Kurtenbach: Jimmy Garoppolo’s nightmare practice highlights a big concern for the 49ers

SANTA CLARA — Training camp is supposed to be a time where teams find answers.

But heading into the most important stretch of their preseason — two joint practices with the Broncos in Colorado on Friday and Saturday and then an exhibition game against them at Mile High Stadium on Monday — there are still an awful lot of questions surrounding these 49ers.

Questions about health, depth, scheme, and spending. So much — too much, perhaps — about these Niners seems to be in flux. It’s simply impossible to know what to make of this team with the regular season fast approaching.

And the biggest question surrounding the 49ers might just be their starting quarterback.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s training camp has been inauspicious — up-and-down at best — and his Wednesday practice was, without a doubt, his worst performance of the preseason. At one point, he threw five straight interceptions.

#49ers Jimmy Garoppolo had 5 consecutive passes intercepted, by Moore (2), Sherman, Tartt, Whitherspoon

Broke streak with TD to Jalen Hurd

— Cam Inman (@CamInman) August 14, 2019

“Obviously he struggled,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan deadpanned.

And while Shanahan tried to spin the nightmarish performance off as a learning experience for Garoppolo, five-straight interceptions is unspinnable.

Yes, it’s only training camp — panic at your own peril. And, it should also be noted that Garoppolo has a reputation for being a less-than-outstanding practice player.

But the truth is that we still don’t really know if Garoppolo is an outstanding in-game player — the kind who can lift the 49ers to their first playoff appearance since 2013. And his poor practice Wednesday put his play in the spotlight as the team travels west.

There won’t be real games in Colorado, but Garoppolo will be going up against a defense that’s not comprised of his teammates for the first time since he tore his ACL in Kansas City last September. These inter-squad practices are valuable evaluation opportunities for coaches and observers alike, and Garoppolo might be the Niner the most to prove over the weekend.

(Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

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With former Niners’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at the helm, the Broncos are expected to have one of the best defenses in the NFL this year. If Garoppolo practices well and performs in his limited preseason snaps against that defense, the stink from Wednesday’s …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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