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laiyongcai92 Oct 11
Jimmy Garoppolo showed what he can do in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense even before he fully understood it in an impressive five-game cameo at the end of last season.

With an entire offseason to learn the foundation of the San Francisco 49ers‘ scheme and build chemistry with his receivers and offensive line C.J. Uzomah Jersey , he should only be better in his first full season as an NFL starter in 2018.

Whether that translates into even more prolific numbers is a different question.

”I don’t know how much of a jump you’re going to see,” Shanahan said Wednesday before the team’s final minicamp practice of the offseason. ”When you talk about expectations, I don’t know how you’re going to live up to that. He did very good last year. If we had 400 yards a game, does that mean we need to have 600 the first five games to improve? I don’t know what the numbers will be, but we will be a better offense.”

The numbers were quite good after Garoppolo took over as the Niners won their final five games of the season after a 1-10 start under Shanahan. San Francisco scored on an NFL-best 56.6 percent of their drives after Garoppolo took over as starter and ranked in the top five in the league in scoring offense (28.8 points per game), yards per play (6.1) and yards per game (409.6).

That all came with Garoppolo being force fed a game plan each week in an offense he barely knew. This offseason he has been able to start from scratch and learn the whys behind the scheme, which should make him even better once the season starts.

”I think I’ve come a long way, especially from last season when I was just cramming everything in,” Garoppolo said. ”But there’s still a long way to go developing that chemistry between me and the skill positions and the o-line. It’s a work in progress.”

That was evident Tuesday when issues with a new cadence led to several false starts or players not getting off on time early in practice. That led Garoppolo to keep a lot of the offense on the field after practice for some extra work to make sure those issues don’t come up again.

Shanahan said he was pleased to see his players take the initiative to fix those issues without any prodding from the coaches.

”It wasn’t any fun,” Garoppolo said. ”When that goes wrong, it just screws up the rest of the play. First and foremost, we have to get that corrected.”

While the cadence issue was a one-time issue, a major focus this offseason for Garoppolo and the offense has been on becoming more efficient in the red zone.

San Francisco moved the ball with ease the last five weeks of the season but the offense too often had to settle for field goals. The Niners converted less than half of their chances inside the opponent’s 20-yard line into touchdowns.

The team has excelled in that area in practice this offseason and Garoppolo hopes that carries over to the games.

”Those are point plays,” Garoppolo said. ”Those are the ones that really matter. When you get those opportunities, it’s hard to complete a touchdown, especially in the red zone like that. The windows are tighter, there’s not as much room.”

While Garoppolo is the headliner, there has been significant change in the one-plus year since Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over a struggling franchise.

Shanahan took over a two-win team that had gone through three coaches in the previous three years and now has it in position to be a legitimate contender in the power-packed NFC.

”We’ve put a lot of work in a year, we’ve gone through a lot of things, we’ve changed the roster over a ton,” Shanahan said. ”We’ve been better as a coaching staff. We go through this every single day. What I’m happy about as I look over our players and our coaches is we’re better. We’re deeper. We’re faster. We move together, our 11 guys, better together. That should happen. We’ve done it longer. We’ve had more time to build the personnel.”

NOTES: WR Marquise Goodwin won the Pro Football Writers of America George Halas Award http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-antonio-callaway-jersey , given to the person who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. Goodwin caught an 83-yard touchdown pass in a Week 10 win against the Giants just hours after he and his wife, Morgan, lost their infant son due to complications which led to a premature delivery. … Third-round LB Fred Warner signed his rookie contract. … Former 49ers LB Larry Grant has been named the team’s 2018 Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellow.

The good news for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals is they still lead their Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The bad news for the Capitals, counterintuitive as it may be: They host Game 4.

So far, Washington is 7-1 in away games this postseason, closing out each of its first two series on the road.

Heading into Thursday night, the Capitals are only 3-4 in their arena. The latest setback was a 4-2 loss to the Lightning on Tuesday, after victories at Tampa Bay by a combined score of 10-4 in the final’s opening two games.

Ovechkin simply shrugged when asked about that discrepancy.

”We don’t think about it,” the three-time NHL MVP said. ”We just play our game.”

Others were less dismissive.

”We can take a few things that we’ve done on the road and put it into our home game,” goalie Braden Holtby said. ”Just a little simpler. Simpler play. Just a kind of, like, more gritty style.”

Asked what his club could do to fare better at home, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said: ”Just play the way we do on the road. We’re invested there. We’re playing with real good focus. I didn’t think we were as focused as we have been normally on the road. So just pretend you’re on the road. All the buildings are pretty well the same these days.”

Trotz notices a difference in his players’ attitude on home ice, saying: ”It’s `us against the world’ when were on the road.”

There is a league-wide trend here: Road teams are 38-34 in these playoffs.

So much for any supposed home-ice advantage, right?

”For whatever reason, at this time of the year there are more distractions than in the regular season, for sure. A lot of people have friends and family coming down and ticket requests. Sometimes there’s that little added pressure of playing at home and wanting to obviously do good things in front of your fans,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. ”There’s something to be said, too, (for) winning games on the road, when you can just kind of hear a pin drop in the crowd, sometimes, which is always a good thing.”

Holtby agreed.

”It’s easier to play on the road. It’s always that way on the road. Any team would say that Redskins Elite Jerseys ,” he said. ”Because you’re not focused on the excitement of your fans and all that. They bring you energy in good ways, but at the same time, you need to stay realistic and play your game.”

During the regular season, Washington was a strong home team, playing in front of loud, red-wearing sellout crowds in every game.

Only five teams in the 31-club NHL had more victories at home than Washington’s 28 – and that total represents seven more wins than the Capitals managed on the road.

So what is going on in the playoffs?

”I don’t really have an explanation for it, to be honest with you,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said. ”I know when we go on the road, I think maybe we feel a bit more relaxed, and when we do make mistakes, maybe we don’t let the groaning affect us or whatnot. I mean, that being said, I think we should be probably mentally stronger to not let that affect us. Just got to try to find a way to win the next one at home, for sure.”

NOTES: Injured Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed the last four games with an injured right hand, took part in the team’s optional skate Wednesday. But Trotz wouldn’t give any hint as to when Backstrom might return. ”When Nicky’s ready to go, he’s ready to go,” Trotz said. ”You miss him in every way shape or form.” … Washington re-signed D Aaron Ness to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 if he’s in the NHL, $425,000 in the minors. Ness had one assist in eight games for the Capitals this season.

AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.