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.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Shanahan-Wont-Tell-Garoppolo-Not-to-Scramble-513386481.html.