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Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo discusses ‘valuable’ workouts at San Jose State, progress of Jalen Hurd and Brandon Aiyuk

Jun 12, 2020 at 3:23 PM--

NFL players are getting in some on-field work. No, not at team facilities. That is still prohibited. They are organizing workouts at local colleges and other suitable locations to maintain chemistry. For newcomer receivers, it is their first opportunity to create some chemistry with their NFL quarterbacks.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been organizing the San Francisco 49ers' sessions at San Jose State. You've probably seen the many photos and videos from the throwing sessions posted this week to social media. The workouts have, in recent weeks, included receivers Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Hurd, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, Shawn Poindexter, rookie Brandon Aiyuk, and others like fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Who takes part depends on who is in town at the time and the rehab schedule for players like Hurd and Taylor.

Each day's routes during the workouts consist of whatever the players learned from earlier Zoom meetings that morning with coaches.

"I think every team is doing it in one way or another, whether it's going away somewhere or doing it at a local spot," Garoppolo told Matt Barrows of The Athletic after Friday's session. "It's valuable whenever you get an opportunity to get on a field with guys — without coaches — and be able to talk.

"Really, out here, I like to hear how they're seeing things, too. I like to teach them a route, how I see it, and ask them, 'How do you see it?' Because in practice you don't get that time. Because out here, it's a unique experience. Guys kind of get to let loose a little bit, too. So it makes things fun."

Garoppolo didn't want to discuss the progress Hurd has made in his recovery from a stress fracture in his back but did say that the receiver hasn't seemed limited during the throwing sessions. The second-year wideout still hasn't taken a regular-season snap, so there remains a lot for him to pick up.

"Jalen is very raw. He's so explosive, so powerful," Garoppolo said. "There's so many little technique things, I guess you could say, he hasn't even learned yet. But he enjoys learning it."

Garoppolo also discussed finally throwing to and working with one of his newest receiving targets, Aiyuk — a first-round pick.

"You can tell when you're calling a play, and you look into a guy's eye and know if he's taking it in or if it's like, 'What the hell is this guy saying?'" Garoppolo told Barrows. "And he was engaged. He was locked in. And he was a fun guy to be around, too."

Garoppolo is organizing a bigger workout session next week, and there are plans to have another in Nashville, Tennessee. That's where players like Taylor, tight end George Kittle, and backup quarterback C.J. Beathard are spending their offseason. That session could include rookie receiver Jauan Jennings, too.

The 49ers aren't expected to get together as a team in an official capacity until training camp next month, at the earliest. Team facilities remain closed off to players amid continued concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read Barrows' entire feature over at The Athletic.

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