Why Emmanuel Sanders believes Kyle Shanahan is a 'wizard' on offense

Why Emmanuel Sanders believes Kyle Shanahan is a 'wizard' on offense

Emmanuel Sanders couldn't be happier to be on the 49ers after his mid-season trade from the Broncos.

After just two games with San Francisco, the veteran wide receiver has praised coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. His admiration for Shanahan continued on Wednesday, too.

"He's super smart," Sanders said on 95.7 The Game. "And Kyle, he stays ahead of -- in my opinion -- he stays ahead of the defense. He can predict exactly what the defense is gonna do, and he puts us in a lot of perfect play calls. It's impressive." 

Sanders already has 137 yards receiving and two touchdowns in his first two games with the 49ers, both resulting in wins. After watching film, Sanders has a new name for his new coach: Wizard. 

"I don't really notice it because I'm in the mood, I'm in the swing of the game," Sanders said. "I'm just making plays and I'm wondering why I'm running wide open ... then I go and watch the film and I'm like, look at this play call versus the defense that they gave us. Ya know, it's just a perfect play call. He's very, very sharp. He's a wizard when it comes to offensive play calling." 

Extreme Hagrid voice: "You're a wizard, Kyle!" OK, please keep reading. 

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Shanahan's offensive genius has led the 49ers to a perfect 8-0 record going into Monday's huge battle with the Seahawks. San Francisco ranks seventh in total yards per game (390.3), second in rushing yards per game (171.1) and third in points per game (29.4) despite coming in at No. 22 in passing yards per game (219.1). 

The 49ers' offense will have to stay sharp against a tougher schedule in the second half of the season, and Sanders clearly trusts the man calling the shots.

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

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Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.

But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."

Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.

While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.


Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.

After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.

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And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.

Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.