49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t play well on Monday night. His receivers didn’t help matters.
Coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed on Friday that the team’s analytics specialists determined that the offense lost 108 yards to dropped passes.
“[W]e have a guy that’s much smarter than us involved in analytics who does all that stuff for us,” Shanahan explained to reporters. “That was the stat he gave us. I was just talking about how things can go and how they can get better a lot faster and it wasn’t just the drops, but there were a lot of things into it that we could’ve done better.”
The calculation, as Shanahan explained it, includes projected lost yardage from run after the catch. So what’s the message to the team’s receivers after an outcome like that?
“It’s just to get your mind right,” Shanahan said. “I try to tell them to go through that again. Don’t sit there and just picture everything is going to go perfect this week. Picture yourself having another drop again, know how bad that feels and then think of how you’re going to react to that because if you go out there being, ‘Man I’ve got to be perfect this week and I have another drop,’ you’re going to go into a shell the rest of the game and we’re going to need you. You’ve got to be able to go out there and play your game. People do have drops. We have good receivers who don’t drop it a ton. In terms of drops, they had a bad game last week and you’ve got to go out there and not think about that.
“Every game is a new week. Just because we had a lot last week, doesn’t mean, I know the first one, if you do have a first one in this game, it’ll be huge and everyone will think about last week, but that will affect how you play. You can’t worry about that stuff. Our guys have good hands, you can’t let one drop lead to another. You’ve got to go out there and be mentally very strong with it.”
It’s the right attitude. Drops happen. The challenge becomes forgetting about them and moving on.