So for this week’s amateur adventure in file I took a look Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start for the San Francisco 49ers against the Chicago Bears.
The quotes from his team mates were glowing after the game, but this is not a set of coaching tape that initially wows you with amazing throws. Partly this is the offence as whilst it is undeniably well schemed, there is a lot more two running back sets and running than you will see from a lot of teams in the league, and partly it is that Garoppolo is an accurate thrower that doesn’t necessary throw darts. However, arm strength is often somewhat over rated and what particularly impressed me the timing of Garoppolo’s passes. Looking at his completions you would see the receiver run their route, turn for the ball and it would arrive as they got their hands up.
One of the reasons the players were open was that the 49ers offence is so well schemed. There is a lot of motion before the snap, helping Guroppolo identify coverages as well as enabling them to move the point of attack for their run depending on what play has been called. On any given pass play there are players running combinations of routes to stretch the defence, and when you have a quarterback capable of reading this then you have an effective offence.
The obvious problem in this game came in the red zone. This is perhaps not surprising given that Garoppolo has only been with the franchise for a month and everything is harder in the red zone as there is so much less room to work in. The 49ers are also a little lacking in talent at the moment, but unless this becomes a trend I would not worry too much and given the offence that Kyle Shanahan co-ordinated last year with the Atlanta Falcons, I would back him to sort this out in the long run.
The big question going forward will be how quickly they can develop this offence, but before that they have to finish the season and get Garoppolo signed up long term, but for the first time in what feels like a very long time the 49ers’ fans have something to get really excited about.