With opening day against the Seattle Seahawks only six days away, it's time to take a look at the 49ers' first opponent of the season. Let's start off with their starting quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson. I took a look at their final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders and have notes on every pass Jackson attempted in the two series he played.
Before I get started, here is a brief scouting report on Tarvaris Jackson:
Jackson was considered one of the best athletes in the 2006 quarterback draft class. He has a strong arm and compact release. Before the draft, his accuracy and touch on deep throws, footwork, and ability to read defenses were the question marks. Some thought that if he could improve his footwork and field awareness, he could develop into a nice west coast offense quarterback.
On Jackson's first throw of the game, the Seahawks run a screen pass for Justin Forsett. It is a well set up play, and Jackson lofts the ball over several defenders to Forsett, who gains 19 yards on the play. The throw is a bit high, but well-timed. Overall a very well-executed play.
Rookie wide receiver Doug Baldwin runs a slant pattern. Jackson takes a quick drop from center and throws from the pocket, but the ball is well behind his receiver and the pass falls incomplete.
Golden Tate runs a slant curl and Jackson hits him for a first down. The pass is a bit high, but Tate adjusts to make the catch for the first down. The throw again comes from the pocket.
This time it's a play action. They fake a stretch run to the left and Jackson rolls out to the right. Rookie wide receiver Chris Durham is running a route over the middle with Jackson and he hits Durham for a 24-yard gain. Jackson delivers the ball right on the numbers.
Jackson takes the snap from center and practically runs backwards instead of doing a standard drop. He turns to his left and throws a ball across his body to Michael Robinson in the flat. It's an accurate throw that hits Robinson in stride.
Golden Tate runs a post to the end zone on this play. He seems to be the primary read on this play. Jackson throws into double coverage and Tyvon Branch intercepts the ball in the end zone. Jackson seemed to fixate on his primary read. There were two receivers underneath he could have thrown to.
Jackson drops back and throws from a pretty clean pocket. Tate runs a seam route and Jackson hits him on a very well placed deep ball. This is definitely Jackson's most impressive throw during the game.
They are in a shotgun formation and it is 3rd and 6. Tate comes over the middle and Jackson finds him between two defenders. The ball is thrown low and ahead of him, but Tate adjusts to make a nice catch short of the first down.
Besides the interception, Jackson made good decisions with the football. That being said, the interception was a very bad throw. They were nearing the red zone and he threw into double coverage when there were other wide receivers open underneath.
During this game, Jackson did have some problems with accuracy when throwing from the pocket, as all of his inaccurate throws came from there. The two times he did throw on the move, he put the ball right where it had to be for first downs.
I would look for the Seahawks to roll out Jackson a lot this season, especially on play action. From what I saw, Jackson looks more comfortable throwing on the run. By rolling him out to one side, it also makes his reads easier because he only has to read one half of the field. With his athleticism, he can burn defenses with his legs as well.
I didn't really see anything different from the scouting reports I read on Jackson. He struggles with his reads and accuracy, has good velocity on the ball and a nice compact release, and is one of the more athletic quarterbacks in the NFL. I can see why the Seahawks are taking a chance on him, but more than likely he will continue to be a flawed quarterback.