Jimmy Garoppolo followed up a disastrous preseason performance two weeks ago with a stellar showing last weekend. The dichotomy between the displays casts a shadow over the San Francisco 49ers‘ offense as the regular season approaches.
Several times during the preseason — and in practices like the one in which he was intercepted on back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back passes — Jimmy G has forced balls into coverage. From the outsider’s perspective, it looks like an exceedingly poor decision.
The Niners’ quarterback, however, said he makes throws during preseason action and in practice that he wouldn’t normally attempt in a game that matters. The idea is to test the limits of his teammates and the offense.
“A big part of that is it still being preseason, or in practice, you try things like that,” Garoppolo said on KNBR radio, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “You know, during a real game, you wouldn’t make that throw or that decision, but there’s a trust factor between quarterback and … whoever’s catching the ball.
“The more you try those things, you see who’s going to make the play for you in a crucial situation. If you put it in a good spot for them to make a play, you expect them to make a play. They expect you to give them a chance to make play, so I think it works both ways. Them trusting me, me trusting them. … [That] comes with reps.”
After missing the bulk of last season following an ACL tear, Garoppolo needed as many reps as possible with his offensive playmakers to help rehab their rapport. Given the youth in the receiver corps, it’s prudent for Jimmy G to search out the limit to his wideouts’ skill sets.
San Francisco now hopes that with the preseason in Jimmy G’s past, the performances will turn from volatile swings to a steady climb upwards.