INGLEWOOD — Jimmy Garoppolo saw a lot of positives from the 49ers' first drive in the team’s 15-10 preseason win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday night.
The original plan was for the veteran quarterback to lead the offense for one series and then sit out and let Trey Lance take over with most of the first team on the field. The intention was for Garoppolo to go back under center after two drives by the rookie.
After Garoppolo put together a 16-play drive to start the game, Kyle Shanahan needed to re-evaluate the situation. Not wanting to keep his starting quarterback on the field any longer, Garoppolo’s night ended early.
The lengthy series ended with an interception instead of a touchdown which Garoppolo took responsibility for. While he wished he could have had more opportunities, he is already looking forward to next week’s match up facing the Las Vegas Raiders.
“To sustain a 16-play drive like that, we were moving it pretty well,” Garoppolo said. “That’s tough, so it takes the momentum away from the other team, lets you get rolling, control the clock. When we’ve done that in the past, we’ve usually had success.
“It was a good start, I wish we were able to do more with it but hopefully next week.”
With the 49ers “quarterback competition” dominating headlines across the country, Garoppolo is calm and unflappable. The veteran simply is taking each practice to improve and sees more challenge from his head coach to improve than from the rookie in quarterbacks room.
“I think Kyle is always challenging us,” Garoppolo said. “He kind of knows us and knows how to push us in certain ways. I’m not too worried about that, I’m just trying to go out there and now get ready for the Raiders. There’s just so many other things to worry about. I’ll let the chips fall as they may type of thing.”
The most difficult thing for Garoppolo this preseason has been not been able to be out on the field with the full starting line up. Only then will he feel like they will really have a full sense of getting ready for the regular season.
“I’m ready to roll,” Garoppolo said. “It will be nice this next week just to get all the guys out there. Even if it’s for a half or a little bit into the third quarter. It will nice to be able to get the guys out there and get things rolling and see where we are at out there.”