There has been so much talk about practice around 49ers headquarters that Allen Iverson would be rolling his eyes.
But practice is what coach Kyle Shanahan says the 49ers offense needs. Until this week, there had yet to be a session with all of the 49ers' key players available for team drills.
Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Raheem Mostert all have missed time due to injury or illness. Finally, this week, the team saw three straight practices with consistent personnel on the field.
The franchise quarterback confirmed what Kittle declared on Thursday; that they had just had the best practice of the season. Garoppolo, who is in his second week back after missing two weeks due to a high ankle sprain feels like the offense is making progress.
“When we get on the field, guys have just been locked in and it’s really what you need,” Garoppolo said. “Especially when you have young guys who are trying to play catch up with this different type of season. You’ve got to do things a little differently.”
Garoppolo is referring to the shortened offseason which not only has had an effect on the health of players in regards to soft tissue injuries, but also the team’s efficiency on the field. This week has helped the team get on the same page, hopefully reducing the miscommunication that has been an issue for the offense during the first five weeks of the season.
“Just to get three days in a row of guys working, I put a lot of pressure on them just making them work hard,” Shanahan said. “These guys took a lot of reps. More reps this week than they had probably this year combined. I know it was tiring on them. Hopefully it will help the out this week.”
Garoppolo knows that becoming the well-oiled machine that everyone saw last season will not happen overnight. But he also believes this week was a step in the right direction.
“I think it was just how locked in people were,” Garoppolo said. “This whole week there was a sense of urgency around the building that you feel.”
Now the 49ers simply need to show the same sense of urgency on the field. Garoppolo said the team has to move beyond the clichés and show they have what it takes when they host the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.