When Jimmy Garoppolo throws an interception, he often forces the ball to a covered receiver, as he did this past Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
After Garoppolo throws an interception, Shanahan usually says Garoppolo should have thrown the ball away. But there are extremely few instances of Garoppolo throwing the ball out of bounds on the 49ers.
I asked Shanahan and Garoppolo about that today.
ME: Would you like Garoppolo to throw the ball away more often?
SHANAHAN: "Yeah. When no one is open and there's not a good play there, what are your options? If there's a lane in the pocket, please scramble and pick up what you can, which I think he has done that a number of times. I think one of the hardest things with Jimmy is when people aren't covered, he believes he can put the ball in the right spot, which he does a lot. That throw that he threw to Jauan Jennings on 3rd and 5, he didn't have time to throw that ball, and somehow he created it, which was one of the most talented throws I've ever seen, and Jauan ended up dropping it. That was unbelievable. Was it the best decision? It was because it was right on the money. Not many people can pull that off. That is risky. So that's a fine line when you have as talented of a thrower as Jimmy. He doesn't feel the same way in the heat of the battle that he can't make that throw. When you watch it on tape, then he'll see it, but you're not thinking about that when you're playing a sport. You're just reacting. I try to put him in better situations, and when it doesn't go the right way, yeah, it's disappointing, but I can't tell you how many times that I don't think anyone is open and there is no play to be made and we need to make one or the game is going to be over, and he finds a way to make it. I'm not then saying, 'Hey, don't do that.' I'm thanking him for that. That's playing quarterback in this league. It goes both ways."
ME: What's your philosophy on throwing the ball away?
GAROPPOLO: "When it's necessary, you have to. Whether it's first, second or third down, all that goes into consideration. The Dallas game we had to do it a couple times I can remember. But if you don't have to throw it away, you want to take a chance to a certain degree. That's the fine line. Some of those amazing plays that people make, some of those should have been throw aways but they decided to try to make a play. There's a balance there."