Jimmy Garoppolo is entering his fourth full season in charge of Kyle Shanahan's offense for the 49ers.
Shanahan has said Garoppolo had his best offseason as a 49er to date and has more command of the offense as he has in years past. Garoppolo, 29, has seen the benefits of being well-versed in the complex system during training camp.
“Yeah. It's not something that I tried to do in the offseason," Garoppolo told reporters Wednesday. "I've always had a leadership quality, I guess you could say, but I think just understanding the offense and having a better feel for where guys are, how to get guys in certain spots, calling the plays, all those little things that go into it. I think that it just comes with experience and that's one thing that I've noticed out here and it's paying off.”
“This offense is just different," Garoppolo said. "We've cut down some of the verbiage and things like that, which makes it easier. But it's just it's a different type of offense. It's constantly changing. We're trying new things this day and the next day we try this with it. There's just a lot of moving parts that you have to as a quarterback, mentally hone in on it and focus. And once you do, it becomes a lot easier.”
Shanahan's offense is complex, and that's ramped up in training camp when the offensive maestro wants to see his signal-callers run every wrinkle to perfection. Once the season starts, though, the focus is narrowed each week.
“Yeah, it adds a lot of work throughout the week," Garoppolo said when asked about how the 49ers' heavy pre-snap motion usage adds more to his workload. "That's why, once we get into the game planning part of it, it's totally different than what we've been doing in training camp. Training camp, you’ve got the entire playbook, everything's at Kyle's access just like that and you just have to be able to recall it.
"Once we get into the gameplan, it’s kind of more condensed and you kind of have an idea of what you're doing going into the game. And so, it allows you to focus more and hone in on those little things.”
Garoppolo entered training camp as the 49ers' starting quarterback but has received competition from No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance. While Shanahan has yet to name a starting quarterback for the 49ers' Week 1 tilt with the Detroit Lions, signs still are pointing to Garoppolo being the man under center to open the season.
“It's whatever he decides, yeah," Garoppolo said smiling about the 49ers' QB competition. "I have a pretty good idea. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now and everything and just the offense as a whole. Yeah, Kyle’s the head man. He'll make the call.”
Garoppolo and the 49ers will go through a dress rehearsal Sunday when they face the Las Vegas Raiders in their final preseason game.