Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group joined the latest installment of the No Huddle Podcast to talk San Francisco 49ers football with Al Sacco and Zain Naqvi. Among the topics of discussion were the team's top two quarterbacks on the depth chart — Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard.

Garoppolo was acquired via a mid-season trade in 2017, went on to start and win each of the 49ers' final five games of the season, became a very rich man in February, and entered his first offseason with head coach Kyle Shanahan. Inman says everyone loves to talk about Garoppolo. So, of course, Sacco and Naqvi went ahead and asked about him. How has Garoppolo looked so far in training camp?

"I think he's been very good," says Inman. "Obviously, there's a lot of scrutiny on him. Everybody wants to know about Jimmy. In practice, he seems to have gotten progressively better. He's always had the leadership, captain qualities. He's very outgoing with his teammates. They all like him."

The team likes Garoppolo so much that the offensive linemen will start a chant of "Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!" during warm-ups just to tease him. The quarterback will try to fire back by starting a chant of his own. Garoppolo responds with, "Staley! Staley!"

That goes nowhere.

If there was one knock on Garoppolo headed into the offseason, it was his deep-ball accuracy. However, the Garoppolo to Marquise Goodwin deep-ball connection has been on display this week during practices, so maybe some of those concerns are unwarranted.

"I don't think that's necessarily a concern," Inman told Sacco and Naqvi.

Despite some scattered reports of poor play during a June minicamp, Garoppolo's impressive finish to the 2017 season carried over into training camp. 49ers receivers trust him and his ability to keep plays alive and get the football into their hands. Inman shared one instance of training camp improvisation by the quarterback.

"There was a play where he's rolling right and he can't see where the receiver is," says Inman. "There's too much traffic in front of him. He's a 6-foot-2 quarterback, so he's not too tall, but he can see enough, and he threw a pass probably about 20 or 25 yards on the boundary, and George Kittle was running right to it. I think he made a one-handed catch and got his feet in.

"It was a spectacular play even though it's training camp and nobody's really hitting him. It's plays like that that give you belief that the Niners have their quarterback. A lot of other plays too that do it, but that's just one example."



It's not just Garoppolo who impresses Inman. He believes the team has a good one in backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, who the 49ers drafted in the third round last year.

Beathard has had his ups and downs during training camp, but he's not going to be the starter, so it's not as big a deal. As a backup quarterback to Garoppolo, he looks pretty good.

"Probably totally good as your number two quarterback," says Inman. "No matter what, it would be such a dropoff between Jimmy and whoever, right? But C.J. had so much experience, and rough experience, last year playing for the 49ers. He got beat up like few quarterbacks do and survive. It's made him strong and more resilient.

"He has ups and downs. He's working with the twos usually, so it's not like he's throwing to the number one receivers or behind the number one line. He threw a pass [on Wednesday] that was about 25 yards. I wrote down 'velocity' just knowing he's got a gun. People don't really realize it because they didn't see much of it last year because he was on his back a lot."

Shanahan loved Beathard's toughness coming out of college and, as Inman said, that toughness showed last season. Upon drafting him, Shanahan compared Beathard to another quarterback he respected highly – Kirk Cousins.

"I totally like [Beathard] a lot," says Inman. "I think he's got the right demeanor. He's not arrogant, he's very self-confident, he wants to play ball, and it's exactly what you want in a backup quarterback."



You can listen to the latest No Huddle Podcast episode below, from our dedicated podcast page, on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.