Jimmy Garoppolo's success comes scripted and unscripted

Jimmy Garoppolo's success comes scripted and unscripted

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Tuesday took his first look at the 49ers’ offensive game plan for this week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.

He had some questions.

“I came in and you hear terms for the first time that I’m like ‘What’s that formation?’ They have to explain it to me,” Garoppolo said. “That’s what’s different than the three years prior to this. In New England, you come in and you pretty much know what was going on. It’s becoming more and more routine I guess, getting the new information and kind of the process of breaking it all down now.”

Garoppolo spent his first 3 1/2 seasons with the Patriots before arriving in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 in a trade.

There will be plenty for Garoppolo to learn during the offseason program. But he is slowly gaining more knowledge of Kyle Shanahan’s system after being exposed to seven unique game plans, including the final five of the season that have been tailored specifically for him as the starter.

“I think he gets more of a feel of what we’re doing and we start to get more of a feel of what he’s comfortable with,” Shanahan said. “You start to put a little bit more in of what you’ve had success with and it branches off. If you’ve had success with certain things, you can’t put in the exact same stuff because that’s all teams are practicing.

“You start to do some things off of that, but it’s allowed Jimmy to grow to where, ‘Hey, remember this play versus Chicago and why it worked? We’re going to do something similar to that this week, but this is the adjustment we’re going to make.’ There’s a little more foundation for him.”

While Garoppolo’s ability to carry out a plan has resulted in a vastly improved 49ers offense, it’s his ability to improvise that has perhaps been his most impressive trait. There is only so much preparation that can take place after any given play veers off course, and that's where Garoppolo has excelled.

“The off-schedule stuff, it’s called off-schedule because you can’t really plan for that stuff,” Garoppolo said.

“I think it’s organic,” Shanahan said. “The main thing we stress is guys just to keep working. . . . Never stop and just watch the play. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

“I don’t like practicing a lot or putting in plays that don’t get people open so you have to worry about doing that. We’ve had a number of times in this last month where he’s made some off-schedule plays. And the more it happens, guys start to believe in it and the more guys start working to do it.”

One example in which Garoppolo demonstrated his ability to quickly get on the same unwritten page as a receiver came on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

On a third-and-goal situation from the 5, the Jaguars dropped eight defenders into coverage. Garoppolo could not find anyone open, so he moved out of the pocket and ran to his left, parallel to the line of scrimmage to buy time.

Then, as nickel back Aaron Colvin left his coverage responsibilities to close in on Garoppolo from the front -- and with defensive lineman Calais Campbell pursuing from the side -- Garoppolo snapped a sidearm toss around Colvin to Trent Taylor for the unscripted touchdown.

As much as Garoppolo's ability to get the ball to Taylor was notable, the quarterback gave a great deal of credit to the rookie wideout for finding a way to help Garoppolo find him.

“Just the savviness for him to have as a rookie,” Garoppolo said. “I haven’t seen many guys with it. He did kind of a circle in the end zone and it got him open. The defender froze his feet and he made a tremendous catch. I didn’t really see it, but I saw it on film and that was a great catch.”

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2015. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts


Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.