49ers

Shanahan took advantage of every second to teach Garoppolo

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USATSI

Shanahan took advantage of every second to teach Garoppolo

Just five plays into Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start with the 49ers, coach Kyle Shanahan had his new quarterback go into the no-huddle offense.

Garoppolo had no offseason program with the 49ers. He had no training camp. He arrived in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 after a trade with the New England Patriots. On Dec. 3, he took the field as the 49ers' starter.

Shanahan took advantage of nearly every second to teach Garoppolo the offense – including all 25 seconds when radio communication was allowed into the ear piece embedded in Garoppolo's helmet before every offensive snap.

Shanahan’s voice was in Garoppolo’s ear up to the point when the sideline-to-quarterback communication is cut off with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock. It was common for Shanahan to explain the play call, the reads and the defensive look to Garoppolo in the allotted time.

“If you can get to the line of scrimmage quick enough and you can talk to him, especially the situation Jimmy was in last year, where he needed as much as you could because of his lack of time in our offense,” Shanahan said at the NFL owners meeting this week in Orlando, Florida. “Yes, we did that a lot with Jimmy. But it’s done with all quarterbacks.

“We’ve been doing that for a long time. That’s why we go no-huddle sometimes, so we can get to the line of scrimmage and you can see stuff and you can talk until 15 seconds. We’ve been doing that for a number of years.”

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay, who coached on the same staff as Shanahan with Washington, came under scrutiny last season for doing the same thing with second-year quarterback Jared Goff.

The 49ers went into the no-huddle offense for 12 snaps in Garoppolo’s first start – a 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears. The offense typically went without a huddle early in games and logged approximately 10 snaps a game to maximize Shanahan’s voice in Garoppolo’s ear.

The no-huddle offense is likely to remain a valuable change-of-pace element of Shanahan’s offense. But Garoppolo will certainly have a greater understanding of Shanahan’s thought process with a full offseason in the program. The 49ers report for their nine-week offseason program on April 16.

“He couldn’t learn at all last year,” Shanahan said. “It was just a crash course and it just enough to try to get him to Sunday. Now, we can take our time, teach him the formations from the beginning, so he actually knows where everybody is and how we move everybody around.”

Garoppolo should have a deeper understanding of every facet of Shanahan’s offense, including pass protections, the run game and gaining a greater understanding of Shanahan's thought processes and every-changing game plans.

“Hopefully, it doesn’t make him worse,” Shanahan quipped. “He played pretty well last year.”

Shanahan does not anticipate many other changes to his process of running the 49ers’ offense in Year 2. Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur fill roles as the 49ers’ specialists in the run and pass games, respectively. Shanahan also leans on veteran offensive assistants John Embree and Bobby Turner.

“I think I delegated a lot last year, and I’m also very hands-on, too,” Shanahan said. “So I don’t see that ever changing.”

Shanahan said made an adjustment last season on how he budgeted his time moving from offensive coordinator for nine NFL seasons to head coach. With other requirements earlier in the week, Shanahan moved his schedule around to catch up later in the week to get fully prepared for game day. Shanahan called every offensive play last season.

“If you’re the best guy for that, and that’s what you got hired for, that’s what you should do,” he said.

Jimmy Garoppolo opens up about work he did with Mike Shanahan

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USATSI

Jimmy Garoppolo opens up about work he did with Mike Shanahan

SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t able to work with 49ers coaches much during the end of the regular season while he was rehabbing from a torn ACL, so he took advantage of another resource: Mike Shanahan. 

Once Garoppolo was back in the building and working with the medical and training staffs, coach Kyle Shanahan and then-49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello were busy game-planning with C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens. Garoppolo had to find other ways to work on his game. 

“There’s a number of things,” Garoppolo said. “Whether it’s film room or getting with the coaches. It was tough during the season because they were busy game-planning and stuff like that. 

“But, like I said before, it’s been a very productive offseason. Whether it was in the film room or out on the field. Even trying new things. Different drops, how your movement is. It’s been a very productive offseason.”

The younger Shanahan wanted Garoppolo to get some classroom work in, so he enlisted someone he trusts. He brought in his father, who is a two-time Super Bowl winning coach.

Garoppolo described what they did during their weeks together in December. 

“A lot of different things,” Garoppolo said. “He’s one of the best to ever to do it, obviously. A Hall of Fame guy. He’s just incredibly smart. Seeing the game from his point of view is different. He was looking at it differently than a quarterback. It’s hard to describe. It’s going to help me a lot going forward.”

Garoppolo explained that they didn’t just watch his own film, they broke down a variety of game clips from both sides of the ball.

[RELATED: Is Garoppolo the 'next Mahomes?']

“Literally, everything,” Garoppolo said. “We watched our offense, our defense, other teams, teams that played two years ago that he thought a clip could help me. It’s applicable in different ways. He’s so smart that it was incredible to have that experience and I thank him a lot for that.”

Kyle believes it was beneficial for both parties. Garoppolo had the chance to take advantage of a new resource and his father was able to do one of the things he really enjoys: talk about football. 

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo could be 'next Mahomes,' AFC executive says

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AP

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo could be 'next Mahomes,' AFC executive says

When John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan traded for Jimmy Garoppolo 18 months ago, he was the darling of the NFL. Much was expected of the quarterback when he came to Santa Clara, and he delivered by leading the 49ers to a 5-0 record to finish the 2017 season.

But a torn ACL in Week 3 of the 2018 season put Jimmy G on the backburner.

That allowed second-year Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to step up and take the league by storm. The former first-round draft pick led Kansas City to the No. 1 seed in the AFC and took them to the AFC Championship game, where they lost to the New England Patriots, and he later was voted 2018 NFL MVP.

So, who could be the next player to have a breakout season like Mahomes?

Apparently, it's Garoppolo.

"He's got the best chance to be the next Mahomes," an unnamed AFC team executive recently told Bleacher Report.

[RELATED: Garoppolo raves over player performance staff]

Garoppolo is nearing the end of his rehab process, and Shanahan expects the 27-year-old quarterback to be ready for training camp in July.

The 49ers had high hopes for the 2018 season, and Garoppolo's ACL injury caused those hopes to come crashing down. Now, with a revamped defense and more help coming through the draft, expectations again are high in Santa Clara. A big season from Garoppolo would go a long way to helping the 49ers achieve their goal of making a deep playoff run.