SANTA CLARA — Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown an interception to Richard Sherman two practices in a row but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan insists it’s a good thing.
Just one year ago, Garoppolo threw five interceptions in a row at training camp and the news outside of the building was that the 49ers were doomed. Instead, the team ended up heading to Miami Gardens to play in Super Bowl LIV, and nearly won it all.
“You get experience from practice,” Shanahan said. “You can coach it the exact same way as you would in a game, but it’s a little bit easier because the emotions aren’t there of winning and losing the game, and everyone in the world seeing it.”
Shanahan explained that coaching those mistakes is actually enjoyable, knowing that the team will get better from it. Sherman provided a wake up call for the 49ers quarterback that is especially valuable with the absence of joint practices or preseason games this year.
Shanahan chalked up the interceptions to Sherman playing with vision as opposed to Garoppolo trying to force a play. Shanahan explained that the intended receivers weren’t even who Sherman was covering, just the All-Pro playing with instincts and experience.
“If you sail one over, or looking too long, knowing where he is, Sherm is going to follow your eyes and come out of nowhere,” Shanahan said. "And that’s happened twice in last two days. It’s great to remind them you got to work on your eyes here.”
Shanahan knows the benefit of those teachable moments and at times, needs them himself. He has gone into Week 1 after having success throughout training camp calling the same plays repeatedly.
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When the opposing defense, while having the same three-deep scheme has been able to make a stop, it reminds Shanahan that things are going to be different than what he’s seen facing his own defense. He’d rather have those moments at practice than in the regular season so he’s thankful they’ve already had a few of them.
“It helps keep everyone honest," Shanahan said.