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SANTA CLARA — I’m picking the 49ers to beat the Chicago Bears.

But, really, who cares?

We’re here to see Jimmy Garoppolo. Here to see what he will add to the 49ers offense. Here to see how Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will try to stop him.

These are the five things to watch while we scrutinize the 49ers’ newest quarterback.

1. Energy and optimism.

By the end of last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, former 49ers starting quarterback C.J. Beathard was beaten down, disheartened, simply trying to survive.

When he left the game with knee and hip injuries late in the fourth quarter, Garoppolo replaced him and the mood of the entire offense changed. Suddenly it seemed fresh, energetic and optimistic, just like Garoppolo.

Garoppolo hasn’t lost a game he has started or taken a hit this season. He’s cheerful. We saw this on the final play of the Seahawks game when he calmly scrambled to his left and threw a touchdown pass to the third receiver in his progression, Louis Murphy.

During that sequence, Garoppolo seemed supremely confident, like a veteran Pro Bowler.

But, it’s easy to seem confident for a minute during garbage time when the game essentially is over. We need to see if Garoppolo’s confidence and optimism will last for 60 minutes against the Bears, or if he’ll crumble after a few hits.

2. Quick release.

Like Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard, Garoppolo will have to deal with a terrible offensive line giving him very little protection, and inadequate receivers.

Hoyer and Beathard couldn’t overcome these deficiencies with the 49ers offense. Those two took big hits as they stood in crumbling pockets and waited for receivers to get open.

But, Garoppolo has an advantage over Hoyer and Beathard.

“When anybody watches (Garoppolo) throw, he obviously can speed it up quicker,” Kyle Shanahan said this week. He was referring to the way Garoppolo releases the ball.

“Jimmy has the ability with his quick release that he doesn’t always have to anticipate. He can make up for it if he’s a hair late. He has the speed and quick twitch in his body to get it there and overcome some things.”

Will Garoppolo’s quick release protect him from pass rushers on Sunday? For what it’s worth, it didn’t protect him in New England. During his second start with the Patriots, he took a crushing hit and tore a ligament in his throwing shoulder.

3. Anticipation.

Another reason Hoyer and Beathard got clobbered this season: They both lack anticipation.

Those two quarterbacks typically need visual confirmation a receiver is open before making a pass. Waiting for visual confirmation forced Hoyer and Beathard to hold the ball longer and take more hits than they should have.

Garoppolo spent the past three seasons backing up Tom Brady, one of the best anticipation passers ever. Brady anticipates an opening in the defense and throws the ball before his receiver reaches that opening. That’s one reason Brady stays healthy and takes few hits.

Has Garoppolo learned from Brady to throw with anticipation?

“He has the ability to do it,” Shanahan said. “He’s a very smart guy, can read coverages, know where it’s going. But, that takes reps and time and that’s something he hasn’t had yet. I’m not going to sit here and make big judgments off that. That’s something I think he’ll get better with the more comfortable he gets in our offense.”

Watch to see if Garoppolo waits for visual confirmation against the Bears.

4. Man coverage.

When Beathard was the quarterback, opposing defenses typically played zone defense.

They forced him to move the coverage with his eyes. When he wanted to throw to his right, first he had to look to his left. This caused the defense to move away from where Beathard wanted to pass. Beathard was not good at doing this advanced quarterback play.

Garoppolo apparently can move a zone defense with his eyes. He has an advanced skillset. If Fangio calls zone coverage most of the game, Garoppolo will shred the Bears defense.

Expect Fangio to call mostly man-to-man coverage against the 49ers.

Man-to-man coverage is tighter than zone coverage. Garoppolo will have to hold the ball and wait for one of his mediocre receivers to beat a cornerback. This could take all day.

And while Garoppolo holds the ball, his offensive line will have to protect him, which it can’t do. So, Garoppolo will have to move from his preferred throwing spot and scramble while keeping his eyes downfield. This is difficult for any quarterback.

Garoppolo is a rhythm passer, like Brady. They like to get the ball, rock and fire. Let’s see how Garoppolo rocks and fires when he’s out of rhythm.

5. Twists and stunts.

When Fangio coached the 49ers defense, he was famous for his twists and stunts.

Instead of rushing Aldon Smith and Justin Smith straight up field, Fangio would make Aldon Smith start on the edge and loop to the inside while Justin Smith started inside and swung around the edge. Offenses find twists and stunts confusing.

The 49ers have struggled blocking twists and stunts all season. If they struggle again Sunday, watch to see how Garoppolo responds. Either he’ll keep his eyes downfield and make throws while he takes hits, or he’ll drop his eyes and watch the rush to see where the next hit is coming from, a losing strategy.

Garoppolo needs to pass five tests against the Bears, must go five for five in the areas I’ve noted. If he does, the 49ers may have their quarterback. If he doesn’t, well, we’ve seen that before.

Grant Cohn covers the 49ers for The Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Pressdemocrat.com. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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