Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan defends Jimmy Garoppolo run plays vs. Seahawks

Sep 19, 2022 at 4:42 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers had already lost Trey Lance for the game. Later, they would learn that he was done for the season. Jimmy Garoppolo replaced Lance, and the team was just one injury away from fullback Kyle Juszczyk playing snaps at quarterback. Juszczyk was the emergency quarterback, while rookie Brock Purdy was inactive.

Shanahan gave Garoppolo some run plays, including a quarterback sneak to get the offense into the end zone later in the game.

Was that really the best play call for Garoppolo with the quarterback situation what it was and the game already in hand?

"Actually, a drop-back play is way more risky than a quarterback sneak," Shanahan responded with a laugh. "So those are the things that really confuse me. I see guys get really killed in the pocket on dropbacks.

"I've never had a quarterback get hurt on a sneak before. It doesn't mean it can't happen. It is football, and that's what I mean by that. You can get hurt on any single play.

"It seems we only get interested when he's carrying the ball of where he gets injured. And that's the whole thing. There's a risk-reward with everything, but to now throw sneaks in there too because of a time in the game is really surprising to me."

Shanahan was also asked about the zone-read play for Garoppolo down by the goal line.

"Yeah, we gotta read the D-end a little bit better and get some work at that," Shanahan said, "so when the D-end does take the quarterback handing it off. So that's stuff we gotta do, but that's a very normal play in all of football at all levels for everybody.

"I'm surprised you guys haven't seen some of the quarterbacks run zone-read on us, when Andy Dalton walks in the end zone from the 10-yard line, or Kirk Cousins does, or a lot of the guys who do run that stuff, and you're not accounting for the quarterback. It's a pretty normal thing."
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