Shanahan observes Joshua Garnett is ‘really going for it'


After a disappointing rookie season, 49ers guard Joshua Garnett did not get a chance to show how he could fit into Kyle Shanahan’s blocking scheme.

The 49ers opted to place Garnett on season-ending injured reserve before the start of his second year in the NFL despite a knee injury that would not require him to be sidelined for the duration of the regular season. The move caught Garnett by surprise, as the 49ers challenged him to continue to get into better physical condition in order to carry out all the movements required to play in the zone-blocking scheme.

Thus far, Shanahan likes what he has seen.

“I see a guy who’s really going for it,” Shanahan said as the 49ers opened organized team activities last week with their first practices of the offseason program. “I’ve been very proud of how he’s handled his year off. Some guys when they go through that, they can get down, especially the surprise it was for him when it happened.

“He really took advantage of his year off. I think he’s changed his body. I think he’s lost weight and added some muscle. I think by doing that, you’re faster, you’re more athletic, and I don’t believe he’s lost his power either because it’s been the right type of weight.”

Garnett, a first-round draft pick from Stanford in 2016, started 11 games in Chip Kelly's offense as a rookie. He is getting the first opportunity to show what he can do at right guard this offseason in Shanahan's offense. He is splitting time with newly signed veteran Mike Person. Laken Tomlinson, who started 15 games last season, is working with the first team at left guard.

Veteran Jonathan Cooper will enter the competition in late July. He is being held out of on-field working during the offseason program as he rehabilitates from surgery on his left knee to require a medial-collateral ligament, which was torn in the Dallas Cowboys’ final game of the season. Cooper signed a one-year, $4.95 million contract in March.

Contact Us