Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports



In only his third career NFL start and first with the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gave the Niner Faithful a glimpse of the potential future. By no means were things perfect. The 49ers offense was kept out of the end zone for the entire game and relied on kicker Robbie Gould for all of their points, but Gaoppolo looked poised and in control of the offense during Sunday's 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears.

That's what has the media buzzing this week about Garoppolo and what could be a bright future for the franchise. Some have even compared the quarterback to legendary Hall of Famer Joe Montana, which is probably a bit unfair, especially at this point.

"The Joe Montana comparisons, I think it is a little early for those," Garoppolo told reporters on Wednesday. "It's only been one game. We're both Italian, so we have that in common. But I think it might be a little early. We've got a good thing going right now. We've just got to keep working hard and keep improving every week and keep this thing going in the right direction."

While the comparison to Montana might be premature, head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't dismiss it while discussing the long-term goals for Garoppolo.

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"I love that excitement and I think it's deserving in terms of you should be excited that we have a talented guy," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "But, you also want to be fair to Jimmy too. You said the words, 'Joe Montana' and that was his third NFL game really playing. That's the goal, and we're excited about him, and that's the goal. Hopefully, someday we can get to there, but let's take it one game at a time."

How is Garoppolo progressing in learning Shanahan's offense? How much of the playbook does he know at this point? It's still a work in progress, according to the coach.

"He knows what we put in this week and that's what it comes down to now," Shanahan said. "Now that he's our starter, we put in stuff that he knows. Yeah, we introduced him to stuff today that will be the first time. He just walks through it, where he's just trying to feel it out. He'll rep it today. Probably need another rep of it on Thursday, possibly on Friday. But, also tomorrow you put in a number of third-down plays, short-yardage goal line. Friday we put in red zone.

"You keep adding stuff each day until you have a whole game plan. And then by Saturday night, you get together, you kind of soak it all in. I have an idea of what I think he's comfortable with and does well and he has an idea too. Then we discuss it. Things that he's not comfortable with or I'm not comfortable with them, we usually take out. We know going into that game on Sunday that everything in he can do."