Jimmy Garoppolo says he's been throwing into coverage on purpose during preseason games
Jimmy Garoppolo is a mad scientist
It's been a roller-coaster preseason for Jimmy Garoppolo, but it's apparently all by design.
The 49ers quarterback has battled some inconsistencies as he gears up for the 2019 season, making some risky throws in exhibitions and in practice, which has sometimes burned him in the process.
During his first preseason showing against the Broncos, Garoppolo was straight up bad, completing 1-of-6 for zero yards. He had one interception on the night, but really should have tallied two more as he blatantly threw into coverage. To his credit, he was much better his second time out, completing 14-of-20 for 188 yards and a touchdown.
Garoppolo recently pulled back the curtain to the method of his madness as he told KNBR that he's purposely throwing into coverage to see how his receivers attack the ball. Because it's preseason and these games don't matter, he's OK with making throws he normally wouldn't in-game during the regular season.
"A big part of that is it still being preseason, or in practice, you try things like that," Garoppolo said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "You know, during a real game, you wouldn't make that throw or that decision, but there's a trust factor between quarterback and ... whoever's catching the ball.
"The more you try those things, you see who's going to make the play for you in a crucial situation. If you put it in a good spot for them to make a play, you expect them to make a play. They expect you to give them a chance to make play, so I think it works both ways. Them trusting me, me trusting them. ... [That] comes with reps."
Not bad logic for Garoppolo, who missed the bulk of last season after suffering a torn ACL. Because these games are inconsequential, he can be something of mad scientist and experiment with his pass catchers.
If this trial and error experimentation helps him build a better rapport with his receivers, the 49ers will be better for it heading into the regular season.
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