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Has the Philly Special arrived in San Francisco?

It was just a matter of time.

The NFL is a copycat league. That’s just how it works. How else do you see the Patriots shutting down the Miami Dolphins’ version of the wildcat and then all the sudden everyone knows how to stop what was an effective formation? When something works, teams take note. Take this play for instance. The same Patriots got embarrassed on this play known as the Philly Special in the Super Bowl.

That same play made its way around the league not just for its effectiveness, but how awesome it is seeing a quarterback divert a snap to his halfback and then strolling into the endzone. And Rob Lowder’s practice report yesterday indicates a similar play is now in the binders of Kyle Shanahan:

A highlight of the red zone period was the 49ers offense’s attempt at a trick play made famous by a certain city in Pennsylvania. Garoppolo ended up with the ball a few yards short of the end zone with both the safety and linebacker quickly bearing down. Neither was going to touch their quarterback though, as Garoppolo strolled into the endzone to the delight of fans.

It’s an understandable shame that cameras are not permitted during 11-on-11’s because that’s one of the few plays I would not get tired of seeing on a Twitter video screen. I want to know if it’s the actual Philly Special or some other crazy Kyle Shanahan play entirely. Whether it’s a game, practice, or anything else, seeing Jimmy G catch a touchdown pass must be as cool as it sounds.

It turns out Garoppolo would have been stopped at the 1 or 2-yard line. Since quarterbacks are protected at practice and hitting one as a defender is a one-way ticket to a butt-chewing, Garoppolo made it inside.

While seeing this play on video would have been great, I do wonder why it was shown in an open practice, cameras or no cameras. You’d think the 49ers would keep that one tucked away without anyone knowing. Then again, since 16 quarterbacks caught touchdown passes in 2018, it’s not surprising the 49ers would run something similar. The play is effective both from an offensive standpoint and from a fan standpoint since it’s fun to watch. Hopefully we’ll see whatever this play is in a game day situation.

And we’ll have to give whatever it is a name. What do we call this? The Nugget?