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The direction of the team
After Trey Lance’s unfortunate season-ending injury, many fans are debating the 49ers’ direction. One way to view this is Lance has lost another year of development. On the other hand, how many teams have a starting QB as their backup? The debate rages on about how Jimmy Garoppolo returned to the 49ers’, but one thing is for sure, the 49ers’ insurance policy paid off.
The expectations of this team change with Garoppolo under center. This is a “win now” roster. Fears of “wasting” this roster are put to bed. There will be no questions about replacing Garoppolo if he should struggle. The team will rally around Garoppolo now with the focus on making a deep run into the playoffs.
What’s the direction of this team? Full steam ahead with an elite defense built to travel and a QB who slides into a comfortable role. Discussions surrounding Lance and his development will be tabled for now. This team has a clear path and understands what is in front of them. No more talking. Go and get it done.
The Playcalling Shift
The obvious answer is: Yes, the playcalling will change with Garoppolo under center. With Lance, Kyle Shanahan felt the best way to sustain drives and convert first downs was with his legs. As far as Garoppolo goes, the offense will revert to last year. Some view this as a negative. I would argue that when a backup has to take over, there are huge unknowns about the offense. The stability provided by Garoppolo should be viewed as a relief.
Garoppolo spoke about the playcalling in his post-game press conference. To sum it up, Garoppolo talked about “new” and “old” plays. If you go back and watch the first full drive for Garoppolo, his first play is from the pistol formation. Shanahan was telling the truth about not changing the plan for Garoppolo. That was his plan for the third drive to have more passes after bludgeoning the Seahawks with his running attack.
Will the playcalling change? Absolutely. 49ers fans should be comforted by the change. It’s familiar, and the fear of the unknown is far worse than what you do know. If Nate Sudfeld or Brock Purdy took over, 49ers fans would feel much worse than with Garoppolo back under center.
Will we see a dramatic shift in play-calling with Jimmy G back into the fold?