How Much of an Impact will the Return of Rich Scangarello Have on Jimmy Garoppolo?

Photo by: Michael Zagaris/Getty Images | Rich Scangarello and Jimmy Garoppolo

The return of Rich Scangarello tells me that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are confident in Jimmy Garoppolo leading the team into 2021. Personally, I’m excited to see what Garoppolo and Scangarello can put together, especially after Scangarello gained experience during his time with the Broncos and Eagles. It will be interesting to see if they’ll trade for Deshaun Watson, make a move in the draft to take Trey Lance, or even go with Jamie Newman in the later rounds. These are all decisions that would grow the QB room and help prepare for the future, but we’re here to discuss the return of Scangarello and the effect it’ll have on Garoppolo.

Over the past three seasons, Scangarello spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Broncos and one season as a senior offensive assistant for the Eagles. Looking specifically at the Broncos for those two seasons, he assisted in the development of rookie QB Drew Lock, where, in a 5 game stretch, (four wins to one loss) he threw for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns, and ended with a QBR of 50.2.

Looking at the numbers Lock put up for his rookie campaign, I was reminded of Garoppolo in 2017 when he went on a five-game win streak. In those five games, Garoppolo threw for 1,560 yards and seven touchdowns, ending with a QBR of 82.7. It seems Scangarello has the ability to elevate his QBs with simpler reads. He may not be great in terms of play-calling, but when it comes to helping his quarterback and giving them the best opportunity to succeed, he is that. That’s why the return of Scangarello is exactly what the 49ers need to take their offense to the next level. Take a look at the numbers under Scangarello and see how each player did over the course of the five games.

Jimmy Garoppolo 2017

COMP/ATT – 120/178: 67.4%

Yards – 260.0 YPG

TDs/INTs – 7 TDs to 5 INTS

Drew Lock 2019

COMP/ATT – 100/156: 64.1%

Yards – 204.0%

TDs/INTs – 7 TDs to 3 INTs

That’s what Scangarello can do in five games, which is pretty impressive when looking at the ending record of 5-0 and 4-1. As an individual coach who is designated to a position group, I feel that QB coaching is where he flourishes and adding Shanahan’s ability to help scheme guys open is a match made in heaven.

In 2019, John Heath wrote an article where Lock gave a glowing review about Scangarello. “Coach Scangarello is 100 percent the man… I love that guy. He teaches in such an awesome way. He’ll let you go out there and make a mistake and not rip you for that mistake unless you go back out there and do it again. Coming from a quarterback standpoint, at least me, I like that kind of coaching. Let us go out there and fail a little bit, throw everything at us… Once we come back, dial it in, get into the meeting room and really teach on the board and teach on the film. It’s something he’s really good at as well as being able to explain things on the board. A lot of guys need to come out here and run through everything in real life but he’s super good at teaching you and getting you ready in the quarterback room rather than having to take a full live rep.” It’s exciting to hear that a coach can speak the player’s language, helping them to simplify the offense. I think that’s what Scangarello is bringing back to the 49ers. He brings simplicity to an intricate and complicated Shanahan offense.

Something else worth noting is another glowing review from Garoppolo. In an article written by Nick Wagoner in 2017, Garopollo says “Rich doesn’t get enough credit, in my opinion… There’s a lot of moving pieces, but Rich has been with me since I first got here. Literally the first day I walked in here we were going over stuff after I did all the interviews and whatnot. I think a big part of our relationship was that bye week, though. A lot of one-on-one time. We only had a couple of receivers here so we got to know each other pretty well. He’s a smart coach and he makes it a lot easier for me to go through my reads when he explains things how I understand them.” I think that last sentence is the key to the 49er’s offense truly flourishing. Scangarello makes the reads easier for Garoppolo, allowing him to get rid of the ball quickly and stick to the script. Statistically speaking, Garoppolo plays better with less time in the pocket, as shown by the tweet below.

I think Scangarello is a crucial component to the continued development of their quarterbacks. Ever since Scangarello left, the quarterbacks have looked panicked in the pocket and just can’t seem to get their footing. I definitely think we’ll see some better play from Garoppolo and a more efficient pass game in the offense. It’s going to be a fun offseason, and I’m confident that Garoppolo and Scangarello can be as dynamic as they were in those five games from 2017.

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