49ers

49ers assistant Katie Sowers donates items to Pro Football Hall of Fame

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USATSI

49ers assistant Katie Sowers donates items to Pro Football Hall of Fame

San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers has a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Sowers, in her role as seasonal offensive assistant, became the first female assistant in NFC history this season. Sowers is situated upstairs for game days as part of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

Sowers donated her coaching shirt and binder from the Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers to the Hall of Fame.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pleased that Coach Katie Sowers has donated artifacts from her regular-season debut as the first fulltime female coach in NFC history,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan said in a statement.

“Her pioneering role in pro football will undoubtedly inspire others to work to overcome obstacles while pursuing their dreams and aspirations.”

Kathryn Smith, a member of the Buffalo Bills staff last season, was the league’s first full-time female assistant.

Greg Cosell: Jimmy Garoppolo needs work on his 'quarterback feet'

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USATSI

Greg Cosell: Jimmy Garoppolo needs work on his 'quarterback feet'

Greg Cosell of NFL Films believes 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo “has a chance to be a top-level quarterback.” But there remains room for improvement from the player the 49ers awarded a franchise-record contract in the offseason.

Garoppolo has a quick release and can throw at a number of different arm angles to avoid oncoming pass-rushers. But while his accuracy underneath was unquestioned during his 5-0 run as the 49ers’ starter, most of the time his deep throws did not reach the target.

Garoppolo completed just four of 16 attempts to targets 20 yards or more down the field last season for 134 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, according to Pro Football Focus.

[RELATED: Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL']

During the offseason program, Garoppolo appeared to struggle on his deep throws, too. Cosell, a guest on the 49ers Insider Podcast, spoke about Garoppolo’s mechanics.

“Because he has very quick feet, I think people just assume he has great feet all the time when he delivers the ball,” Cosell said. “There’s a difference between having quick, athletic feet and having really good quarterback feet. And I think he needs to work on the quarterback feet part.

“I think guys who have that kind of snap delivery, sometimes they don’t step exactly to their throw and they throw a little bit off-balance and that could really impact your accuracy to a significant degree. So my guess is those are the kinds of things they’ve worked on. Those are tweaks. I don’t think it will prevent him from being a really good player.”

Garoppolo appeared in six games with five starts last season after the 49ers acquired him for a second-round draft pick in a trade with the New England Patriots. Garoppolo completed 120 of 178 pass attempts (67.4 percent) for 1,580 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

Cosell said it is important for all quarterbacks to use consistent mechanics when making throws from a clean pocket.

“Think of a major league pitcher,” Cosell said. “They theoretically should throw the ball the same way every time. So should a quarterback unless the defense dictates otherwise. If the defense doesn’t dictate otherwise, the throws should look the same.”

Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL'

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AP

Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL'

There is a lot of hope surrounding the 49ers entering the 2018 season.

Much of that is because of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Much of that is also because of Kyle Shanahan.

"Kyle is one of the most innovative and creative offensive minds in football," Richard Sherman said back in mid-March after he signed with the 49ers.

On the most recent episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco, Greg Cosell of NFL Films offered some high praise for San Francisco's head coach.

"When you look at a Kyle Shanahan offense, I think the thing that stands out the most -- that he does better than any coach in the NFL -- is the fusion between the run game and the pass game. The run game and the pass game with their play-action concepts look exactly the same.

"And it's very, very difficult for defenses to differentiate the too very often until it's too late. And when you have a quarterback like Garoppolo -- who tends to be a quick decision-maker, a quick processor, he has a very quick compact delivery and then the ball gets out -- I think that just makes it even more difficult."

The 49ers won all five of Garoppolo's starts last season and put up 26, 25, 44 and 34 points in the last four games, respectively.

He was rewarded with a 5-year, $137.5 million deal ($74.1 million guaranteed) -- which drastically increases the expectations.

Garoppolo and Shanahan could become one of the top head coach-quarterback duos for many years.

"When you talk to defensive coaches around the league, they will talk about Kyle Shanahan as one of the two or three of the best in the league when it comes to offensive design and game planning," Cosell added.