Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Sanders explains why Jimmy Garoppolo and Richard Sherman are good for the 49ers ecosystem

Jan 15, 2020 at 8:32 AM--

Emmanuel Sanders and Jimmy Garoppolo have only been teammates since late October, when the San Francisco 49ers acquired the wide receiver via a trade with the Denver Broncos. Since then, the receiver has gotten to know his quarterback pretty well. The two often stay behind after practices to work on routes and continue building chemistry.

Garoppolo may be the team's highest-paid player, but he doesn't act like it. Money hasn't seemed to change him much. Sanders may not have been around before the 49ers threw a significant chunk of the salary cap at Garoppolo, but he can see that the quarterback represents the mentality of the team.

Sanders joined NFL Total Access on Tuesday and discussed his quarterback.

"I'll tell you what, Jimmy G is one of the guys," Sanders said during the interview. "He doesn't have a personality..."

Sanders paused for a second to figure out what to say next. He didn't want the quote to be taken out of context. Garoppolo definitely has a personality, after all.

"Excuse me, whoa," Sanders added while laughing. "He doesn't have an ego."

That's better.

"He's one of the guys," Sanders continued, "and I've been enjoying spending my time with Jimmy. A lot of people don't understand what I mean by that, but just know that I walk into work with a Louis Vuitton backpack, Kittle walks in with a Louis Vuitton backpack. Jimmy, he still has his Eastern Illinois backpack from college. So that kind of shows you Jimmy G.

"He's one of those guys that he just has his head to the ground, and he just wants to work. That's all he wants to do. He wants to work hard, and he's one of the hardest working guys on the team, if not the hardest working guy on the team.

"Every time I come into the facility, he's here. Just playing alongside a guy like that, just working to be better, working to try to be great, it's been cool."

Hard work and dedication to doing whatever it takes to win. Garoppolo is an offensive player who represents that well. On defense, you have Richard Sherman — the one-time hated rival turned fan-favorite.

Sanders was asked about Sherman's personality and what it means to this young organization, which is on the doorstep of accomplishing something very special. What has Sanders, a veteran himself, seen from his defensive counterpart?

"When I first got here, I noticed right off the bat that Richard Sherman's personality is good for the ecosystem of this organization," Sanders shared. "He's a big part of why this organization is winning. Around here, they don't call him 'Richard Sherman.' They call him 'Uncle Sherm,' because Sherm, he's kind of like the facilitator. He's a police officer around here. He polices a lot of stuff.

"He'll see a guy walking around with his pants a little down, and he's like, 'Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Pull them pants up!' That's like Uncle Sherm.

"From a playing standpoint, we all know what he brings to the table. I was talking to (my former teammate) Chris Harris — he came out for the game — I told him Sherm shuts down the whole left side of the field, and I really do believe that."

A side note: Harris is scheduled to become a free agent in March. I'm not suggesting anything. It's just a fun fact.

"He's an All-Pro talent," Sanders continued regarding Sherman. "He's a future Hall of Famer, and I'm blessed to be able to play alongside a guy like that."

From four wins all of last season to being one win away from a Super Bowl, this 49ers squad has vastly improved since Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over. Their massive rebuild was accomplished in less time than expected. Garoppolo and Sherman are two reasons for that quick turnaround.

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