The San Francisco 49ers kick off a three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday with two days' worth of practices. The third day, like last year, will be used as a "Family Day." This will be the last week 49ers players will practice together before they receive a nearly six-week break until the start of training camp in late July.

Below are some 49ers-related questions heading into this week's minicamp.

How is Jimmy Garoppolo's comfort with the offense progressing?


Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finally has a full offseason to study and get comfortable with head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. He joined the team so late in 2017 that the 49ers didn't have time to explain why specific plays were being called. They just wanted to make sure he knew how to run them. All he did with that limited knowledge was go out and lead the 49ers to five-straight victories to end the season.

Garoppolo knows his comfort level with the playbook will not only help him, but it will also benefit his teammates.

"As the quarterback, you want to be able to answer any question that is asked to you," Garoppolo said last week. "You want to if you get put in a tough spot on the field, be able to get the team into the right play. Last year, not that I was handcuffed, but I just didn't know some of the reasons of why we were doing things. It was just kind of 'get this by Sunday, and we'll tell you everything else in the offseason' type of thing.

"I think learning the why's has definitely helped me. I still have a long way to go. We're not even through OTAs yet. It's a work in progress, but it's coming along."

Garoppolo's comfort with the playbook is apparent during practices. Instead of seeking out coaches for explanations between plays, he is seen discussing the nuances of each play with his teammates while making sure everyone is on the same page.

"When he got here, it was just a play on a board, and he was trying to picture where people were going to be and do his best to execute based on what the defense did," 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello said last week. "Now, it's everything from the moment you walk up to the line of scrimmage, recognizing keys from the defense, man, zone, pressure, and then what you do post-snap with your feet, tying it to the timing of the pass game, and progressions, and all that.

"It's just a comfort, and you can see him growing more comfortable every day. And I think we know him a little bit better and what he does well, and we're adapting to that as well."

Who will emerge as a red-zone target?


One aspect of the 49ers offense that has been missing in recent years is a legitimate red-zone target. That's why names like Dez Bryant and even (to some degree) Terrell Owens have been such intriguing – if not implausible – offseason storylines. San Francisco was even reportedly interested in New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski at one point.

The 49ers coaching staff seems reasonably confident in its group of offensive targets. Other than veteran Pierre Garçon and tight end Garrett Celek, the group is young. It got younger with the drafting of two receivers, Dante Pettis and Richie James, in April.

Tight ends coach Jon Embree is confident in his group's ability to be utilized as red-zone threats.

"I think [second-year tight end George Kittle] can help us in the red-zone, as will Celek," Embree said last week. "All three of them. I think [last Tuesday], all three of them had at least one touchdown (in practice) down there in the red-zone period. They all have the ability to do it when the opportunity comes, so I feel good about that. It's just a matter of when the opportunity comes, making it.

"Kittle, certain routes down there, he's going to be better than Garrett. Garrett, better than him at certain things. And [Cole Hikutini] better than both of those guys. That's the unique thing about our room. It's going to be by committee, and I'm good with that."

Who will emerge as a pass-rushing threat?


The 49ers avoided using a draft pick in April to select a pass rusher. The position was seen as one of the team's most glaring offseason needs heading into the draft. San Francisco re-signed defensive end Cassius Marsh and added Jeremiah Attaochu in March. They will compete with names like Eli Harold and Pita Taumoepenu. The team has even experimented with Solomon Thomas at the Leo spot this offseason.

The 49ers are hoping for someone to emerge as a pass-rushing threat or to utilize the group of players to produce better results in pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

"Not every team has a Joey Bosa or a Von Miller, where they can just take a complete game over," defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said last month. "But, there's a lot of teams that have four really good rushers, and they are very effective rushing the passer, and that's what we're trying to build to be. Who knows, you might be surprised. There might be a star out of the bunch. I have a feeling there might be."

How far along is Richard Sherman?


Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman has not been cleared to practice with his new 49ers teammates. Until that happens, he will do his best to offer advice and share techniques with the team's young group of defensive backs.

"So any time you get a guy like Sherm, it's really a gift to not only the players but to the coaching staff," Saleh said. "You've got a guy who not only has had the amount of success he's had at corner, but you add in the fact that he knows our system inside-out like a coach does.

"For the players who are so young in that backend, to be able to just walk up to him and just absorb all the information that he has, all the little player tricks that a coach just can't teach you."

Of course, once Sherman is cleared to practice, his coaching duties will end, and the 49ers' expectations of him will drastically change.

"I'm going to tell you, though, when he gets back to playing, it's going to be, 'You're not here for that reason anymore. You're here to go out and dominate and play at a really high level because that's why you're here,'" 49ers defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley said last month. "That's why I'm excited. I can't wait for him to get out and practice. I think he's going to bring up the competitiveness of the group."

Until the 49ers clear Sherman, players like veteran Jimmie Ward and rookie Tarvarius Moore, who both played safety last year, will have more opportunities to practice across from second-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.

What will Jerick McKinnon bring to the offense?


Running back Jerick McKinnon has been impressive since the start of the 49ers' offseason program. Our own Patrick Tulini recently asked fans via Twitter which 49ers player they are most excited about this season. The overwhelming answer was McKinnon.

With McKinnon as one of the 49ers' top free agent targets in March, the team was more than willing to allow veteran running back Carlos Hyde depart for the Cleveland Browns. What is it about McKinnon that has impressed 49ers coaches this offseason?

"He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, he can pass block, and he can finish every play," 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner said last week. "When he breaks level two, level three, he has that explosive speed that can separate him from everyone else."

Turner went on to say that McKinnon displays toughness on the football field whether he has the football in his hands or not. He plays hard on every down and will offer Garoppolo another versatile weapon on offense.