If you believe preseason counts when keeping track of historical trivia, then
Gabbert tossed a 6-yard score to second-year tight end
Gabbert, the fourth-year signal-caller whom the 49ers traded for this offseason, entered Sunday's game with a simple mindset: stick to the basics.
"I just wanted to go out there and play good football," said Gabbert after he had his best preseason performance with the 49ers thus far. "That was my mindset today and just have fun. It's a great opportunity we have to play in this great stadium. You've got to enjoy it. That's what I focused on today, just have fun and play football."
"I thought he was getting the ball out, on time," Jim Harbaugh said. "I thought our quarterbacks were more accurate this week and there was some improvements made."
Gabbert's day began in the second quarter with the 49ers trailing, 7-3, following four possessions with starting quarterback
Gabbert said he'd been working extensively with the 49ers tight ends and the extra practice work paid off.
"He's another guy who goes out there every day with the same mindset - that's just to get better," Gabbert said of McDonald. "We worked on individual routes with those guys because there are so many opportunities for the tight ends to be singled up on linebackers in 1-on-1 situations. We have to maximize those opportunities when we get a talented athlete on a linebacker."
On a 1st-and-goal play from the 6-yard line, McDonald lined up at fullback ahead of rookie running back
Gabbert put the ball on the money and McDonald easily made his way into the end zone from there.
It was an impressive exclamation mark on the drive, and it also signaled Gabbert's growth in a new offense. So while many critics were quick to point out Gabbert's less than eye-catching statistics in two previous preseason games, Gabbert kept his head down and continued working.
"If anything," Gabbert began, "I apply pressure to myself and that's just to go out there and get better. We wanted to put some drives together. I wished we would have scored on some other drives that I was on, but we'll have a look at the tape and learn from the mistakes that we had."
Gabbert said his knowledge of San Francisco's offensive playbook continues to grow. He said he's looking forward to getting more in-depth on specific game plans for regular season opponents.
That time will come soon enough. For now, Gabbert can take pride in accomplishing what he wanted to before the game started.
He had fun and played good football.
"Everyone was on the same page," Gabbert said, summing up the team's improved offensive performance. "Communication was at a high level and when we do those things, you see the level we can play at."
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