This week is a balancing act for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, as he learns the game plan and prepares to face the new-look Detroit Lions in Week 1 of the regular season.
Garoppolo knows that Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn did not give away too many secrets during the exhibition season.
“New head coach and everything so new D-coordinator, so I’m sure they'll have a couple of things for us that we haven't seen,” Garoppolo said.
The 49ers’ offense has some secrets of its own, including if (or how much) the club plans to mix rookie quarterback Trey Lance into the action with his running ability.
But, for the most part, the 49ers’ offense will look much the same as it has the past three seasons with Garoppolo at quarterback. The Lions are pushing the idea of a new regime and different phase of football under first-year head coach Dan Campbell.
“You kind of play the game of you don't want to over-prepare for things, you don't want to under-prepare,” Garoppolo said. “I don't know. There's some guessing involved in it because they don't want to show everything in preseason, but you don't want to assume too much.
“You're kind of in-between. You’re trying to play both sides of the fence and just prepare for almost everything.”
The Lions' defense will feature a couple of familiar faces. Michael Brockers comes to Detroit after playing the previous nine seasons with the St. Louis and Los Angeles Rams. Garoppolo was a teammate of inside linebacker Jamie Collins for two seasons with the New England Patriots.
Ultimately, Garoppolo said the 49ers’ success on Sunday will be all about how they execute their plan against whatever the Lions do schematically.
“There's your core plays that you have and that you've run out here and that you get good at over time, OTAs, training camp,” Garoppolo said. “You have to do some guessing, I guess, at points, but you can't go chasing ghosts.”