Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers offense could take ‘a massive leap’ in 2019, says Michael Silver

Jul 23, 2019 at 4:24 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers will be getting several players back from injury this season. No player will be more critical to the team's potential success than quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The torn ACL he suffered during Week 3 last year derailed head coach Kyle Shanahan's plan and the 49ers' 2018 season.

San Francisco managed just four wins last year, and many expect the team to be much-improved this season. Among those anticipating an offensive leap with Garoppolo at the helm is NFL Network analyst Michael Silver.

"I think if you talk to head coaches around the league and ask them, 'Who is the most skilled offensive mind in the game?' Kyle Shanahan is going to get a lot of votes," Silver said during Tuesday's broadcast of "Inside Training Camp" on NFL Network. "We haven't gotten to see the full force of that because Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt early last season, and that essentially derailed the plan. But now with Garoppolo back, and some other key pieces in place, I think you're going to see the evolution of an offense."

Injuries forced the 49ers to use several running backs last season. Jerick McKinnon, who was to be the featured running back in Shanahan's offense, suffered a torn ACL about a week before the start of the regular season. Matt Breida had a breakout season but also dealt with injuries. Long-time special teams standout Raheem Mostert impressed before a broken forearm ended his year.

San Francisco added former Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman this offseason and could boast one of the league's most talented backfields. The team also added two wide receivers, Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, via the draft. The offseason moves add a lot of potential talent around Garoppolo.

"They've got four talented running backs," Silver continued. "They expect all of them to contribute. They expect a couple of guys to step up and play receiver at a higher level, and we saw (tight end) George Kittle develop into a star last season.

"The plan in San Francisco, in addition to a greatly fortified defensive front, is that the offense is going to take a massive leap in 2019."

Silver's analysis of the 49ers was cut short by the start of Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid's press conference. The NFL Network analyst took to Twitter to add to his on-air segment.

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