Defensive end Cassius Marsh never doubted how good quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would be. He was briefly a teammate of Garoppolo's with the New England Patriots. The Patriots traded for Marsh on September 2, 2017, and he spent nearly three months with the team before being waived at the end of November. During that time, Marsh had an opportunity to watch Garoppolo make throws against his defense in practices.

The San Francisco 49ers claimed Marsh off waivers and were awarded the edge defender the day after the Patriots let him go. Just three weeks after the 49ers traded for Garoppolo, Marsh reunited with his former teammate.

When Garoppolo took the 49ers on a five-game winning streak to end the season, Marsh was not surprised at all.

"I already knew that was going to happen; I called it before anybody," Marsh told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I knew because I was with the Patriots and he would shred our defense every day. He'd shred the first team every day, and it looked no different than when Tom (Brady) was on the field. He's a much better athlete than Tom; he's super disciplined and works hard. I'm very happy to have him as my quarterback."

Garoppolo's impressive five-game audition for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan resulted in the team rewarding the quarterback with a five-year contract potentially worth up to $137.5 million. Despite the pay raise, Marsh says Garoppolo is still the same humble person he knew in New England.

"He makes me want to be a little bit more humble," Marsh said. "He's just a super humble guy. He doesn't care. He works super hard, and I just respect the hell out of him."

If you haven't already read Branch's article about Garoppolo's backpack, don't let the topic (or title) fool you. It's a recommended read.

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