49ers quarterback carousel: Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo is known mostly for his reputation as a quarterback who just wins. However, it can be argued his winning record came largely from the performance of the running game and elite defensive play.
Still, his win record of 26 wins to 10 losses is stellar.
However, Garoppolo has been consistently unable to stay healthy, which is why he has only been able to throw for 8,277 total yards over the last four-plus years. For reference, Los Angeles Chargers second-year quarterback Justin Herbert has thrown for 5,912 yards after being selected in last year’s draft. Most of Garoppolo’s yards came in 2019, which is also the lone year he played in all 16 games.
That year, Garoppolo looked sharp and confident.
He rapid-fired and delivered accurate throws, which allowed his stars to make yards after the catch. Quick decisions, followed by a quick release to schemed-open players, is part of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s passing principles. These passing principles, when executed properly, provide an efficient, exciting offensive attack that is hard to stop.
This season, Garoppolo has not been making the decisive, quick-release throws. To make matters worse, he also got hurt in Week 3 and is not due back for a few more weeks. This allowed the fanbase to get a look at Trey Lance, and while Lance showed his immense physical ability, he also demonstrated that he needs a bit more development before he can be counted on as a consistent performer.
One day, and hopefully soon, Lance will have the ability to make quick, correct decisions matched with a quick release. Until then, the worse thing that can be done for a rookie QB’s development is for him to get consistently hit. It throws off the timing and can make some running quarterbacks rely too much on their legs. Lance needs to have better protection, and until then, it is best for Garoppolo who knows the playbook, to lead the team.
However, if Garoppolo can’t return get back to his 2019 form, then this team is going to have a steep, uphill climb to reach the playoffs.