Kyle Shanahan: Jimmy Garoppolo is ‘one of the better throwers on this planet’

Kyle Shanahan didn’t lie Friday when he said Jimmy Garoppolo is one of the better throwers on Earth.

Shanahan was peppered with questions about the 49ers’ lack of downfield passing with Garoppolo in a press conference after Friday’s practice. The 49ers’ veteran quarterback insinuated after his relief in appearance in Sunday’s game that the club threw the ball down the field more in 2017 when Garoppolo first arrived in San Francisco. He confirmed those feelings with reporters Thursday.

The 49ers’ head coach denied that there’s been any difference in Garoppolo’s usage despite statistical evidence to the contrary, but in the process he heaped significant praise on his QB.

“I’ve never not seen Jimmy throw the ball,” Shanahan said. “I think Jimmy’s one of the better throwers on this planet, so that’s been one of his number one attributes. I thought Jimmy had his best year last year. Got surgery at the end of the year and once his arm started healing up, which throwing on the side and stuff, it always looked good. Once we got him in with our team, which is right after the first preseason game, throwing him in with the scout team and stuff, he looked like he always has.”

Regardless of the fact the 49ers throw it deep at one of the lowest rates in the NFL, and regardless of how a viewer might assess Garoppolo’s arm strength, Shanahan didn’t lie.

Garoppolo is quite literally in the fraction of one percent of the best throwers on Earth. If we assume that there are 7 billion people on the planet, and virtually all of the best throwers are in the NFL, and there are roughly 100 quarterbacks worthy of being on NFL rosters, that means Garoppolo is in the top 0.000001 percent of throwers on the planet. It’s actually probably lower than that since he’s somewhere inside the top 20 or 30.

So whether Shanahan’s play calling reflects Garoppolo’s arm talent is mostly inconsequential. The coach simply said his QB is “one of the better throwers on this planet,” which is empirically correct. He even left out the literally countless other planets in the universe where there might be better throwers than we have on Earth.

The issue now is whether Garoppolo can prove to be one of the better throwers in the NFL. If there is another level he can get to that elevates the 49ers’ offense just a little, they could have one of the conference’s top units by season’s end.


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Story originally appeared on Niners Wire