Why Jimmy G credits Shanahan for recent improved play originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Jimmy Garoppolo has hit his stride with the 49ers over the last few weeks, and part of that is because his relationship with Kyle Shanahan has been evolving.
The 31-year-old quarterback is arguably playing his best football since arriving in Santa Clara in 2017 and on Friday, he explained that the offense’s slower start to the season not only had a lot to do with his inability to participate in the offseason program, but his relationship with everyone around him, including Shanahan.
“When Kyle is calling plays like he is, and just letting me get the ball out, and letting the guys run with it, it makes for an easy style of offense,” Garoppolo said on Friday. “When you tie that to a good running game, it’s hard to stop.
“Me and Kyle got a ways to go obviously, we are nowhere near perfect, but it’s just moving in the right direction, and we are talking the same language right now, which is good.”
Garoppolo is surrounded by top flight skill players, who have all continued developing since their arrival. But their focus on the prize seems more intense this season, including Brandon Aiyuk who has emerged as a leader in the receivers room.
Then in Week 7, the 49ers added Christian McCaffrey to the mix. The six-year pro’s business-like persona has added experience as well as a laser focus to the offensive side of the ball. Garoppolo, while always giving credit to all of San Francisco’s running backs, has noticed the intensity.
Still, Garoppolo explained that the main reason the offense was slow in hitting full steam was the quarterback not being able to practice during OTAs and training camp, and then the quick change of direction once Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.
“It was a different type of offseason,” Garoppolo said. “I think just everything that happened with Trey, it happened like that (snaps), just the whole situation. I think, I don’t know, we just got a more mature group this year.”
That maturity has helped the 49ers stay on course through several adjustments, including George Kittle and Deebo Samuel missing time due to injuries. Now, after a few weeks of the full complement on the field, Garoppolo and offense has looked unstoppable.