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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Robert Saleh says 49ers have a ‘tremendous amount of confidence’ in Jimmy Garoppolo

Aug 30, 2020 at 2:07 PM--

Robert Saleh has to prepare his players to face Jimmy Garoppolo every practice. The San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator knows the quarterback is relatively inexperienced, despite this being the 28-year-old's seventh NFL season.

Last year was Garoppolo's first full NFL season as a starter. It came a year later than expected due to a knee injury that forced the quarterback to miss most of 2018.

"He seems more decisive," Saleh said on Sunday of Garoppolo. "A year ago, people forget it was really his second year, technically, starting because his first year, he got hurt really early. Some can argue that it was his first year starting. But his comfort level in the scheme, and what Kyle (Shanahan) and his staff are asking of him, and what each play is asking of him, he's much more decisive with the football, and he has such an amazing arm talent.

"The quicker he can be decisive, and when I say decisive, I mean just decisive where that ball is in his hands and out on his back foot when he hits his back foot in his drop. It's a thing beauty, and you're seeing more and more of it throughout camp where there's less 'Where do I do with the ball?' There's less holding onto it.

"He is a very decisive quarterback, and I can only imagine it's only going to get better and better once they get into game planning and settling things in. He's talented, and everyone in the building has a tremendous amount of confidence in him."

Safety Jaquiski Tartt has noticed Garoppolo doing a better job making defenders like himself second guess themselves.

"As far as this camp goes, he's been doing a better job just making me not stay true when I should stay true," explained Tartt. "What I mean by that is, with his eyes sometimes, he'll look one way, and I'm thinking he's for sure throwing the ball to the right side of the field. And he'll come back late and throw it to the opposite (side). That, a few times, got me, and it made me stay true when I'm in the post."

Garoppolo nearly threw for 4,000 yards last season while tossing 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and completing 69.1 percent of his passes. He had to endure a lot of offseason criticism thanks to a fourth-quarter collapse in Super Bowl LIV.

Tight end Jordan Reed is adjusting to his new quarterback, and so far enjoys hauling in passes from Garoppolo.

"It's been great playing with Jimmy," Reed shared. "He's a really talented guy, really accurate with the ball, and he commands the offense well. It's been great so far."

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