Kyle Shanahan has a type.
It's no secret the 49ers coach had an affinity for quarterback Kirk Cousins before Jimmy Garoppolo fell into Shanahan's lap in a trade with the New England Patriots back in 2017. Both QBs also thrive off of play action.
Cousins led all NFC quarterbacks with 14 touchdowns last season off play-action passes. That's more than half of his 26 total passing touchdowns. Garoppolo wasn't too far behind, as his nine play-action TDs had him tied with Drew Brees and Dak Prescott for third among QBs in the conference.
You like that? pic.twitter.com/4lEoq7CPFB— PFF (@PFF) June 16, 2020
Shanahan's offense relies on motion and play action. Going into Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers led all of football by using motion on 75 percent of their plays.
The emergence of running back Raheem Mostert should only help Garoppolo on play action this season. Jerick McKinnon's health also could play a role, whether out of the backfield or lining up in the slot for jet sweeps. Shanahan doesn't just use play action for passes, either.
Just look how used the element of surprise to get the ball in receiver Deebo Samuel's hands as a ball-carrier.
The 49ers have used this play three times since Week 14 and have averaged 31 yards per play. pic.twitter.com/BBscAFnv43— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) January 21, 2020
With more healthy weapons in his pocket, Shanahan should continue to use play action to his season to help Garoppolo as much as he can.
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