One of the biggest criticisms thrown Jimmy Garoppolo‘s way is that he’s incapable of reading a defense and reacting appropriately. That glaringly obvious weakness was on full display during the 49ers‘ scrimmage against the Chargers on Friday.
Just a few yards away from the end-zone, Garoppolo and the 49ers offense had an opportunity to put six points on the board during the 11-on-11 portion of practice this afternoon. Instead, the veteran quarterback threw a pre-scheduled pass to tight end George Kittle which resulted in a horrendous turnover.
Garoppolo took the snap, looked immediately to his right and delivered a pass to Kittle who ran an out route. Derwin James was all over it. The Chargers defensive back had tight coverage on Kittle the entire way, jumped in front of Garoppolo’s pass (which was a bit behind Kittle) and returned it for a 97-yard pick-six.
This is high school-level bad.
Derwin James pick-6 Jimmy Garoppolo. Pass intended for George Kittle on 3rd & Goal. pic.twitter.com/u5TZkZdFtb
— Leo Luna (@LeoLuna93) August 20, 2021
Here’s another look, courtesy of the Chargers.
derwin james, y'all. DERWIN JAMES. pic.twitter.com/UU58PTLNvj
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) August 20, 2021
The problem here is that Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t even read the defense. He just took the snap, turned toward George Kittle and threw a pass, failing to recognize Derwin James’ positioning and tight coverage.
The 49ers will not go far if Garoppolo plays like this during the regular season. Mistakes like the one found above are big reasons why the Niners took Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick.
Garoppolo’s injury history and inability to step up in big moments has plagued the 49ers for years now. It’s only a matter of time before he loses his starting gig to Lance.