Roy Wittke is currently the director of player development for Syracuse University. Before making the transition from coach to administrator, he spent 33 years on the sidelines, including 19 at Eastern Illinois.

Wittke, who was Easter Illinois' offensive coordinator at the time, is best known for developing quarterback Tony Romo in college. He worked with another star quarterback during his second stint as offensive coordinator for the Panthers' (EIU, not Carolina). His name was Jimmy Garoppolo.

2013 was Garoppolo's final year at Eastern Illinois. By then, Wittke had become the school's director of football operations.

Wittke takes pride in his two star quarterbacks' NFL success. Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, is now retired and making a name for himself in the broadcast booth. Garoppolo, the former New England Patriots backup, is now with the San Francisco 49ers.

Wittke joined KNBR on Saturday to discuss the two quarterbacks and was asked about their similarities.

"A big similarity was one of the things that really drew us to Jimmy," Wittke said. "Both have the unique characteristic and unique ability to get the ball out of their hands very quickly. And both were tremendously accurate, could put the football where they wanted to on a real consistent basis.

"Arm strength was very similar. Both outstanding young men. Both guys who understood the game very well. Tony was a great, great practice player. A little bit more of a gym rat than what Jimmy was but both did a really great job of preparing themselves.

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"Tony was a little bit more spontaneous, got himself out of trouble, maybe expended plays a little bit better. But based on what I've seen Jimmy do with you guys out there, it looks like he's doing a great job with that as well.

"Again, both came from great, great families, great foundation, great upbringing. And I think that's a big reason why both have had great success in the NFL."

Wittke was asked which quarterback he would compare Garoppolo to. Was it Romo or Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who Garoppolo sat behind in New England?

"I'd say he's more Tom Brady than he is more Tony," he answered.

Wittke went on to compare Garoppolo's on the field personality to the fiery nature of Brady.

"Jimmy's a guy that he's got a very even-keeled level of personality," he said. "It's not he doesn't have a fire burning or have great passion for the game, but he's always a guy that was under control. I think that's something that he uses to his advantage. You never saw him get rattled, never saw him lose poise or lose control. It's just his way of making sure that he keeps himself focused and ready for whatever comes at him."

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What kind of leader was Garoppolo during his time at Eastern Illinois? Wittke said he led by example on and off the field. His coaches and teammates could count on him during crucial situations.

"He was one of those young men who was consistently good, not occasionally great," Wittke said. "He was someone that you could count on regardless of what the situation was, and that's really how he led and, I think, how he drew respect from the rest of the guys."

Wittke also likes the situation Garoppolo is in right now with the 49ers. He called head coach Kyle Shanahan one of the best offensive minds in the NFL.

"I think he's got a chance to have a tremendous career because of being under coach Shanahan's tutelage," he said.

You can listen to the in-depth discussion with Wittke below.