Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t a quarterback for long, but he’s made sure to articulate one thought several times since his comeback: Forget Jimmy Gimmies. Instead, he wants to throw the ball into the court.
One of the most common criticisms of Jimmy Garoppolo has been that most of his passes go to a certain area of the field – short and over the middle. As a result, last year he was 42nd in air yards per attempt, and in case you forgot, the NFL has 32 teams.
After the 49ers beat the Seahawks on Sunday, Jimmy was asked if he was happy to throw the ball deeper when he got into the game.
“Fly for joy. Yes, I felt good. We were talking earlier. It felt like 2017, I went out throwing and doing plays. That’s what I like to do. It’s different from what we usually do here, but sometimes you need to do so.”
At his media session yesterday, he was asked again about pitching, and Garoppolo doubled.
“I love it. Yes, there are a lot of things that go along with that, obviously, but yes, I love doing those things. In ’17, there was freedom where I, receivers, tight ends, we had good chemistry. And when you get On that with offensive skills and a quarterback, it’s a tough attack.”
Does he think he’ll get the same freedom the rest of the season?
“I don’t know, that’s a fair question. I think we’ll see that as we go forward, but I don’t know, the more freedom you have as a midfielder, obviously the better you play, you’re more confident and good things will happen.”
The use of the word “freedom” in both answers was surprising as it indicates that it was restricted in some way in the other seasons. Jimmy doesn’t usually shy away from anywhere near comments that could be construed as criticism of the coach. These don’t necessarily fall into this category either, but they seem to be a request, at least.
For reference, only 8.4% of Jimmy Garoppolo’s permit attempts passed more than 20 air yards last year. She ranked 27th out of 30 quarterbacks who attempted at least 300 passes, according to TruMedia.
It will be interesting to see if there is a noticeable difference to Kyle Shanahan’s game on Sunday night. One of the big pluses with Trey Lance under center was the idea that the passing game would hit more doubles and run across the floor rather than settling in singles. If the 49ers can get at least some of those extra base hits from Jimmy Garoppolo, there will be plenty of happy Niners fans.
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