© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA – Jimmy Garoppolo continues to avoid interceptions by the skin of his teeth. After Jaquiski Tartt dropped a certain pick on Saturday, David Mayo nearly had one on Sunday, failing to scoop the deflected ball up before its nose touched the turf. Here’s what Sunday’s practice looked like:
The quarterback report
Jimmy Garoppolo: 32 snaps, 13-for-22, 1 near INT, 1 would-be sack (Bosa)
Garoppolo’s first pass of the day should have been a long touchdown to Dante Pettis. Pettis dropped the pass, which, while necessitating a difficult catch, needed to be made, especially by someone of his quality. His next attempt, another deep, lofted throw, was caught by Kyle Juszczyk for a more than 30-yard gain, with Malcolm Smith in coverage.
He connected with Pettis on his next set, then George Kittle, who was stripped by K’Waun Williams, but recovered his own fumble. Fred Warner had Kittle well covered on the ensuing incompletion. On the day, he had completions to Kittle (6 targets, 4 catches), Trent Taylor (5 targets, 4 catches, 1 drop), Jordan Matthews (3 targets, 3 catches), Pettis (3 targets, 1 catch, 1 drop) and Juszczyk (1 target, 1 catch).
C.J. Beathard: 19 snaps 6-for-10, 1 INT
His first pass of the day was woeful, targeting Taylor and drastically under thrown. It was picked off easily by Dre Greenlaw. Head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t too harsh on Beathard for the play after practice.
“You can’t see all 11 defenders on the field,” Shanahan said. “You’ve got to understand and anticipate the coverages and it looked like a guy was going to be wide open, so you go to let it rip thinking a back’s out here, which would pull a curl-flat guy out of there, so you could hit the guy in the hole. You don’t have the time under a blitz to see a guy open and be like, ‘Wait a second, is that guy open? Oh no, I can’t throw it.’ So, he just let it rip and he’s got to learn from that. A guy was hanging there he didn’t see.”
After that interception, Beathard completed a screen to Hurd, was would-be sacked by Kentavius Street on a completion to Marquise Goodwin (one of his two catches on the day), overthrow tight end Ross Dwelley, hit Richie James Jr. on back-to-back plays, hit Shawn Poindexter, had an incompletion with good coverage, was the victim of a Poindexter drop, and then completed a final short pass on a big yards-after-catch play from running back Kevin Walter.
Nick Mullens: 19 snaps, 11-for-13, 1 TD
He started off with a screen pass to Raheem Mostert before connecting with Pettis over the middle, then Poindexter and Goodwin, before he threw his first incompletion behind Deebo Samuel. He hooked up with Samuel over the middle despite good coverage from Greg Mabin, went to Mostert on a short pass, dumped it to Dwelley and had a deep connection to Levin Toilolo on a nice play covered poorly by Emmanuel Moseley. That saw Mullens get another set of reps for what accumulated to 12-straight snaps.
Shanahan said he wanted to keep that momentum and that Mullens and that third group earned it.
“It was nice, they kept moving the chains and when they did that, wanted to give him more reps and let him go on a longer drive,” Mullens said. “Especially, those guys play the majority of the game in this first preseason game. I wasn’t going to do it if they didn’t earn it, but they kept getting first downs, so we kept him out there and they got more reps because of it.”
That set of eight-straight plays after a re-set at the 25-yard line following the completion to Toilolo was excellent by Mullens. He completed a first down to Kaden Smith, then Deebo Samuel, who embarrassed Marcell Harris with a fantastic route, then hit Samuel for a touchdown over Tim Harris Jr. His final pass, intended for Jalen Hurd, was nearly jumped by Mabin, but Hurd ended up catching the pass with his feet out of bounds.
The Nick Bosa hour
Bosa looked fantastic on Sunday. He forced a fumble on Tevin Coleman which Moseley returned for a touchdown, had a would-be sack on Garoppolo, nearly got to Garoppolo on one of his completions to Taylor, beating Mike McGlinchey well, and created pressure again on two of the next eight reps versus Garoppolo.
It was initially unclear whether that forced fumble came from Bosa, but Shanahan confirmed after practice it was the case, breaking down what happened:
“That was the one I felt the offense had finally worn the defense down and the offense was starting to get some momentum. I think we ran it about five plays in a row and you could see the defense was tired and it was the first time in practice the momentum changed. That’s what was really cool to see that you can tell when the momentum changes and you’ve got them, you knew they knew it, but someone’s got to step up and make a play. He came from the backside and it looked, obviously Tevin didn’t see him and didn’t protect the ball well, he poked it out and I think it was Moseley who got a scoop and score. It was a hell of a play at a very important time.
Shanahan said the team upped Bosa’s workload, having him take 16 snaps in Sunday’s 71-snap (including the field goal unit – no kick was actually taken) practice.
“I thought he did well,” Shanahan said. “I think he’s had 12 [snaps] the last couple of days, but he’s been very effective in the reps he’s gotten. He seems to me like he’s out there a lot, because I really don’t, I’m always looking down the field, so I don’t notice those guys so they flash, so I felt like he was out there every play yesterday… today we upped it and he still showed up a lot, which means he’s getting in some good football shape and getting healthy.”