The 49ers are putting their hopes on Jimmy Garoppolo in 2019. And, for the most part, the quarterback has given the Niners reason for optimism this summer.
After missing most of last season to injury, Garoppolo looks fit, healthy and has been an accurate and effective passer in scrimmages.
But on Wednesday, Garoppolo had a no good, very bad, horrible afternoon, throwing interceptions on five straight pass attempts.
"He threw it to the wrong team five plays in a row," said head coach Kyle Shanahan.
How bizarre was Garoppolo’s ugly outing?
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Garoppolo had not thrown more than one interception in any previous training camp practice this summer.
Is it cause for alarm? No, says Shanahan.
Shanahan told Branch it was something good to happen to a quarterback – a learning experience. In this particular practice, the defense was throwing a little something extra at him and Garoppolo reacted in a manner that he shouldn’t have if it were a regular-season game.
"You want so badly to make it up the next play, but the next play you’ve still got to make the right decisions and take what the defense gives you," said Shanahan. "Sometimes it’s hard to make the right decisions when you’re fired up and competitive and usually when you make a bad play it makes your mind go a little bit sideways.
"So that’s why it is sometimes a good situation to put guys in. When that does happen, sometimes you try to protect them a little bit in the game, but in practice, it’s the exact opposite. When there’s an issue, you kind of poke at it a little bit more to see how guys react."
The 49ers have been cautious with Garoppolo after his injury, surgery and rehab, and kept him out of the team’s first exhibition game. But this week, Garoppolo will face the Broncos in a couple of joint practices before the teams meet in Denver for a Monday night exhibition game, and Shanahan says Garoppolo will play in the game.
"I expect him to definitely play in (exhibition games) two and three," Shanahan said. "But nothing’s mapped out and set in stone yet. We kind of take it day by day."