49ers

Jeff Garcia 'can see the capabilities' of Shanahan, Garoppolo together

shanahan-garoppolo-49ers-jaguars-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Jeff Garcia 'can see the capabilities' of Shanahan, Garoppolo together

The 49ers head into the final week of the season without a victory this season against an NFC West opponent.

The Los Angeles Rams (11-4) have clinched the division title and are locked into hosting a game in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs. The 49ers (5-10) can draft as high as No. 5 overall with a loss or as low as No. 11 with a victory.

Former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia, now an analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area, said on the 49ers Insider Podcast he sees a great opportunity for Kyle Shanahan’s team to continue to build momentum for 2018.

“I think this is a great opportunity for them to prove their value and show it wasn’t a fluke that they beat a playoff team against Jacksonville and even with the win over Tennessee,” Garcia said. “Being able to compete in their division and also against a young team that has risen to the top very fast under a new coach (Sean McVay).”

Garcia said he was especially impressed with the performances of Shanahan to mesh his game plan against the top-ranked Jaguars defense to fit Jimmy Garoppolo’s skillset. The work of Shanahan and Garoppolo together during the 49ers’ four-game win streak bodes well for the future, Garcia said.

“He’s able to expand the offensive installation with Jimmy,” Garcia said. “Now that Jimmy has had a better chance to get a firm grip on the system and really start to bring everything he has within his playbook, you can see the capabilities of what this offense can produce.”

Greg Cosell singles out 49ers player he believes is poised for a breakout season

kittlegeorgerunrams.jpg
AP

Greg Cosell singles out 49ers player he believes is poised for a breakout season

With the 146th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected...

George Kittle.

The tight end from Iowa had a solid rookie season -- racking up 43 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns.

On the latest episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco, Greg Cosell of NFL Films was talking about Kyle Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay. And then unsolicited, pivoted the conversation to Kittle.

"You know, I think one player we should mention who I really liked coming out of college -- and I know he fought some injuries last year but I think that he has a chance to be a really meaningul part of this offense -- and that's George Kittle," Cosell said. "I think George Kittle is a really good tight end who can do a lot of things.

"He can line up and be a really good blocking tight end -- and obviously we know that Kyle's offense does start with the run game. I think he's more athletic than people probably give him credit for.

"I remember studying him coming out of Iowa and looking at some of his Combine measureables -- some were superior to those of OJ Howard from Alabama, and I think people would be surprised by that.

"In this offense he might not catch 80 balls, but he might average 14-15 yards a catch, and for a tight end that's pretty darn good."

Kittle had his best game in the season finale -- four catches for 100 yards at the Rams.

Why Greg Cosell believes Jimmy Garoppolo needs work on his 'quarterback feet'

jimmygredeyes.jpg
USATSI

Why Greg Cosell believes Jimmy Garoppolo needs work on his 'quarterback feet'

Greg Cosell, a senior producer at NFL Films, believes 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo “has a chance to be a top-level quarterback.” But there remains room for improvement from the player the 49ers awarded a franchise-record contract in the offseason.

Garoppolo has a quick release and can throw at a number of different arm angles to avoid oncoming pass-rushers. And while his accuracy underneath was unquestioned during his 5-0 run as the 49ers’ starter last season, most of the time, his deep throws did not reach the target.

Garoppolo completed just 4 of 16 attempts to targets 20 yards or more down the field last season for 134 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions, according to Pro Football Focus.

[RELATED: Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL']

During the offseason program, Garoppolo appeared to struggle on his deep throws, too. Cosell, a guest on the 49ers Insider Podcast, spoke about Garoppolo’s mechanics.

“Because he has very quick feet, I think people just assume he has great feet all the time when he delivers the ball,” Cosell said. “There’s a difference between having quick, athletic feet and having really good quarterback feet. And I think he needs to work on the quarterback feet part.

“I think guys who have that kind of snap delivery, sometimes they don’t step exactly to their throw and they throw a little bit off-balance, and that could really impact your accuracy to a significant degree. So my guess is those are the kinds of things they’ve worked on. Those are tweaks. I don’t think it will prevent him from being a really good player.”

Garoppolo appeared in six games with five starts last season after the 49ers acquired him for a second-round draft pick in a trade with the New England Patriots. Garoppolo completed 120 of 178 pass attempts (67.4 percent) for 1,580 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.

Cosell said it is important for all quarterbacks to use consistent mechanics when making throws from a clean pocket.

“Think of a major league pitcher,” Cosell said. “They theoretically should throw the ball the same way every time. So should a quarterback unless the defense dictates otherwise. If the defense doesn’t dictate otherwise, the throws should look the same.”