49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo's struggles don't faze 49ers' Richard Sherman, NFL scouts

Jimmy Garoppolo's struggles don't faze 49ers' Richard Sherman, NFL scouts

“R-E-L-A-X.”

Aaron Rodgers famously spelled that out after the Green Bay Packers began struggling to start the 2014 season.

According to many around the NFL, critics need to take the same approach with 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

"I know he will be fine," 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman told Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman. "First game back after major injury with massive pressure in his face every pass snap. Not the ideal game to be back [from] first. Chubb made it that way."

Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb did wreak havoc on the 49ers first-team offense, blowing past veteran tackle Joe Staley and providing the pressure that forced Garoppolo into his first interception to Isaac Yiadom. Garoppolo finished 1-for-6 passing with a whopping zero yards, netting him a rare 0.0 QB rating.

However, it was also his first time back in live game action since Sept. 23, 2018, and the 49ers were already keeping two starting offensive linemen on the shelf for the team’s second preseason game.

Freeman also spoke with several scouts across the league about Garoppolo, and none had any concerns after the disastrous performance.

"I know he can do it," an NFC East scout told Freeman. "I've seen it."

Jimmy G did win all five of his starts after joining the 49ers in 2017, and threw for 1,560 yards and seven touchdowns. 

The problem with analyzing Garoppolo is he has such a limited sample size of both good and bad performances. In his three starts before the injury in 2018, Garoppolo was far from the franchise savior many had made him out to be, as his completion percentage was below 60 percent and he threw three interceptions.

[RELATED: 49ers' Kyle Shanahan confident Jimmy Garoppolo can block out negativity]

His record-setting contract (at the time) is another point of contention, as no QB had ever been paid nine figures with a track record of just seven wins as a starter.

Despite all the noise surrounding the 27-year-old’s return to the field, his teammates, coaches, and rival scouts have no qualms about Garoppolo. Maybe it’s time we all take the hint and give Jimmy G a full season before we rush to anoint him either a bust or a superstar worthy of the hundreds of millions of dollars the 49ers gave him.

Source: 49ers 'not in' on Jalen Ramsey trade talks with Jaguars

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Source: 49ers 'not in' on Jalen Ramsey trade talks with Jaguars

The 49ers are “not in” on trade activity involving Jacksonville Jaguars two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday.

The Jaguars are shopping Ramsey, who requested a trade, NFL Network reported Monday. Ramsey, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 draft, had a heated sideline confrontation with Jaguars coach Doug Marrone during Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans.

Jaguars general manager David Caldwell reached out to all 31 other NFL teams to gauge the league-wide interest in acquiring Ramsey in a trade, according to a source.

The 49ers likely are not currently active in discussions to acquire Ramsey due to the level of compensation the Jaguars are seeking, as well as the price it would cost to sign Ramsey to a contract extension. Ramsey is scheduled to make $13.7 million in 2020 on the fifth-year option.

The 49ers are projected to be $27 million under the salary cap for the 2020 season, but the club has potential big-money extensions looming for defensive end DeForest Buckner and tight end George Kittle that could account for that cap cushion.

The 49ers do not have a second-round draft pick in 2020 after trading that pick in order to acquire Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason.

[RELATED: 49ers' Sherman, Witherspoon erase bad memories in win vs. Bucs]

The 49ers also appear to have better depth at cornerback than they have experienced in a while. Third-year player Ahkello Witherspoon has gotten off to a good start opposite of veteran Richard Sherman. Both players returned interceptions for touchdowns in the 49ers’ Week 1 victory over Tampa Bay.

Moreover, veteran cornerback Jason Verrett is healthy but has not suited up for the 49ers’ first two games as the club went with backups Emmanuel Moseley and D.J. Reed because of the versatility each offers on special teams.

49ers' deep, talented group of pass rushers impresses Steelers' Mike Tomlin

49ers' deep, talented group of pass rushers impresses Steelers' Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has led his team to the playoffs in seven of his previous 12 seasons.

If he can somehow make it eight in 13 years, it likely will rank as his finest coaching achievement -- even for a man who has a Super Bowl ring.

“I do enjoy the challenges and the adversity that the game presents,” Tomlin said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “So from that standpoint, it does create a sense of urgency that’s a good fuel.”

The Steelers are 0-2, and they lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to season-ending elbow surgery. Second-year pro Mason Rudolph takes over as the Steelers’ starting quarterback, and he will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the 2-0 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

“From mental preparation standpoint, I think one of the reasons we have a great deal of comfort and he has a great deal of comfort is because he’s always approached each day as if he’s the starter and has brought that level of urgency to his preparation,” Tomlin said of Rudolph. “That’s just mental preparation, the process that he goes through on Monday and Tuesday in terms of laying the foundation.”

Rudolph and the Steelers have plenty to study this week as they prepare to face an invigorated 49ers defense that appears vastly improved from the unit that last season generated only seven takeaways, including two interceptions, in 16 games. Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon returned interceptions for touchdowns in the opening-week win over Tampa Bay.

“First of all, they’re creating a great deal of negativity on defense,” Tomlin said. “They’re getting turnovers and scoring points. Boy, that makes you a tough outfit to beat.”

The 49ers have already registered four interceptions. Robert Saleh's defense also has forced four fumbles, recovering one of them. In addition, the 49ers have rotated nine defensive linemen and generated seven quarterback sacks through two games.

“I just like they way they use a large number of people,” Tomlin said. “They got a great rotation and everybody’s productive and fresh and playing hard. That’s one of the key attributes of what they do systematically defensive. It’s no different than when we played Seattle a week ago, and they run a bunch of defensive linemen at you.

“The 4-3 teams that generate rush with those guys primarily have to play a lot of people, and they need all those guys to be productive in order to play great, and obviously they’re playing great at this point.”

[RELATED: Why didn't the Steelers look into signing Colin Kaepernick?]

Six different 49ers defensive linemen have combined for the seven sacks, led by Arik Armstead with two in two games. Nick Bosa has one sack and has produced 10 quarterback pressures, which ranks tops among all NFL rookies, according to Pro Football Focus.

“He’s been in some good situations,” Tomlin said. “They’ve been in some good situations being up in their football games and his talents are able to show. I got a lot of respect for him as a rusher, and I have a lot of respect for them as rushers. Not only the talented individuals within the group, but how they work collectively together, Dee Ford, and everyone else.”