Addressing Jimmy Garoppolo’s Potential Return, Tua Unmasks Mythical 700-Play Tape, Brady With Shanahan Or Payton

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It is a long shot. Very long. But there is a possibility Jimmy Garoppolo returns to the San Francisco 49ers in time for the back end of the playoffs or maybe the Super Bowl.

It’s a stretch.

But it’s not out of the question because Garoppolo did not sustain a Lisfranc injury against the Dolphins on Sunday. Even simple Lisfranc injuries can require surgery and take months to heal.

“It’s not a Lisfranc, they don’t have to do surgery on it,” Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s still going to be a big recovery, but much less than what we anticipated, which is awesome news for him in the offseason.

“He’ll be good to go right away, so it won’t be like last year. There’s that way outside chance, late in the playoffs or something like that, but it’s just an outside chance [of a return]. I’m not really optimistic about that, but [doctors] didn’t rule it out.” 

ESPN reported Garoppolo could be back in 7 to 8 weeks. Shanahan said that’s not the full story.

“Seven-to-eight weeks, but to heal,” the coach said, suggesting Garoppolo would then have to begin preparing to play. “They just say how long it takes to heal and then usually it takes a little bit more after that.” 

That would put us at right around February 12th. That’s 10 weeks to the day that Jimmy Garoppolo suffered his broken bone. And it happens to be when Super Bowl LVII is scheduled to be played in Glendale, Arizona.

What does it all mean?

Brock Purdy has to play well enough to get the 49ers that far. But not so well that Shanahan might not want to go back to Jimmy G.

Tom Brady gets respect from Kyle Shanahan.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Addressing Tom Brady Rumors

OutKick reported Wednesday the much-hyped possibility of Tom Brady returning to New England is “one thousand percent” not happening. Figured as much.

What is more likely if decides to keep playing — not a certainty at this stage because he’s going to give retirement and the FOX job a think — he will play for a head coach he respects and who respects him.

So, yes, look to wherever Sean Payton lands after the season — assuming that team needs a quarterback.

(The Chargers, mentioned in the Payton rumors, are one example of a team that wouldn’t need to add Brady.)

And then there is San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan. He has a deep-rooted respect for Brady and isn’t shy about saying so.

“Tom, he plays the position better than anyone ever and he’s definitely the G.O.A.T. from what I’ve seen, but I don’t say that just because he has won Super Bowls,” Shanahan said. “I say it because of how he plays the position. The ball always goes to the right spot and that answer is based off of a thousand different things that could be matchups, it could be the coverage that could be based off of down and distance, the time in the game, how the defense is playing.

“If you just watch him throughout his whole life and you see him make a decision and you see him make a different decision in the second quarter, he just has command of the game and knows how to win it and what it takes, whatever that is.”

Brady Better Now Than Years Ago?

But, he’s 45-years-old. And he’ll be 46 next August before the 2023 NFL season begins. So too old, right? He’s not 25 or 35 any more.

“He’s kind of flawless in his technique how he gets everyone the ball and he’s done that his whole career, but his throwing mechanics, they only get better each year,” Shanahan said. “So I feel like his arm’s stronger now than it was 10 years ago and his legs move just as good as they did 10 years ago.

“They weren’t great then, but he’s extremely efficient and quick in the pocket and knows where to look and knows where to get the ball to and he’s still the best to play.”

Yes, keep your eyes on Sunday’s game to see how Shanahan and Brady interact.

Tua Tape is something of a myth.
Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Reel Story Of Tua’s 700-Play Tape

By now we’re all aware of the mythic 700-play highlight reel first-year Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel put together to help convince quarterback Tua Tagovailoa that he’s good.

You know the tale: New coach inherits downtrodden starting QB. And to raise the kid’s confidence he shows him 700 plays of him being reely good. All to convince the QB he can become the Pro Bowl Games’ leading vote-getter in fan balloting.

Well, the tale of the tape is not really the full story. Because Tagovailoa got nowhere near watching that whole monstrous thing.

“I didn’t watch the whole 700-play tape,” Tagovailoa said Wednesday. “There’s no way I was going to watch all 700.  I probably only got to like 90 with him.”

Wait, what?

So either Tagovailoa was convinced he was good a lot faster than we’ve been told. Or he didn’t need as much convincing as we’ve been told. Or he didn’t feel like spending maybe 14 hours watching that tape for the ages.

“It was a lot of hours of one play, just 14 minutes on just this one play and just talking about it like, ‘Wow, what did you see on this? Why did you guys do this?’” Tagovailoa said. “It was a lot of conversation, and I thought the coolest thing was like nothing that I said within the play or whatever could be wrong.”

McDaniel, a coach of the year candidate, used the tape as much for his own benefit as Tua’s.

“He really just wanted to know how we operated that or got that done,” Tagovailoa said. “If there were some nuances that he felt could be fixed, he would end up doing that. So that’s all that was.”

So if Tagovailoa didn’t watch the entire 700-play tape, how does he know the thing was 700-plays to begin with?

“We didn’t watch the whole 700, but he scrolled down and I saw 700-something,” Tagovailoa said. “It might have been more – I’m just saying 700.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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