Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Jimmy Garoppolo happy about his path to becoming the 49ers’ starting quarterback

May 30, 2019 at 3:47 PM--


There are a lot of paths a quarterback can take as he enters the NFL. You could have the reigns handed off to you by a former great, as Aaron Rodgers experienced in Green Bay, or you could be thrown to the wolves from the get-go like Peyton Manning.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who joined KNBR on Thursday, had the benefit of sitting behind and learning from one of the all-time greats in Tom Brady. He can't imagine a better path in preparing to become a starting NFL quarterback.

"I couldn't be happier with the path that I took, personally," Garoppolo said on the "Fitz and Brooks" show. "Things really worked out going to New England and then finding my way here. Just being able to see a guy like Tom, who has had so much success in this league. Just year after year, he keeps doing it. To see that, and be able to see that first hand, I couldn't have asked for anything better.

"I never really got the experience of being thrown in there as a rookie and having to figure it out. I played minimal amounts of snaps, kind of clean-up time as a rookie. I couldn't imagine it being very easy going from the college game to the pro game. There's so many variables; the change, the speed of the game, the offense.

"Most colleges don't even have a huddle, and now you're in the huddle calling plays. It takes time to get used to it."

Garoppolo spent most of last season as an observer thanks to the ACL injury he suffered in late-September. He was on the sideline once he was medically cleared to do so, traveled with the team, and took part in as many meetings as possible.

The situation gave Garoppolo a chance to see the game from a different perspective. On the sideline, he could look at the play sheet and try to predict what his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, would call under each situation.

Being on the sideline also allowed Garoppolo to watch the offense evolve game after game. The quarterback was encouraged to see playmakers like wide receiver Dante Pettis and running back Matt Breida emerge. He watched as the offensive line started to come together. Then, of course, you have George Kittle. All he did was set a new NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end.

"A lot of encouraging things going into this year with a good offseason so far, with the first couple of weeks of OTAs and everything," Garoppolo said. "We've just got to keep plugging away, take one day at a time and a lot of hard work."

You can listen to the entire interview with Garoppolo below.






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