Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



Through the San Francisco 49ers' first nine games of the season, tight end Garrett Celek had seven catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Over the past five games, he has 13 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns.

Celek is just 42 yards shy of his single-season career-high of 350 receiving yards, which he accomplished last season. His four touchdowns this season are already a single-season career-high for the six-year veteran. Celek's recent success helped coin the term "Celek Time" among his teammates.

Jimmy Garoppolo has started the past three games for the 49ers and Celek, along with other receivers, has benefitted from the change at quarterback. In Garoppolo's three starts, which were all wins, Celek has caught seven passes from his new quarterback for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Celek joined KNBR on Wednesday morning and discussed the benefit of having Garoppolo at quarterback.

"He's playing at a very high level right now," Celek said on the "Murph & Mac" show. "I think his ability to get rid of the ball quickly and his ability to read defenses is really good. I know he's learned a lot from Tom [Brady in New England] and it shows."

What is it about the presence of Garoppolo that has elevated the games of players like Celek?

"His throws," Celek answered. "We're not even making difficult catches. I feel like, the balls he's thrown, we're wide open. He's putting it in a perfect spot. It's just an easy ball to catch. We're just making big plays. All my catches I've had, none of them were crazy catches. It's just I was in the right place at the right time, and he found me. I think we've been making a lot of plays like that. Some quarterbacks would miss guys. He's not missing us, you know?"

Celek joined the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State in 2012. Early in his career, he enjoyed being part of a lot of success as a member of a team that went to the Super Bowl and then appeared in a second NFC Championship Game during his first two seasons. Since then, the coaching staff has changed three times, but Celek believes the 49ers finally got it right.

"I think we're a lot closer team than we've ever been in the past before," Celek said. "Even my rookie year, the Super Bowl team, I feel like this team right now is even closer, and I think we're going to do great things here in the next couple of years."

You can listen to the entire interview with Celek below.