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More comfortable Jimmy Garoppolo says ‘I didn’t know half the team’s name last year’

Aug 2, 2018 at 5:30 PM

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Jimmy Garoppolo's first weeks with the San Francisco 49ers were a whirlwind. After being told about the mid-season trade that was sending him from New England to San Francisco, Garoppolo packed a few suitcases and got on a plane the next morning to head across the country to his new home.

Once Garoppolo arrived in Santa Clara, he got to work on learning an all-new playbook and system all while trying to find his bearings.

"There are so many things off the field that you're trying to get together," Garoppolo said during a KNBR interview on Thursday. "Where you're living, where's your car, I know no way of getting around. And then at the same time, you're learning a whole new playbook and new people."

Garoppolo knew where Chipotle and Starbucks were and that was about it. Outside of that, he was focused on the job at hand. He didn't even have a chance to learn the names of his new teammates, which made things somewhat awkward.

"I didn't know half the team's name last year," Garoppolo shared.

He would use "Hey bro" and "What's up, man?" to replace the names of his new teammates, at least until he started learning them. There were times during his first week with the 49ers when Garoppolo was explaining a route to a player, and he didn't even know what that player's name was.

"The toughest was the coaches," Garoppolo said. "But you could always go with the 'Hey, coach,' so that was a good thing. That made it a lot easier ... I think I had a pretty good excuse, the first couple of weeks, at least."

Now, Garoppolo has a home in the area. His familiarity with his surroundings has expanded beyond the 49ers' facility, Chipotle, and Starbucks.

Garoppolo is also a lot more comfortable now that he's had an opportunity to go through a full offseason with Kyle Shanahan. He is receiving the foundation for why something is in the playbook and not just being asked to learn and try to do it.

"Having OTAs really helped prepare me for this," Garoppolo said. "They install new stuff going in every day and you have to learn quickly before you get out to practice so it's a constant learning experience and Kyle's done a great job helping me out with it."

Shanahan was interviewed on KNBR about 30 minutes after his quarterback went on. The head coach shared that they install about 40 things a day until the players have the entire playbook at their disposal. So Garoppolo isn't exaggerating when he says it is a constant learning experience.

Receiving the foundation from Shanahan and the rest of the coaching staff has made Garoppolo more comfortable as he prepares for his second season with the team. This time, he'll have a full offseason worth of knowledge at his disposal as opposed to just the few weeks he had last year before being thrown into the fire.

"It's just that comfort, walking up to the line, I know it all, what 10 other guys are doing," Garoppolo said. "Now I'm looking at the defense more so than looking at the offense where in some games last year, I'd walk up to the line, and you know what half this side of the ball is doing, and the other half, you're like, 'Yeah, I hope this side is right.' We're past that point, for sure."

Even though he has in-game experience, a full offseason will significantly help Garoppolo excel within Shanahan's system.

"Jimmy got some experience last year, but this really was his first time learning it all," Shanahan said. "He was just trying to survive. The more you learn, the more you're ready for adjustments, the less you need those reps during the week. It should add to a little more consistency over the long haul."

You can listen to both interviews below.

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