49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo slated to play entire first half vs. Chiefs

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo slated to play entire first half vs. Chiefs

After a lackluster 11 snaps in Denver, Jimmy Garoppolo will have more of a chance to get his legs underneath him in Kansas City when coach Kyle Shanahan’s plan is for him to play the entire first half. 

“I would like them to get a whole half in,” Shanahan said. “But sometimes halves can be 20 plays and sometimes they could be 45, so it’s more about the play count. I’d like them to get a normal half in. 

“If they do, depending on how you start with the ball how many series you get, if you feel good about it we’d like to not put them back out in the third quarter. But if you don’t feel good and you don’t feel like they got the reps, it’s always an option.” 

Shanahan, like Garoppolo, would have liked the first-team offense to stay in the game longer in Denver but the risk of injury outweighed the reward of the offense getting into a rhythm. 

"It’s just really hard in the preseason when you have three bad drives like that and they want to stay in longer,” Shanahan said. “And every part of my body wants to keep them in longer but you got to make the smart decision and get them out. 

“You like to get guys going to get a quarterback in rhythm, an entire offense in rhythm and we didn’t do that. I truly believe if we stayed in there it would have been a matter of time.” 

When asked specifically about those 11 snaps facing the Broncos, Shanahan said that there was really only one that concerned him; the interception. 

“There was one play to go over,” Shanahan said. “The miscommunication on the protections that starts usually with the quarterback changing the protection. You got to make sure everyone gets it, and then when we don’t have guys blocked because of miscommunication you don’t throw it to their team. 

“Worst case scenario you just go down and take us back. Besides that, the other ones, you can talk about tipped throws and things like that.” 

Part of Garoppolo’s return will be getting over the mental hurdle of protecting his knee. While Garoppolo won’t admit it’s an issue, Shanahan says it’s only natural, especially this week when the team goes back to the venue where the injury occurred. 

“Any time you come back from an injury there’s a bunch of mental hurdles you have to get over every when you are healthy and feel good,” Shanahan said. “I’m sure there’s some stuff with it just being eerie going back to that same place but I haven’t talked to him about that specifically.” 

Shanahan believes that Garoppolo simply needs more time in a live game situation to rebuild his confidence. 

“That’s all Jimmy needs is just to play football whether he’s coming back from an injury or not,” Shanahan said. “We thought we were going to get that last year and unfortunately we didn’t. That was out of everyone’s control.” 

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While Shanahan would like Garoppolo to get a good amount of playing time in during the preseason, he won’t risk it. Tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, are not in need of extra snaps and he will not put Garoppolo on the field with a second-string offensive line facing defensive starters. 

“I want Jimmy to play as much as possible in the preseason and into the regular season but that’s a fine line too.” 

49ers' Richard Sherman responds to 'armchair coaches' who wanted tie

49ers' Richard Sherman responds to 'armchair coaches' who wanted tie

Over his nine-year NFL career, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has played for two head coaches: Pete Carroll and Kyle Shanahan. He doesn't come from the school of Herm Edwards, but the two have one thing in common. 

They play to win the game. 

The 49ers had a chance to settle for a tie in overtime when they fell to the Seahawks, 27-24, on Monday. Sherman saw tweets questioning Shanahan's play-calling at the end of the game, and in a way only the three-time All-Pro know how to, he fired back on Thursday. 

"That's coming from people who don't know ball, if I'm being honest," Sherman said to reporters. "You get to the point where you've got armchair quarterbacks, armchair GMs, armchair coaches like, 'Oh man, I would have done this.' And that's why you're sitting on the couch and not in this sport as a professional.

"You've got people, who don't do this for a living, talking about what they would have done, and it's cool, I guess, for social media chatter. It's great for it there. But as people who play the game, and who put the sacrifice in, who go out there and lay their bodies out on the line, you don't play a tie."

The 49ers had the ball on their own 20-yard line with the score tied and only 1:50 remaining in OT. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw three straight incompletions, and after a Mitch Wishnowsky punt, only 25 seconds ran off the clock. 

Shanahan and his offense had an opportunity to move down the field and improve to 9-0 on the season. They failed, yet still have the best record in the NFC. 

[RELATED: Should 49ers have gone for tie late in overtime loss]

"If you have a chance to drive the ball down the field and try to win the game," Sherman continued, "then I would think everybody would want us to try to win the game. You don't want a tie."

Sherman's right, and the 49ers remain in the driver's seat with seven games to go. 

49ers' K'Waun Williams on Pro Bowl ballot after Richard Sherman's plea

49ers' K'Waun Williams on Pro Bowl ballot after Richard Sherman's plea

Ask and you shall receive. 

Richard Sherman wanted fellow 49ers defensive back K'Waun Williams added to the Pro Bowl ballot after San Francisco's nickel corner originally had been left off it.

On Thursday, the NFL obliged.

The 49ers currently have the league's best pass defense according to DVOA, and Williams has been a big reason why. While San Francisco has had to use multiple outside corners due to injury, Williams had provided a consistent, steadying force in the slot. He's totaled 22 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions through 10 games, and opposing quarterbacks have been limited to a 67.6 passer rating when targeting him.

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was asked about Williams' addition to the ballot, and made it clear he thinks the recognition is deserved.

"He’s earned it," Saleh said, "he’s worked his tail off and he’s been healthy. I think people are starting to recognize how valuable he is in the slot."

Traditionally, nickelbacks have not been included on the Pro Bowl ballot, which partly explains why Williams was left off in the first place. But with the way the league is changing, Saleh thinks the NFL should reconsider how Pro Bowl rosters are constructed.

"You know, I don’t understand the whole system," Saleh added. "I think it’s archaic in terms of the nickel plays a majority of the snaps, but you still have a SAM backer and a fullback. I don’t know how the whole thing works, but I do think slot corner should get a little bit more recognition than they do. I’m pumped for him that he’s getting that."

[RELATED: 49ers' decisions on active players could be made for them]

While Williams' inclusion on the ballot is deserved, San Francisco certainly wouldn't mind if he wasn't able to participate in the actual Pro Bowl. That, of course, is because players participating in the Super Bowl are ineligible to play in the Pro Bowl, which occurs the week prior. If the 49ers reach the final game of the 2019 season, you can be sure Williams played a big role in helping them get there.