Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has spent the past week and a half cramming to learn the San Francisco 49ers offense. Each day, he becomes more and more comfortable with head coach Kyle Shanahan's playbook and his new team. He even has a rental car now and no longer depends on rides to get to the 49ers' practice facility.

Garoppolo has gone through some significant changes in the past week and a half. He moved from one side of the country to the other and went from the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to a 49ers team that continues to fight for its first victory of the season. Garoppolo has received lessons in Bay Area etiquette, like never saying "San Fran" when you mean "San Francisco."

The good news for Garoppolo is that he is no longer sitting behind an ageless future Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady and is being given the keys to the 49ers offense. Is that appealing to him?

"Oh yeah, no doubt," Garoppolo said Thursday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon Bruce" show. "It's obviously different, but at the same time, it's the opportunity I've been looking for. We're taking it one step at a time. There's a lot of stuff to get done still -- learning the playbook, learning this language that this offense speaks, and I'm trying to catch up as quickly as possible."

Garoppolo is seen as a long-term solution at the quarterback position for San Francisco. Shanahan has been a fan of Garoppolo's since studying him coming out of college in 2014. The 49ers head coach, then the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, wanted to draft Garoppolo. The Browns decided to go with Johnny Manziel.

Until Garoppolo is up to speed, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard will remain entrenched as the 49ers' starter. Unfortunately for Beathard, he has to also suffer through the injuries around him as well. Included among those injuries is veteran left tackle Joe Staley, who is not expected to return until after the 49ers' bye week due to a fractured orbital bone sustained during Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Staley is responsible for protecting his quarterback's blind side.

Garoppolo gets to wait for the team's health to hopefully improve and he gets to do so from the safe confines of the sidelines. However, having started just two NFL games, he is eager to get onto the football field. Until then, he will have to settle for practice reps.

"It's a great opportunity, and it's a great organization that I've come to," Garoppolo said. "A lot of good teammates that I'm getting to know and it's just a lot of excitement in the air."

As for the "San Fran" debate, Garoppolo questioned why the term is unacceptable to locals. Host Damon Bruce explained if he met Saint Francis himself, he would not say, "Hey, San Fran, what's up?"

"Unless you knew him well," Garoppolo cleverly responded.

At least he didn't say "Frisco."