SANTA CLARA — All reports of Jimmy Garoppolo’s return have been positive.
First-year 49ers quarterbacks coach Shane Day agrees with those assessments and detailed what Garoppolo needs to work on.
“I’ve been really encouraged by what I’ve seen,” Day said. “There’s a couple of aspects, one is coming back from the knee injury, which is kind of a work in progress that we are all communicating and working through which has all looked good. He’s right on pace with that.
“And then from a standpoint of playing quarterback, he’s working on some things technique wise, and kind of another time through with the offense. The first time he came here he started in the middle of the season, then he had an offseason, and then he was injured.
“So just getting back to those fundamentals and techniques to really play the position fast and he’s learning more knowledge about the offense, so he has a greater understanding of why Kyle (Shanahan) is calling plays. He’s been really good at all aspects of that."
Garoppolo has been limited to 7-on-7 work without facing a pass rush, and has been building chemistry and working on timing with his receivers, tight ends and running backs.
“I think with Jimmy it’s really just getting the timing of the offense,” Day said. “After the injury, coming back and really discovering ‘Hey, on my drops are my eyes timing up with my reads?’ I think he’s really made a big step in that direction. I think he’s really gotten faster with that stuff and he’s really progressing in the right direction.
“I think in the last week or so, especially this week of practice so far, in the two practices, you’ve really seen him kind of make a big jump which we’re really all encouraged by.”
While no time off for injury is ever welcomed, Garoppolo has now seen the game from a different perspective. He watched games from the coaches booth as well as from the sidelines.
“Any time that you’re removed from that starting position, you kind of get some space to really kind of learn your teammates and learn the offense and I think there’s a lot of truth to that,” Day said.
“When the heat is on you all the time, a lot of the times you’re just, hey, get to the next play, what do I have to do for this gameplan? When you have some time off, and you’re not the man, you can breathe a little bit and see a little bit bigger scope of the game, and your team, and how it all fits together.”
The big question, of course, is if Garoppolo will be ready for full participation for training camp and subsequently the regular season.
“I think right now it’s all systems go,” Day said. “I haven’t seen any limitations from his play in the situations that we’ve put him in, which we’ve been very careful, from Kyle, to me, to the training staff.
"We have all been on the same page as an organization, not putting him in situations where he can put himself in harm. It’s always a process but at this point, right now, I think we all feel good about it, where he’s at.”