Dear Jimmy Garoppolo, we appreciate you!
49ers Offensive Line.
Like any position on a football team. offensive-lineman never enjoy being in a slump. What’s even worse is knowing that a quarterback is getting you out of your slump. They’re already getting everything right? The most money, the girls, and the star-power — what else do they need? Well, I’m here to tell you that a good quarterback helps everyone, but especially (sub-par) offensive-linemen.
The worst position group throughout this season for the 49ers is by far the offensive-line. As an offensive-lineman myself, I’ll be the first to tell you that you never want your name to be anywhere near associated with the word “worst”. According to PFF, the 49ers offensive-line ranked 19th in the league with total offensive-line play. With Trent Brown and Joe Staley being perhaps the most reliable, they help bring the group average to 58.2. Which might not sound too high, but it’s still a huge step up from last year’s team — who had an average grade of 47.5 and were ranked 29th in the league in total offensive-line play.
If you’re a true 49er fan you know that quarterback pressure has been a huge story throughout the season with the offensive-line giving up an extremely concerning 37 sacks on the year. This being an astonishing high number so unfortunately it was no surprise that all those pressures eventually lead to the injury of rookie QB CJ Beathard. Now with Jimmy G in at quarterback, it almost seems that a lot of these QB pressures went away, at least in Chicago last week. Jimmy Garoppolo has been playing behind one of the best signal-callers to ever do it in Tom Brady. Well, one of Tom’s best attributes is his ability to step up in the pocket and avoid pressure. Fortunately for all of the Faithful, we all saw this happen numerous times from Garoppolo in the game against the Bears.
Stepping up allowed the offensive-line to get into a rhythm and finally get the chance to build some confidence within themselves and their technique. While in previous games when they would give up a sack you could see through body language that they would lose confidence in their technique; it was evident the combination of constant pressure and a quarterback who doesn’t have the best pocket presence was getting to their psyche. Having a great quarterback takes a lot off an offensive-lineman’s mind, because knowing that your quarterback can step up in the pocket and still make the play alleviates some of the pressure of not giving up a hurry or a sack. Taking off pressure of an offensive-lineman doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it helps tremendously.. Especially with the young core of the offensive-line currently getting in rhythm and building confidence, this will allow them to play that much better. It will also open up the run game and several other aspects in the offense. So Faithful, don’t only keep your eyes downfield, but also keep your eyes out for better offensive-line play as the Jimmy G project continues to roll on for the rest of the season.