3 reasons why SF 49ers move on from Jimmy Garoppolo
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: Kyle Shanahan wants more for the SF 49ers offense anyway
Let’s face it: Kyle Shanahan calls the shots, at least on offense, who he wants and doesn’t want. It’s not so much John Lynch.
When Garoppolo was struggling, both with injuries and on-field play last season, Steve Young told ESPN he felt Shanahan could want to do more with the position and land a quarterback who could truly elevate the SF 49ers offense in 2021 and beyond.
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In that mindset, Garoppolo has his limitations.
While there are many wrinkles to all this, including the reality parting ways with Garoppolo opens up a Pandora’s box of possibilities, some good and some bad, evaluating Garoppolo’s weaknesses in the offense is crucial.
For starters, in 2019 (using this year since it was a full season for Jimmy G), Garoppolo posted an average-intended air yards mark of 6.5 — third lowest in the NFL, according to Next Gen Stats. In contrast, Shanahan’s 2016 offense with the Atlanta Falcons featured quarterback Matt Ryan having an air-yards mark of 9.0 — significantly higher than Garoppolo’s 2019 numbers.
The point of this is Garoppolo’s relative lack of deep-ball passing has taken away a vital component of Shanahan’s offense, essentially eliminating the deep threat and forcing the Niners to rely more on underneath plays and the ability to pick up yards after the catch.
That can work, as 2019 showed well enough with Garoppolo nearing 4,000 pass yards that season.
But if Shanahan wants to get more out of the position, he might be forced to consider moving on from Jimmy G to make it happen.