4-3 defense into Nolan’s hybrid 3-4 defense. In practice they tried Justin Smith out at Outside Linebacker. It didn’t stick and they moved him back to being a down lineman but in the Nickel he was still a rush end. Smith started his transformation into a power DT/DE in Manusky’s defense and had fully become the 295 lb Base 3-4 End we remember under Harbaugh. But remember it took him a while to get there.

  4. Grant’s take on Dre Greenlaw (4/27/19)…


    Played in the SEC.
    Recorded 321 tackles in four seasons.
    Former strong safety.
    Experience playing zone coverage.


    Weak-side linebacker who doesn’t fill a need on the defense. Will backup Kwon Alexander.
    The 49ers already had a quality backup inside linebacker, Elijah Lee.
    Poor run defender.
    Probably will play only special teams unless Alexander gets injured. gave Greenlaw a seventh-round grade, and CBS ranked him 307 overall.
    Injury prone. Missed six games in 2016 with a broken foot. Missed three games in 2017 with a high-ankle sprain. Has a hamstring injury at the Combine and didn’t run the 40-yard dash.

    GRADE: C.

    All of the decent defensive backs have been picked already, so I understand the 49ers drafting another position. But, they probably should have taken someone they couldn’t have signed as an undrafted free agent. Big reach. Mack Wilson, a better linebacker than Greenlaw, got taken seven picks later.

        1. Yah! Crabs thinking he is worth more than he really is – just normal. I was hoping he would sign with the Cards so that Sherm got to face him multiple times this season. I mean Crabs was and will always be Sherms personal btch.

  5. Remember this poll?

    Will Robert Saleh be the 49ers defensive coordinator next season [2019]?

    No (53%, 273 Votes)
    Yes (47%, 247 Votes)

      1. Thanks CFB man…looks like I will NOT be seeing the game here in SOregon…crap……gonna have to scour the net to find streaming for free… needs to start winning games so the games are more readily available to view here…

        1. All preseason games will air on NFL network.

          Whether that means they will air live or replay at 4am is another story, but as Cassie pointed out THIS game will be on NFL Net at 6 pm so no need to scour the net…

        2. NFL Game Pass is only $99 and you get all preseason games live. Regular season you get every team’s game replay including no commercials version and all 22 film. The replays are available not long after the game is over. It’s a lot for a small price.

        1. Yes Cowboy was tough …. strong as a moose= if I am not mistaken he was the best benchpresser on the team….yes very seldom if at all missed playing time….

        2. SY,
          That remains the last check-off on Bosa’ list.
          He has already checked off : Signing before TC.
          He’s checked off the ability to play with the big boys.
          We’ll have to wait for the 3rd check.
          TBD – my friend.

    1. Actually Cowboy’s 40 time at the combine was a bit faster than Bosa’s. Cowboy continued to grow and add weight after he entered the NFL, especially once he landed on the 49ers and was asked to play 3-4 defensive end. Bosa is very thick in his lower body, I’d expect him to possibly match Cowboy’s growth potential over time.

      1. The amazing thing about Justin Smith was his incredible durability, he missed 3 games in 14 NFL seasons. I doubt Bosa can come close to that.

    2. Cowboy was faster and bigger but far less refined. Bosa has a lot more moves and strings them together effortlessly… I don’t get the comparison at all.

      1. Cowboy also struggled in the 4-3, but came to the Niners and flourished in Fangio’s 3-4.
        I think there are better comparisons, but no astute assessment can be made before he takes a snap in the NFL. I will have a better idea of his potential after the Steelers game.
        The Aldon Smith /Nick Bosa comparison may be more apt. Both are high draft picks, but in no way am I comparing Bosa’s potential trajectory with Aldon’s. I am just comparing them on the field.

  6. JG still has a long ways to go. he still has to come back from the injury, then he has to play real good every week and also play in a full 16 games for the first time in his career. If he doesn’t improve in those areas then lets see if the 49ers give him 1 more year or let him go at the end of the year via trade or release. They should and probably will play him in week 3 preseason to at least give him a few reps. i don’t have anything against JG, i hope he does well and we win games, but Shanny should of stuck to his game plan and went with Kirk Cousins if that’s who he really wanted at QB.

