Shanahan Won’t Put Brakes on Garoppolo’s Scrambling

In 2018, Jimmy Garoppolo’s season came to an early end when he suffered a knee injury while scrambling for yards.

Now Garoppolo is looking fit and healthy again in training camp, and the Niners are eager to see what he can do over a full season.

But 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan hasn’t told Garoppolo not to run. He knows the quarterback – who has mobility – will need to pick up yardage at times on the ground to keep drives alive. He’s just giving his quarterback a message to be smart when he scrambles and avoid damaging blows from defenders – as when he didn’t slide at the end of his scramble against Kansas City in Game 3 last season and injured the knee.

As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle noted, Garoppolo made a nice scramble on the first day of practice in pads Monday, picking up yards when his receivers were covered on a passing play.

“I want him to (run) more, but I want him to get down,” Shanahan told Branch later. “We never just look to scramble. That’s why we have a throwing quarterback who looks down the field and tries to get the ball to people.

“But you never tell a guy not to scramble because the other option is to just sit there and get hit. So if no one is open, and no one is sacking you, I love what I saw today. Because no one was open, the seas parted and he turned it into a draw. It was an exciting play. He got 13 yards and I think he fake slid. Hopefully, that will be (a) real (slide) in a game.”

Shanahan said he believes Garoppolo will be more receptive to sliding at the end of runs – based on his experience in 2018.

In nine games with the 49ers over 2017 and 2018, Garoppolo has run 23 times for 44 yards and a touchdown.

The 49ers will continue in training camp this week, with the first exhibition game scheduled for Aug. 10 against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

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