Obviously one of the biggest questions going into OTAs was how Jimmy G was showing up in practice. There were some videos produced, there were some whispers, and then there was a mailbag with Matt Barrows where someone asked how Jimmy G was doing in relation to other quarterbacks he’s seen in OTAs prior:
He’s looked OK in the two practices reporters have watched. I can’t remember a quarterback ever looking sensational in spring practices when they’re throwing to an array of receivers and often learning new plays. Jimmy Garoppolo looked great in seven-on-seven drills in the red zone yesterday, showing his quick release and nice touch on some corner-of-end zone throws. Of course, any quarterback *should* excel there since there’s zero pass rush. His deep balls have, quite frankly, been a bit ugly (I know; that’s not a word often associated with Jimmy G) with even his completions being a smidge underthrown. It might turn out that Garoppolo, with his excellent improvisational skills and gunslinger style, is a better game-day quarterback than practice passer. I don’t think anyone would mind if that bears out.
Of course that word “ugly” may have some people concerned. Two things to keep in mind here:
1: It’s OTAs, it’s the first time the team is doing drills in months, and Jimmy Garoppolo is unlearning a lot of stuff in order to learn Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
2: I’ll just post this here:
Curious about how to digest OTAs and practice reports? Brian Hoyer had the best offseason/training camp of any 49ers QB I’ve watched since 2013. Proceed with caution.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) May 31, 2018
We all know how Brian Hoyer turned out. Even minicamp is going to show a lot of slip-ups. I recall Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing a pick to a rookie safety in a minicamp years prior. I’d hate to use this phrase but it’s a whole new ballgame in OTAs. People are working off the offseason rust.
Furthermore, it’d be more concerning if Garoppolo was not hitting his intermediate routes—the routes that are crucial to success in Kyle Shanahan’s system. It also seems like Garoppolo was a beast in the red zone—which could be far more important.
Don’t hit the panic button if you are on Garoppolo’s first few weeks back as a 49er. Give him some time. And remember, Brian Hoyer?