DENVER — The 49ers' offensive line was without starting guard Mike Person and center Weston Richburg which may have made Jimmy Garoppolo’s preseason debut a little more challenging.
When asked if he had any hesitation putting Garoppolo behind a line without those key pieces coach Kyle Shanahan replied very succinctly.
“No. Not at all," Shanahan said after the 49ers' 24-15 win over the Broncos on Monday night at Mile High Stadium.
Both Broncos defensive ends Von Miller and Bradley Chubb showed their ability to disrupt the opposing offense. Shanahan explained the challenge of facing the two talented pass rushers but refused to criticize his offensive line on the small sample size.
“I think that’s how everyone looks when you go against [Bradley] Chubb and Von Miller,” Shanahan said. “We had some third downs and they got us in a couple tees and we had one long developing play that you take a risk for a double move on the back coming and they got us.
“The next time, they blocked and got rid of it. We had two tipped passes. I think that’s like 10 plays, so I’m not going to sit and judge each individual for just 10 plays. I’d like to let them play longer but I can’t."
Garoppolo had a rough night, completing just one of his six attempts for no yards and one interception, but he put the onus on himself for the lack of production.
“I think those guys did a pretty good job up front,” Garoppolo said. “For the most part, it was a clean pocket. I only got hit like once maybe. For the most part it was pretty good up front. I just personally have to be better.”
Garoppolo explained that his surgically repaired knee did not have an effect on his confidence in the pocket. He is not concerned about taking that first hit.
“I think those will just come naturally,” Garoppolo said. “It’s football, and you know what you sign up for and everything, so I think there's value here in wanting that. I think I’ll build that in due time.”
Despite the bad night, Garoppolo found the positive in knocking the rust off and getting those first few snaps back under the bright lights out of the way. He and the offense will have another chance to get a rhythm together in a few days when they play their third exhibition game in Kansas City on Saturday.
“Just playing positive,” Garoppolo said. “We’ll go back and watch the film and everything, but I think like I said up front, I think those guys did a pretty good job of holding up. I really didn't get hit very much, so I appreciate them for that.”