Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo shares what he learned from Tom Brady, compares George Kittle to Rob Gronkowski

Jul 13, 2019 at 11:00 AM--

Jimmy Garoppolo spent three-and-a-half seasons sitting behind and learning from one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, Tom Brady, before a mid-season trade in 2017 sent him from the New England Patriots to the San Francisco 49ers. He finally received an opportunity to start for an NFL team after years of wondering in New England when his chance would come.

Garoppolo entered the 2018 season as the bonafide starting quarterback for the first time in his pro career. A torn ACL ended his year just three weeks into the regular season.

Garoppolo has been working hard since the injury to improve in the mental aspect of the game while his body healed. He studied with his quarterback coach, who is now the offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos. At times, Garoppolo would have a chance to continue learning from head coach Kyle Shanahan. Of course, he was focused on getting his healthy quarterbacks prepared for games. When the head coach wasn't available, the quarterback worked for a few weeks with Kyle Shanahan's father, former head coach Mike Shanahan.

Garoppolo more recently studied with Tom House and his team at 3DQB in Southern California during the team's break before training camp.

"You don't want to change your entire throwing motion this close to the season," Garoppolo recently told Kevin Clark of The Ringer, "so it's more about getting into their program, learning how they teach, and maybe everything they teach doesn't apply. It was a good opportunity to meet some very intelligent minds."

All of this work is to help him improve as a passer. Still, the quarterback can look back to his time with Brady and remember the valuable lessons learned from the future Hall of Famer in New England. One of those lessons involved Brady's unmatched attention to detail and preparation for games.

"The preparation as a whole was tremendous just to see it, to be in the same room as it, to learn from it," Garoppolo said. "To be a rookie and see that, it was invaluable. I can barely put it into words. What you learn is playing the game within the game, that's a big part of Tom.

"I don't even know if he told me that [directly], but he would always talk about the game within the game. He would talk about the snap count, and he'd say 'you're going to go on two on this play' and he'd have a specific reason. That's not the coaches telling you, that's the player playing the game within the game.

"It's the little things, the little details and how he ties them all together—that's what separates you."

Garoppolo was also asked about another player who is among the best to ever play his position, tight end Rob Gronkowski. The 49ers quarterback currently has one of the best in the game at his disposal in tight end George Kittle. Garoppolo was asked to compare the two and how different they are from one another.

"No, no, they are very similar," Garoppolo responded. "I had a locker next to Gronk for a number of years; I got to experience that first hand. George is very similar. I think it's as simple as catching a pass in practice. You think it's a nothing pass. And all of a sudden the guy is running around like he scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. It's incredible. Day in and day out, it's that. It's contagious."

Click here to read Clark's entire interview with Garoppolo over at The Ringer.

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