Jimmy Garoppolo to provide 49ers with 'sharper' offense, Tony Dungy predicts

Dungy foresees 'sharper' 49ers offense with Jimmy G starting originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy does not just believe the 49ers’ offense could be more crisp in the coming weeks with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.

He fully expects it.

“I think, will be -- not just could be,” said Dungy, an analyst on NBC’s Football Night in America.

“I think they will be [better] in the short term.”

Garoppolo this week reclaims his old starting job with the 49ers after second-year quarterback Trey Lance was lost for the season due to a fracture and ligament damage to his right ankle. He underwent surgery on Monday.

Garoppolo will make his first start of the season on Sunday night in front of a national television audience against the Denver Broncos.

The return to Garoppolo, along with the expected season debut of Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle, should account for a measurable improvement to the 49ers’ offense, Dungy said.

“I’d say Garoppolo playing and getting Kittle back, they’re going to be 25-percent better on offense in the next three weeks just with that happening,” Dungy said.

“[I’m] not talking about the long term and where Trey Lance might be down the road, but I just think their offense is going to look sharper here in the upcoming couple of weeks.”

At the end of last season, the 49ers decided to turn the offense over to Lance and place Garoppolo on the trade market. However, Garoppolo required shoulder surgery in the offseason, and all trade discussions came to an abrupt halt.

In a development unforeseen by all sides during most of the offseason, Garoppolo and the 49ers ultimately agreed on a greatly reduced contract that would enable him to remain with the organization through this season.

In five previous years with the 49ers, Garoppolo has started more than six games just twice. In those two seasons, the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl in 2019 and the NFC Championship Game last season.

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Dungy believes coach Kyle Shanahan can lean on what has been successful in the past with Garoppolo.

“He can execute it. He’ll do fine with that,” Dungy said. “Now they got to get their backs healthy. San Francisco beats you down by running the football and pounding you on defense. That defense is not going to change. It doesn’t matter what the offense does.

“They’ll continue to get better. They’ll figure out their running backs situation, get Kittle in the lineup, and they’re going to be a good offense.”

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