Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer cramming for a weekly exam.
Garoppolo is going through his first offseason as a member of the 49ers, and he is learning Kyle Shanahan’s complex scheme from the beginning – without taking any shortcuts.
He was traded to the 49ers with just two months left in the season. He took over for C.J. Beathard as the starter for the final five games. He might have learned the offense, but he never really knew it.
That is why this offseason has been vital for Garoppolo, as he has the time to fully grasp the offense. The 49ers are currently in their second week of organized team activities at their Santa Clara practice facility.
“You start over with formations to understand ‘why,’ so that he’s not just memorizing it all every single week,” Shanahan said. “You just know things. You don’t have to sit there and think about it. When you do that, you can just focus on really the tough jobs, which is throwing, going through progressions, playing in that pocket.”
Garoppolo took a crash course on learning the 49ers’ terminology upon his arrival from New England last season. Rather than learning the basics of the 49ers' offense and building from there, Garoppolo’s knowledge of the system was based on learning the plays involved in one game plan, then moving on to a new game plan the following week.
“Everyone knows the crash course that Jimmy got last year and it’s been nice to just slow it down, teach him some of the verbiage and the ‘whys,’ instead of just, ‘Hey, memorize this by Sunday,’ “ Shanahan said.
“It’s been nice for him to know why and be able to relax and talk through that stuff. Then, you hope that the more you do that, it’ll carry over to play better.”
Garoppolo completed 67.4 percent of his pass attempts for 1,560 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions while leading the 49ers to a 5-0 finish.