49ers

49ers Joe Staley among Pro Football Focus' best left tackles this generation

49ers Joe Staley among Pro Football Focus' best left tackles this generation

49ers left tackle Joe Staley recently received a well-deserved two-year extension through 2021. This was designed to make sure the 34-year-old will spend the rest of his career as a member of the team.

Good news for the 49ers. 

And what's even better is knowing how he's being viewed as one of the NFL's best tackles by Pro Football Focus.

Cameron Pezet wrote in April about the guy who will enter his 13th season with the 49ers, and called him "one of their highest-graded offensive players." 

"For starters, Staley’s career pass-blocking grade of 86.6 ranks 12th in the PFF era (2006-present) among left tackles with at least 100 career snaps," Pezet wrote. "However, it’s been run-blocking where Staley has truly excelled, ranking second in the PFF era with a career run-block grade of 92.4.

"He also owns the third-highest single-season run-block grade in PFF history by a left tackle, accumulating a mark of 92.4 over 19 games (including postseason) in 2012, and on a game-by-game basis, Staley’s name appears twice when looking at the top-15 graded games by a left tackle."

As far as examining Staley from year to year, Pezet noticed a fascinating turn in 2012. Don't get us wrong, his numbers prior to the season were good -- well, they were "respectable," but it was the Jim Harbaugh era where everything changed.

That's when Pezet writes he went from good to great.

[RELATED: How Staley, 49ers came together on extension]

"Staley broke out in the 2012 season by leading all tackles with a career-high 92.4 regular-season grade. He was particularly dominant in the run game that year, bulldozing his way to a 93.3 run-blocking grade that ranked first amongst all offensive lineman in the league. Staley hasn’t looked back since, as he now ranks first in run-block grading (93.0) and ninth in pass-block grading (89.5) among all left tackles with at least 1000 snaps played from 2012 to 2018.

"During that span, Staley’s overall grade of 94.2 ranks second only to former Cleveland Browns left tackle, Joe Thomas."

Joe freaking Thomas.

Staley's consistency is something that has separated him from the rest, and he's done it for a dozen years. As PFF writes, Staley entering this 13th season is when he will remain "as important as ever."

Jimmy Garoppolo takes 'good step' in 49ers' preseason win over Chiefs

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USATSI

Jimmy Garoppolo takes 'good step' in 49ers' preseason win over Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan vowed to keep Jimmy Garoppolo in Saturday night’s preseason game long enough for the quarterback to show he could get the offense into a rhythm.

That’s exactly what happened. 

“It was definitely better than the week before, and that would have been hard not to do,” Shanahan said. “It was cool that they got to stay out there longer, get into a little bit of a rhythm.”

Garoppolo did his best to not pay attention to negative publicity after his unproductive 11 snaps Monday night in Denver, and he ended up playing 37 snaps with the first-team offense in Saturday’s 27-17 win over the Chiefs. 

“You have to ignore it and just go play football,” Garoppolo said. “I thought it was a good step coming back here to K.C., the place where it all started. Just to get that out of the way, it’s another step in the right direction.” 

During pregame, Garoppolo even went to the exact spot at Arrowhead Stadium where he tore his ACL last season to reflect on what he’s gone through since the injury happened. 

“Pregame, I wanted to check on the spot,” Garoppolo said. “Once I did that, it was over with, time to move on.

“A lot has happened in the year since then. I don’t know, I just thought it’d be good to go back there and remember everything I’ve gone through.” 

That moment might have been just what the quarterback needed. Over five separate drives, Garoppolo threw to 10 different receivers, and completed 14 of his 20 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, giving him a 116.2 rating. Garoppolo’s longest throw was a 33-yarder to Richie James in the first quarter.

“It was good,” Garoppolo said. “It was a lot different than last week. Like I said, once you get the first first down, then you start to get into a rhythm. The run game was looking real good. I barely got touched except for the one sack, but the line blocked tremendously upfront. So, that makes everything a lot easier.” 

Shanahan explained that the progress from Garoppolo’s first game back to his second is natural. 

“It’s not a big surprise when a guy is out for a long time, especially coming off an ACL,” Shanahan said. “That’s just how football goes sometimes, especially in the preseason.

”Last week wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. But it definitely did look that bad live. Today, everyone was on the page a little bit better.”

Shanahan reported that Garoppolo was relatively even-keeled throughout the week, but the coach did see a little emotion out of his signal-caller. 

“A little bit,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy does get amped up sometimes, which I think can be a quality. It’s definitely a quality at times. Sometimes when it’s hard to focus, you have to bring them down a little bit, so you deal with that ebb and flow in games and throughout the week, throughout the season.” 

[RELATED: What we learned about 49ers in preseason win vs. Chiefs]

Garoppolo’s productivity set the pace for the rest of the 49ers’ offense, which managed 23 first downs and 381 total yards over 68 total plays.

The next time Garoppolo will see live game action is Week 1 at Tampa Bay, as he’s expected to sit out next week’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Kyle Shanahan plans to keep three QBs, but 49ers always will listen on trades

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AP

Kyle Shanahan plans to keep three QBs, but 49ers always will listen on trades

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kyle Shanahan said he believes the 49ers have three NFL quarterbacks, and they aren’t just going to let some team have one of them for nothing.

Following the 49ers’ 27-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the third preseason game for both teams, the coach said Saturday night that he plans for starter Jimmy Garoppolo and reserves Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard to be on San Francisco’s 53-man roster when the regular season begins in two weeks.

The message was sent that if another team — like the suddenly Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts — wants Mullens or Beathard, it will have to pay something in return.

Mullens completed 8 of 11 passes for 84 yards Saturday. Beathard did not play, but he figures to see a lot of action in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“We have three very good quarterbacks,” Shanahan said. “We plan on having three this year. But just like every other person on our roster, if someone thinks there’s a way to upgrade our team, we’ll always listen.

“We’re not ever going to just get rid of NFL players. And I know we have three NFL quarterbacks who can help us.”

The 49ers haven't kept three quarterbacks at the start of the regular season in Shanahan’s two previous years as coach. Garoppolo, Mullens and Beathard all have NFL starting experience.

On the surface, it would appear the 49ers will have a difficult time keeping three quarterbacks to open the season because of injuries to such players as running back Jerick McKinnon, wide receiver Trent Taylor, center Weston Richburg, defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, and cornerback Jason Verrett.

The 49ers might have to carry an extra player at other positions to compensate for the injuries during the early part of the season.

“It’s very rough," Shanahan said. "That’s why it’s tough decisions. But that’s something when you have three NFL quarterbacks, they’re not easy to come by, regardless of where you draft them or anything.

“When you have that, you don’t just give that away. That’s something that takes years to find.”

[RELATED: How Garoppolo looked on five drives vs. Chiefs]

The Colts could be in the quarterback market because of Luck’s surprise retirement announcement Saturday night.

“I was just told about Luck before I came in here, and it probably shocked me as much as everyone,” Shanahan said. “He’s one of the best guys in our league and one of the most impressive people I’ve been around, just going through the interview process and stuff. I’m sure he has a very good reason and everything, but, yeah, that was crazy to just hear that.”