Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Friday, October 8, 2021
On KNBR Thursday night, Kyle Shanahan said Jimmy Garoppolo would practice Friday:
“The fact that he wants to give it a go means he’s feeling better, but you never really know until he goes out there and does a full dropback and has to react and really step into some throws.”
He also said to be patient with Brandon Aiyuk:
“We know Aiyuk can be a weapon. I’m a big fan of Aiyuk, but he’s not there yet. He’s still coming along. At times he does it at a high level, just want him to be a little bit more consistent and I think his time will come. It’s a matter of time…
He’s too good of a player for it not to be, and he’s working at it, so everyone just be a little patient with him.”
“As far as expectations, we expected him to be a rookie who threw 300 and some odd passes in college. But you know what, in an NFL football game this season, he’s had more two-minute reps than he’s had his entire college career. … Just knowing that on the front end, you know there’s going to be a lot of things to grow on. And he knows that as well, which is why when bad things happen, he doesn’t blink.
“He had an incompletion on a four-yard throw and then throws a 76-yard touchdown pass. You know that there’s going to be some hiccups along the road. You accept that. But you just try to do the best you can and continue to improve. That’s the biggest thing. You just don’t want to regress. You want to find a thing, improve on it, fix it, go to the next thing. And he’s hungry enough to keep doing that, which is why we’re pumped to have him.”
No. 1: 49ers inconsistent offense hinders George Kittle
Football is arguably the most hand-in-glove team sport out there, and so many different factors and X-factors will have a say in how well any given player might perform.
Jimmy Garoppolo and, to a lesser extent, Trey Lance are still targeting Kittle, as the tight end ranks No. 2 in targets with 28 behind Deebo Samuel’s 43. Yet Kittle has only been able to haul in 68 percent of those targets, which isn’t terrible in of itself but not suggesting he’s been the No. 1 option.
Plus, in the two games of four this season in which the Niners offense has come up flat, Weeks 2 and 4, Kittle’s receiving numbers have taken a hit
“I don’t even think I needed to give him the speech,” Ward admitted on the Damon, Ratto & Kolsky show. “He doesn’t talk much at all, but I was just telling him, ‘Hey, bro, don’t let one play change how you’re playing right now. Keep playing aggressive. Keep playing your type of ball.’ He just nodded his head and smiled.”
“He didn’t overthink it. He didn’t overtalk. He doesn’t say too much,” Ward continued. “He’s calm. He has great composure. He’s patient at the line. Like, you wouldn’t even think he’s a rookie. Dude’s going to be a great player in this league. I know great ballplayers when I see it, and [Lenoir], he’s going to be a great player in this league.”
Ahead of a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy missed practice for the second straight day due to a ribs injury,
Murphy said postgame after the team’s win over the Los Angeles Rams that he would be fine.
Other starters not practicing include running back Chase Edmonds (shoulder), while left guard Justin Pugh participated in a limited fashion on Thursday after being out on Wednesday because of a hip issue.
The table above is sortable by column. Samuel’s YPRR, or “yards per route run” (courtesy TruMedia), also ranks No. 1 — it reflects that Samuel has produced more over his 138 routes so far this season than any other receiver.
The third column, YAC/R +-, stands for “yards after the catch over expected.” It comes from NFL Next Gen Stats and effectively illustrates just how exceptionally hard Samuel has been to tackle after the catch. Tracking data determines a baseline YAC figure for the typical receiver on each individual reception. In 2020’s limited action, Samuel led all NFL wideouts by averaging 4.4 YAC per catch over the expectation. Here in 2021, Samuel ranks second — behind the Eagles’ Quez Watkins — at 4.3 YAC per catch over the expectation.