Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan responds to Jimmy Garoppolo’s comments that it feels like 2017 again

Sep 23, 2022 at 7:50 AM--

On Thursday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was asked about his comments that it felt like 2017 again when he took the field on Sunday, his first time doing so this season. Garoppolo appeared to be pushing the football down the field more than he has since his first season with the team.

"I love doing that stuff," Garoppolo said. "In '17, there was a freedom where me, the receivers, tight ends, we had a good chemistry going. And when you get that with offensive skills and a quarterback, it makes for a tough offense."

Will that continue for the remainder of the season as he fills in for an injured Trey Lance?

"I think we'll see that as we go forward," Garoppolo said. "But I don't know, the more freedom you have as a quarterback, obviously you play better, you're more confident, and good things will happen."

Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR on Friday morning and had an opportunity to respond to the comments. Would the head coach be more willing to "wing it" more with Garoppolo than he did in 2019 and 2021?

"Yeah, I'm not even sure what that question or those statements mean, but we're always the same," Shanahan responded on the Murph & Mac show. "We try to do what we think gives us the best chance to succeed. That has to do with our skill set and what we're going against. There's no such thing as, 'Hey, I feel like winging it this year. I feel like going deep this year. I feel like going short this year. I feel like running the ball this year.' It doesn't work that way.

"It works with, what's your personnel? What are you going against? And what do you think gives you the best chance to win on Sunday? And that's really how we look at everything."

Shanahan was asked if there was a difference in 2017 when Garoppolo seemed to be throwing the football more.

"Yeah, we were a real bad team," he answered. "We weren't nearly as balanced. He came in and took over a 1-9 team. And I think what he meant—I don't want to make assumptions like you guys are—but if I have to, I would guess what he meant is he was going in there, and he was personally winging it a lot more. He was new to the offense.

"We were going in and just trying to—I guess we threw it more when he came in at that time. I'm not really sure. But the stats and stuff, look at how efficient we were in '19. Look at us throwing the ball. Look at us last year. I mean, we averaged more yards gained on every pass play we did. So, at the end of it, where they land and where they get tackled, we actually are getting deeper than anybody when it comes to completions. That's something you never feel bad about.

"You can air it out down the field all day, but at the end of the day, when you average less yards per pass than we do, I don't feel that's as successful. Our goal is to try to be efficient, try to be successful, and that doesn't mean throwing it short. That means doing what you think you're good at and what the defense is giving to you. And that changes quarter to quarter, week to week, year to year."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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