Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo helped carry 49ers through crucial part of the season, inspires confidence

Jan 29, 2020 at 1:05 PM--

Many within the media feel Jimmy Garoppolo isn't capable of carrying the San Francisco 49ers should they need the quarterback to do so. There's just one problem with that belief. Garoppolo already did so this season.

A lot has been made of the comparison between Garoppolo and his Kansas City Chiefs counterpart in Super Bowl LIV — Patrick Mahomes. One is starting to be labeled as a "game manager," while the other has already been declared a "game-changer."

Cornerback Richard Sherman doesn't share the belief that Garoppolo can't carry the 49ers, and on Tuesday pointed out the times he already has.

"He's a quick decision-maker," Sherman told reporters. "He gets the ball out quick. We were missing two of our starting tackles for five or six games, and usually, that's going to destroy a team when you lose two of your tackles for that amount of time. That will usually tank your season.

"I think his ability to get the ball out, make decisions quick, and deliver accurate passes is what got us through that time."

All-Pro tight end George Kittle scoffed at the idea that Garoppolo can't compete in a shootout.

"I think we won 48-46 in New Orleans," Kittle said. "I think that classifies as a shootout. He had two back-to-back 3rd-and-16s to beat the Rams. I think he threw the ball pretty well against Seattle to clinch home-field advantage. So yeah, people can keep doubting him, I guess. I'm not going to. I don't bet against really good players."

Staley, who is probably tired of answering questions about the doubts surrounding Garoppolo, on Tuesday discussed the quarterback's leadership.

"The guy's unbelievable," Staley said. "I mean, the guy's cool, calm, and collected. The guy is very prepared in the way he works, and nothing really phases him. We could be up by 21 or we could be down by 10; he's the exact same guy in the huddle.

"He inspires confidence in guys, and I think we're really lucky to have a guy like that leading our football team."

Added Staley: "Jimmy's going to do whatever it takes to win the game, and we've seen that time and time again. We've had a lot of games ... where we really had to lean on him to win the game for us, and he's come through all the time."

One headline-seeking reporter tried to bait Sherman by asking which quarterback he would rather face — Garoppolo or Mahomes. The savvy veteran wasn't falling for that.

"I'd rather face whoever is in front of us," Sherman responded.

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