© Kelley L Cox | 2019 Aug 10
Kyle Shanahan is about to begin his third season at the helm for the 49ers and much of the teams’ success will ride on the shoulders of their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. In his first game back from an ACL tear sustained last September, Garoppolo looked shaky, posting a passer rating of 0.0 while throwing an interception in his brief appearance vs. the Broncos. 49ers insider Matt Maiocco assumes there is one particular hurdle Jimmy G needs to get over before looking like his old self.
“I think there is a very significant mental barrier that he has to clear with that left knee.” Maiocco said on KNBR Thursday. “Maybe he cleared it Monday night, maybe we will see something different. But, I do think the issues are not physical. He hasn’t missed a practice since the offseason. Health wise he’s fine. I just think it’s only reasonable and to be expected that, he, like all players returning from injuries have to at some point cross a mental barrier where you don’t think about the injury.”
Maiocco noted that being out on the field is exactly what Garoppolo needs.
“I think maybe the best thing for him would be to take a hit and see, hey everything is okay. Maybe after experiencing it and seeing ‘Hey, I have nothing to worry about. I have protection down there.’ That might be the hurdle he needed to get over by just taking some snaps.”
Though most of the attention has been on the 49ers recovering quarterback this offseason, the secondary is an area of concern for the team after only registering two interceptions all of last season. Yet, the team appeared to show confidence in their DBs by not adding any prominent players this offseason, aside from the oft-injured Jason Verrett, who is yet to play this preseason. Maiocco believes that team officials don’t exactly see the secondary as a problem.
“I think if you look at their roster that would be the area of the most concern. The 49ers addressed their concern as far as the turnovers, the takeaways by saying lets go with Dee Ford and Nick Bosa and those guys will help out the people on the back end…As much as we all have questions about that secondary, the 49ers believe that the secondary will be as good as their pass rush is.
“I think they believe by getting pressure on the quarterback, affecting him, causing more chaos in the pocket you’re going to see more tipped balls, more hurried throws, more off-target throws and that reflects well on the defensive backs.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Maiocco on Garoppolo, start from 3:40