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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle shares what it’s like playing with Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard

Apr 24, 2018 at 11:31 AM--

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Then-rookies C.J. Beathard and George Kittle went through their first NFL offseasons last year. Even with that length of time, it was difficult to fully master the complexities of San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's playbook. When Beathard was thrust into the starting quarterback job, Kittle was impressed by his former Iowa teammate's ability to step in and take command of the offense.

What was even more impressive to Kittle was Jimmy Garoppolo's ability to step into the starting quarterback role just weeks after the 49ers traded for him.

Kittle joined the 49ers Insider Podcast this week and spoke of both quarterbacks.

"They're both fantastic quarterbacks," Kittle told Matt Maiocco. "You obviously saw C.J. a lot last year and he just proved all of his toughness, taking hits and getting up, making plays. You've got a guy like that, especially like you say, he's a rookie (last year) so any mistakes that he had, he can learn the offense better so it will be second nature to him (this year). He's a guy that's just brilliant when it comes to football. It's kind of wild. He just picks it up so fast, it's awesome.

"And then with Jimmy, he came in -- what? He was here for like three weeks and he was playing? That's incredible. I mean, I don't think I could pick up a playbook in three weeks. And he's a guy that's just one of the best leaders I've been around. So a guy like that, he's just going to get great."

What's it like having Jimmy Garoppolo as his quarterback?

"It's fun because you know you're going to get the ball," Kittle said. "It was really fun with C.J. too because we had chemistry from college. I feel like there were a lot of plays that he didn't have to look at me but he said, 'Hey, I'm coming to you no matter what.' Stuff like that, it was really fun.

"And especially with Jimmy, he's a guy that he sees the whole field at all times. You saw that. He came in for what? Three plays against Seattle? And he scrambles out of the pocket but he knows a guy is coming across and so he hits it for a touchdown. You've got to be kind of special to do that."

"He's a player," Kittle added. "You couldn't ask for much more."

You can listen to the entire interview with Kittle below.

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