SANTA CLARA – Jimmy Garoppolo expects to wear a brace on his surgically repaired left knee for the entire 2019 season.
The 49ers franchise quarterback can only hope everything this season is as simple as finding the right protective device.
“Yeah, I love it,” Garoppolo said after his second day of going through 7-on-7 drills during 49ers organized team activities.
“That was actually the first one I tried. It fit like a glove the first time, so shout out to the training staff for finding that.”
Garoppolo is working his way back slowly from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that ended his season in Week 4 of his first full year with the 49ers. He is now taking part in his second offseason program with the 49ers.
When he entered the 49ers’ starting lineup for the final five games of the 2017 season, he knew only as much of the offense to enable him to get through each week’s game plan. A year ago, when he reported back for the team's offseason program, he was learning the offense from the beginning – like a rookie.
“(It’s) much smoother, that’s for sure, the installs and everything,” Garoppolo said. “Last year, it was really my first time sitting down and learning it from an OTA point of view rather than cramming for a test. It’s been smoother and a lot more simple in the mornings.
“The majority of our offense that we do right now is the bulk of the stuff. It’s stuff that we do 75-percent of the time. We’re not really game-planning for our defense. You more so want to get the reps in to help you as an offense. It’s getting guys comfortable, the new guys, the young guys, getting them all comfortable and getting us all on the same page.”
Garoppolo appears on pace for a return to 11-on-11 work at the start of training camp in late-July. Until then, he is taking part in the more controlled passing sessions that do not involve a pass rush.
“The training staff and coaches have put together a nice plan and just getting the reps of 7-on-7 and seeing the defense, safeties, things like that," Garoppolo said. "It’s good to be back out there and being able to see all that stuff again."
During 7-on-7 drills on Tuesday, Garoppolo completed 15 of 20 pass attempts to 12 different receivers. Making high-velocity throws down the field and the quick, improvisational movements within the pocket to create room to throw are the last pieces of the puzzle for Garoppolo.
“The ropes down the field, the movement, escaping the pocket and things like that, just the awkward movements that you can’t really predict in practice,” Garoppolo said. “Yeah, it’s coming together nicely, though.”