Jimmy Garoppolo's first day with the San Francisco 49ers was a whirlwind after a mid-season trade with the New England Patriots sent him across the country. On October 31, 2017, Garoppolo arrived at the team's headquarters in Santa Clara, was given a tour of the facilities, and introduced to members of the coaching staff and team executives.

That afternoon, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan introduced Garoppolo to the Bay Area media for the first time via a press conference. After that, it was off to do a few interviews with local media outlets. It wasn't until those public relations commitments were done that Rich Scangarello, the team's quarterbacks coach, finally got his hands on his new project.

Scangarello and Garoppolo started to get to work around 9 p.m. that night. Over the next three hours, the coach introduced the quarterback to the very basics of Shanahan's playbook – the formations. Then they broke for the night so Garoppolo could get some rest in his hotel room.

Garoppolo was back to work the next morning at 6 a.m., taking in as much information as Scangarello could provide. That was how the quarterback's infamous crash course with the 49ers started. The goal was for Garoppolo to digest enough information to be relatively effective should the need for him to play in a game arise. On November 26, 2017, nearly a month after the trade that sent him to San Francisco, that need arrived.

With victory already out of reach, Garoppolo was thrown into the final minutes of a home game against the Seattle Seahawks after an injury sidelined rookie starter C.J. Beathard. Garoppolo proceeded to thrill the Levi's Stadium crowd completing each of his two pass attempts for 18 yards and a touchdown.

The rest of the story is well known. Garoppolo remained the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season and led the 49ers to five-straight victories, including impressive performances against three playoff teams.

"Rich doesn't get enough credit in my opinion," Garoppolo told reporters before the 49ers' final game of the season. "There's a lot of moving pieces, but Rich has been with me since I first got here. Literally the first day I walked in here, we were going over stuff after I did all the interviews and whatnot."

It has been over seven months since Garoppolo first met Scangarello and started working with the coach. A lot has changed since then. The 49ers rewarded Garoppolo with a five-year deal worth up to $137.5 million, and the quarterback entered his first offseason with Shanahan and Scangarello. Last season, Garoppolo didn't have the time he needed to learn all the nuances of the offensive system or even why certain plays were being called. This offseason has been about giving Garoppolo all the information he needs to be even more successful.

"When he got here, it was just a play on a board, and he was trying to picture where people were going to be and do his best to execute based on what the defense did," Scangarello said on Tuesday. "Now, it's everything from the moment you walk up to the line of scrimmage, recognizing keys from the defense, man, zone, pressure, and then what you do post-snap with your feet, tying it to the timing of the pass game, and progressions, and all that.

"It's just a comfort, and you can see him growing more comfortable every day. And I think we know him a little bit better and what he does well, and we're adapting to that as well."

For Garoppolo, mastering the 49ers' playbook will make him an even better leader on the football field.

"As the quarterback, you want to be able to answer any question that is asked to you," Garoppolo told reporters on Tuesday. "You want to if you get put in a tough spot on the field, be able to get the team into the right play.

"Last year, not that I was handcuffed, but I just didn't know some of the reasons of why we were doing things. It was just kind of 'get this by Sunday, and we'll tell you everything else in the offseason' type of thing. I think learning the why's has definitely helped me.

"I still have a long way to go. We're not even through OTAs yet. It's a work in progress, but it's coming along."

Even in practices this offseason, you can notice a change in Garoppolo. Rather than asking questions of coaches between reps, he will take teammates aside to discuss timing, routes, and other aspects of each play. Scangarello was asked if that is part of his maturation and growth within this system.

"It is," he responded. "Honestly, when he first got here, he really wanted to do that, and it was hard for him to. He's very conscientious of speaking the language of the coaches, and we appreciate that as coaches. I think it's one of his gifts. He's just a natural leader. Guys gravitate to him, they listen to him, they respect him. And for us, it's nice that he can speak our words and the guys will go do it. It's just another way to get everyone on the same page."

Garoppolo sat behind an all-time great in New England. It was an opportunity to learn from two of the game's best offensive minds in quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. However, as long as Brady continued playing, Garoppolo was never going to see the football field aside from an occasional substitution.

Garoppolo went from working with great football minds like Brady and Belichick to learning from one of the game's most impressive playcallers in Shanahan.

"That's the luxury of not playing early in your career," Scangarello said. "He was able to be in a really good system with one of the greatest players in the NFL, and develop, and understand the game. And then to get here and see it our way, which is a different way, to really grow and see how Kyle thinks about defenses, and learn from Kyle. I think he's really embraced it.

"He's into it, and truthfully, Kyle's knowledge of defenses, for an offensive mind, is as good as anyone you can be around. Jimmy has been fortunate, and he's really emersed himself and embraced it."

In San Francisco, Garoppolo is the face of a franchise. He has the Bay Area and NFL world excited to see what he will do next to top last season's impressive finish.

"It's exciting," Garoppolo said. "People are really looking forward to the season. A lot of excitement in the air."