Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch finally had an opportunity to discuss quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's first start since joining the team via a trade on October 30. In just his third career NFL start, Garoppolo led the 49ers to a 15-14 road win over the Chicago Bears this past Sunday. In fact, Garoppolo has yet to lose a game which he started and hopes that streak continues this Sunday against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

Lynch joined KNBR on Friday morning to discuss his new starting quarterback and what he saw out of him at Soldier Field against the Bears. The 49ers general manager shared what he feels might be among Garoppolo's best qualities as a leader of the offense.

"To me, I think great leaders, great players, I think the greatest quality that you can't measure: Do they make people around them better?'" Lynch said on the "Murph & Mac" show. "I don't think you can argue that he didn't do that for everybody on the field the other day. So that was impressive to watch, but it was just one start. I think everyone can be excited but also pump the breaks and say, 'Hey, let's go see what we do this week.' I'm excited for that opportunity."

On Thursday, starting left tackle Joe Staley spoke a little bit about Garoppolo's commanding presence in the huddle.

"I think one of the main things too was just his presence in the huddle," Staley said on 95.7 The Game. "I can't understate enough how important that is from the quarterback position. Just to have that confidence and that – I'm searching for the word here – just the presence in the huddle just to come out there and demand that everybody be on the same page and expect everybody to do exactly what it is expected of them every single play.

"He comes in there, day one, and was like, 'Who's my X receiver? You're winning on this third down route. I'm coming to you. Believe in yourself. Let's go.'"

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Lynch, who was part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that won Super Bowl XXXVII, went on to say he wishes he had someone like Garoppolo during his playing days. Sorry, Brad Johnson, who helmed the offense for the Super Bowl team. Our apologies to Craig Erickson, Trent Dilfer, and Shaun King, who were each a teammate of Lynch.

"I could have had five rings if I had a guy like that (when I was playing) because, in Tampa, we never had that," Lynch said. "I think I look for that quality I was speaking about. Do you make everyone around you better? From the small sample size that we've had with Jimmy, whether it be watching him in New England, he does have that quality.

"Certain guys, and certainly you can identify it because of the way he can throw the football. The quickness of his release, his athleticism, all those things. But also, one thing we've got to know that in our discussions with the Patriots, who loved Jimmy Garoppolo (and) did not want to let him go, but it had run its course, and they felt like they needed to finally get something for him, they all kind of reiterated that, 'Hey, this guy's got a special quality about him. People gravitate towards him.'

"And so we've had a little opportunity to see that, and it's one thing seeing it on the practice field, but it's another thing watching it live when it counts. Like I've said, I think I was impressed as were all his teammates and his coaches."

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Everything wasn't perfect against the Bears. Garoppolo failed to lead the 49ers offense into the end zone, and the team had to settle for five field goals from kicker Robbie Gould, who was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Obviously, the 49ers would prefer to score touchdowns in the red zone, which is an aspect the team will continue to work to improve. That means limiting mistakes and the penalties that result from them.

"We want to continue to execute all the way down the field," Lynch said. "We did a tremendous job of moving the chains, moving the football throughout the course of that game.

"We had real inopportune penalties. Whenever we'd get down into the red zone, it seemed like we'd start going back. Everyone has to be accountable for that and recognize it and say, 'How can we improve it?' I think that's something that we're looking forward to."

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While the 49ers' second win of the season was exciting, Lynch doesn't want his team to lose focus on the challenge ahead of them – the Texans.

"And then, this Houston team, they've lost some great players, but man, you turn on the film, and you see this Jadeveon Clowney, and you look at someone like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, who's supposed to be back," Lynch continued. "They've got some explosive players, so we better come and not just say, 'Hey, we're riding a one-game winning streak, and here we go.' We've got to come and really bring our best effort and see if we can take this thing another step forward."

You can listen to the entire interview with Lynch below.