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49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo 'One of the Better Throwers on This Planet,' Shanahan Says

Adam WellsSeptember 23, 2022

Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan offered high praise for Jimmy Garoppolo heading into Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Asked by a reporter if he's noticed anything different about Garoppolo after Friday's practice, Shanahan said the veteran quarterback is "one of the better throwers on this planet."

49ers on NBCS @NBCS49ers

"I think Jimmy is one of the better throwers on this planet" -Kyle Shanahan <a href="https://t.co/uVxp918q8O">pic.twitter.com/uVxp918q8O</a>

Garoppolo's ability as a player has always made him a divisive figure among fans and analysts. There are certainly aspects of his game that are easy to praise, including a quick release that allows him to avoid taking unnecessary hits.

One of the drawbacks to Garoppolo's style is it can be predictable. He lives in the middle of the field and will rarely target anything outside of the numbers.

Akash Anavarathan @akashanav

Here’s Jimmy Garoppolo’s targets from the 2021 season (via PFF’s QB Annual). <br><br>No one chart describes the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a>’ offense better than this one. <br><br>Shanahan hammered Garoppolo’s strength all season long despite every defense trying to stop it. Pretty nuts. <a href="https://t.co/MzPJooP3BR">pic.twitter.com/MzPJooP3BR</a>

One likely reason the 49ers traded up in the 2021 draft to select Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick is because he has the type of arm talent to take advantage of plays outside the numbers and deep down the field.

Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats

Trey Lance brought a vertical element to the 49ers offense in his second career start.<br><br>Lance averaged the most air yards/attempt (11.5) and threw for the most yards on 10+ air yards passes (205) by any 49ers QB in a game over the last three seasons.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HOUvsSF?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HOUvsSF</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FTTB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FTTB</a> <a href="https://t.co/EBe38tvrUU">pic.twitter.com/EBe38tvrUU</a>

Even though there are limitations to what Garoppolo is capable of doing, the 49ers are certainly happy to have kept him in the wake of Lance's season-ending ankle injury suffered in the first quarter of their Week 2 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

If the 49ers had traded or released Garoppolo, as was expected for most of the offseason, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which they would have been able to contend for the playoffs without him knowing what we know now.

San Francisco has been incredibly successful with Garoppolo at quarterback. He is 31-14 in 45 career starts with the team since 2017. Shanahan has a 9-29 record in 38 games as 49ers head coach when Jimmy G doesn't start.

Garoppolo will be making his first start of the 2022 season in Week 3. He threw for 154 yards and accounted for two touchdowns in the 27-7 victory over the Seahawks last week.

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