Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's presence was a significant influence on cornerback Richard Sherman's decision to join the San Francisco 49ers this offseason.

"The way he played down the stretch was inspiring, it was incredible," Sherman said two days after signing with the 49ers in March. "Sometimes quarterbacks can get hot and the next year fall of the face of the Earth and not hear from them again. I saw poise. I saw leadership. I saw respect of his teammates. I saw command of the offense. And he had only been there a few weeks."

Sherman is recovering from a ruptured Achilles suffered in November against the Arizona Cardinals. Tuesday was his first return to the practice field as the 49ers kicked off their mandatory minicamp. Sherman, however, was limited to individual drills and is not expected to be a full practice participant until training camp.

Being sidelined during practices, Sherman has had an opportunity to further observe Garoppolo, who he calls "James." He's likely even offered tips to the younger defensive backs on the field on how to defend against the 49ers' new franchise quarterback.

Sherman spoke with reporters before Tuesday's practice and explained what makes Garoppolo, the man who was a significant influence to sign with a division rival, so special.

"James is great, man," Sherman said. "He's fun ... He's been great. He's been phenomenal running the team. He's just another one of the guys. He carries himself well. He executes the offense great. He goes through every single read. His mind works really fast, which is cool to see, and I've had a great pleasure watching him and looking forward to trying to take it from him a few times (in practice)."

Garoppolo, who is 7-0 as a starter, was finally given an opportunity to learn the 49ers offense at a more reasonable pace this offseason. During his five starts last season, Garoppolo completed 118-of-176 pass attempts for 1,542 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

"He's very deliberate in his reads, and he doesn't force it if he doesn't have to," Sherman continued. "You can see a lot of the things that he learned from Tom (Brady), and just going through his progression, going through them quick, going through triangle, his reads from left to right, taking what the defense gives, not forcing the big play. I think some quarterbacks get impatient and are like, 'Man, I'm not getting the deep ball. I'm not getting a big play.' And they force it, and it's a mistake. I think, a lot of times, he doesn't make that mistake."

What else is it about Garoppolo that makes him tough to defend? Is his release quicker compared to other NFL quarterbacks?

"It's definitely pretty quick," Sherman answered. "It's not [Aaron Rodgers] quick, but it's definitely quicker than most quarterbacks. You can't (let it) really affect how you play, but you just need to read him. Hand off ball, he's letting it go, and you have to be decisive. If he takes his hand off the ball and doesn't throw it, I think he'll throw guys off. When he takes his hand off the ball, you've got to be ready to break."