A lot has changed for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo since he joined the team via a trade at the end of October. He now calls the Bay Area home, is the face of the franchise, and has more money in his bank account. Garoppolo also finally received some offseason time to better acquaint himself with head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

"I think getting in the playbook and fully understanding that this offseason with Kyle will really help me going into next season," Garoppolo said in February after signing a new five-year deal worth up to $137.5 million to remain with the 49ers.

Last year, Garoppolo was so busy learning the 49ers playbook and preparing to play that he didn't have time to learn the whys behind the play calls.

"It's nice to start from scratch, to go at a slower process," Shanahan said in February. "He got a crash course, and he did a hell of a job picking it up. But sometimes he's out there, and he's just going, but he doesn't truly understand why and things like that. But he did a great job of getting through the week to where he had a chance to do it on Sunday.

"And now, the rush isn't quite the same. You start from the beginning. Start on the first page, not the 50th page. You get a better foundation, and when you have a better foundation of where you're coming from when you're learning, I think it gives you a chance to play at a higher level."

With the 49ers' final minicamp of the season in the books, Garoppolo and his teammates are on a break from team-organized practices. Coaches and players will reconvene on July 25 for training camp. In the meantime, Garoppolo will take some time to head back to Chicago to visit family. He does, however, plan to get together with his skill players at some point during the nearly six weeks off to get a jump on the grueling training camp schedule.

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"I think there's going to be a good amount of guys here (in the Bay Area)," Garoppolo said last week. "So, we'll have plenty of time to get together. We don't get the same type of ability to use the facility as we would now, but we'll figure out a way to get it done."

When the 49ers weren't practicing multiple times a week during OTAs or minicamp, Garoppolo organized Saturday sessions with his skill players to put in extra work. Everyone seems to have found those sessions without the coaching staff watching over them beneficial.

"You know, I think especially for me still being pretty new this offseason, it just helped us get on the same page with me and the receivers and really all the skill guys," Garoppolo said. "We had everyone out there. It's just being able to talk through that stuff without the coaches – I've said this before – it's invaluable."

Even without an in-depth understanding of Shanahan's playbook, Garoppolo was impressive in his six game appearances and five starts last season. During that time, he completed 120 of his 178 pass attempts for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions, a passer rating of 96.2, and even had a rushing touchdown. More important, Garoppolo won each of his five starts to end the season.

Given that showing, the expectations for the quarterback are high with the hype surrounding the 49ers being greater than it has been in years. Garoppolo, like his teammates, has a lot of trust in what Shanahan is building and his ability as a playcaller. The quarterback believes his head coach's ability to keep defensive coordinators guessing is what distinguishes him from other playcallers around the NFL and will be critical to the team's success in 2018.

"He does a phenomenal job of it," Garoppolo said. "Our offense, it has so many variables, so many plays that play off one another that it keeps the defense on their toes and they can't really get a beat on us. He does a great job of putting us in good situations."