One of the most amazing things in the growing legend of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the fact he came into one of the most difficult offenses in the league to learn (Kyle Shanahan’s), and seemingly held his own. It was well known they scaled back on playcalling and a lot of the more intricate parts of the playbook, but he was pretty good.
Winging it or not, Garoppolo will now begin 2018 having had a full offseason to study the 49ers playbook and now we can really see how his development is. The team is already seeing him execute the playbook at training camp and 49ers running back Matt Breida was on KNBR’s Tobert and Lund podcast to tell his first-hand experience of year one to year two:
Last year, he would come in the huddle, and he didn’t know the whole offense at all. We would go in, he would call a play, and we’d be all looking at each other like, “What did he say?” It would just be amazing because he would still go out there and make the completion or make it work somehow. And now, second year around, watching him go in there with confidence, knowing what he’s doing, and understanding why he’s doing it, it’s just amazing. I think the sky’s the limit for Jimmy. He can be a hall of famer, easily.
Garoppolo had to go in and learn not a new playbook or system, but learn it from terminology vastly different than what he was used to. The fact the 49ers were able to have any semblance of an offense on the field with the minimal confusion is definitely something to take note. There were obviously quite a few miscommunications when Garoppolo came under center in 2017, but he winged it quite well, if you call it that.
It’s definitely exciting to see what he’s going to be like now that he doesn’t have to fake owning the offense anymore.