    I have seen a few articles about the 49ers and if they can make the playoffs this year. They would need a lot of things to go right for that to happen and thats to much to ask for. Their would have to be limited injuries, JG playing good, the WR group stepping up, the defense getting the sacks and pressure with all of those first round picks, the defense getting turnovers and both the safety’s playing well. Not to mention the offense line blocking the pass rush. probably more of a 6-10 or 7-9 season. If they can pick up a safety next year and players develop further, next year is probably going to be the year they make the playoffs.

    1. This defense takes a step forward early and often, and the 49ers are a lock to make the playoffs. That means top 12.

  7. Jerick McKinnon has been activated off the PUP list. Hope he can show he is fully recovered from his ACL during these preseason games.

    1. He is just now allowed to practice. We won’t see too much of him in pre season, and he may even be used sparingly for the first 2-4 regular season games. Common sense.

      1. Maybe then they should put him on IR with a mid season designation to return.
        JM needs to show he can contribute, or they will have to cut a good player in his stead. JM will have taken up a spot that could have been used to keep a healthy player who can contribute right away.

  8. JG will have a big year – Passing 4,900 / 36 , Rush 200 /2 . These numbers are based on extrapolations from his previous 8 starts and upgrades at skill positions .

    Meanwhile Chicago Tribune reports: QB Mitchell Trubisky’s first two weeks of training camp were “uneven and occasionally frustrating.”

  9. Jennifer Lee Chan

    #49ers Not expected to practice 8/6
    DB K’waun Williams – knee
    LB Malcolm Smith – hamstring tightness
    DL Jamel Garcia-Williams – concussion
    DE Dee Ford – knee
    OL Joshua Garnett – finger
    RB Jeff Wilson – calf
    OL Mike Person – Vet day

  10. sebnynah says:
    August 5, 2019 at 9:48 pm
    Nice. Sounded like KS was barking out plays, and the players were supposed to get in the right formation ….


    1. Seb was the poster who said “Shanny is less than intelligent for not resigning Kaep.”
    2. Seb was the poster who recently said that Muellen’s is the better QB because he got off the better start in TC.
    3. Seb is a Johnny come lately to the Jimmy G bandwagon, who calls it like it is, or in his own words, “I won’t sugar coat” the 49ers 4-12 team while simulstaneously throwing Jimmy G under the bus.

    Seb, you are a text book example of a ‘double-dealing’ raider fan.

    Keep going back to the good old ‘Kaep’ days any time JG has a slump,

  11. Check this feed from NinersNation. Today’s practice. Many details.

    A small sampling…

    Rob Lowder

    #49ersCamp Notes – Day 9:
    -Mistakes marred offense, Bourne drop turned INT, Pettis, Kittle fumbled
    -Decent day for Garoppolo, completed 8 of 11 with a drop/INT
    -Bosa stubborn in the run game, blew up a pair of plays
    -Greenlaw obliterated Juszczyk for the hit of the day #49ers

  12. Grant Cohn

    That wasn’t Garoppolo’s fault. His pass was perfect. Kendrick Bourne dropped the ball and tipped it to Ahkello Witherspoon.

    don craig

    Replying to @grantcohn
    Surprised your not all over jimmys int lol

  13. Glad to see a guy like Dre Greenlaw make a splash. He is a good character guy, who has overcome a lot of adversity in his life. He was loved at Arkansas, however, was plagued with injuries. He has good sideline to sideline speed and can cover, however, like Grant said, his weakness has always been against the run. Hopefully the coaches and veterans can help him in this area. I am rooting for this guy!

    1. Lynch has shown an ability to consistently hit on day 3 of the draft with Kittle, Taylor, Jones and Greenlaw.

  14. Sounds like Shanahan is putting none to subtle pressure on Pettis to lift his game. Called out the WRs as a group and had Bourne ahead of him today.

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