Richard Sherman has intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in back-to-back practices

USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Richard Sherman once intercepted Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in practice, barking “you f–king suck!” at Wilson after the pick.

It’s unknown whether Sherman did the same thing to 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo yesterday. Or today.

Sherman has intercepted Garoppolo in consecutive practices. Coach Kyle Shanahan addressed the situation with reporters on Saturday.

“Practices are great because you get to experience it from practice and you can coach it the exact same way you would in a game, but it’s a little bit easier because the emotions aren’t there of winning and losing the game and everyone in the world seeing it,” Shanahan said. “So, that’s what’s fun about practice. It’s never fun when a guy makes a mistake, but it’s always fun to coach it because you can actually get better from that for when it does count. You talk about, I don’t think those are necessarily being aggressive. It’s Sherm playing with vision.

“Both of those passes weren’t to the guy Sherm was covering, but if you sail anything over guys, or you look at one guy too long and you’re not knowing where he is, Sherm’s just going to follow your eyes and go and come out of nowhere. That’s happened to him twice in the last two days and that’s something that does happen in games if you’re not aware of those type of players. It’s great to remind him, ‘Hey, you’ve got to work on your eyes here. Just because you’re looking here, it doesn’t mean someone else isn’t looking at you and showing up at the end of the play.’ If no one reminds you of that, like Sherm, for an entire training camp or throughout the preseason and you get reminded in Week One, you’re like, how the hell did that just happen? It’s, well, no, that’s bound to happen, but one of our players showed you that, so you correct it.”

It’s a great point, and it’s a way to avoid the complacency that can happen when, during the preseason, a team never faces an opponent.

“It always goes back to iron sharpening iron,” Shanahan said. “A DB, if he’s squatting on every single route and covering the heck out of us, I’m hoping that we can call a ‘go’ route versus him to show him, ‘Hey, yeah, you’re doing good in these coverages, but we’re going to run by you in this coverage.’ I’m hoping we can generate that in practice so he learns from that and that’s a really good rep. . . . Now, instead of learning that in Week One in a big moment, you learn in a practice and it helps keep everybody honest. That’s the key because you practice against the same guys, the same coverage over and over. That’s why you do like scrimmages. That’s why you do like some preseason games, just so you can go against something different.”

It’s one of the major benefits of having a really good team; a good offense makes the defense better in practice, and a good defense makes the offense better in practice.

Sherman’s interceptions will, in theory, make Garoppolo better. But it sounds like Garoppolo eventually may turn the tables on Sherman, letting a receiver do what Davante Adams did in the NFC Championship and what Sammy Watkins did in the Super Bowl.

11 responses to “Richard Sherman has intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in back-to-back practices

  1. From what I hear and read coming out of San Francisco’s training camp is Jimmy G looks terrible thus far throwing pick after pick even while making very elementary reads he isn’t seeing the coverage. Garoppolo has regressed over the off season, I guess that can happen to you after you throw an easy 10-15YD pass at your WRs feet with the SB on the line. I’d bet Jimmy G holds that team back this year and struggles.

  2. Uh oh. Trouble in the town that thinks they have the best team every year.
    The FortyWhiners

  3. Last year Jimmy G had a practice where he threw four consecutive picks, and against the Broncos in preseason had a 0.0 qb rating. Only got to the Super Bowl.

  4. Jimmy will be just fine this year…. as he was last year. For those that reside under a rock, please remember that he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in his 1st full season as a starting qb. Nothing but upside for Jimmy and the 49ers… they’re going to be very good for many years to come.

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