Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo loves the talent the 49ers have built around him, excited to get Jerick McKinnon back

Aug 4, 2020 at 1:50 PM--

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo wasn't with the San Francisco 49ers since the beginning of this roster overhaul. He did arrive midway through the first season, though, and since then, team decision-makers Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have worked hard to add weapons around their franchise quarterback.

The results of those efforts were evident last season, as the 49ers won their division and represented the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Now, the journey back begins, and Garoppolo believes he has the tools at his disposal to get the 49ers back to the Super Bowl.

The quarterback spoke with reporters on Tuesday via a video conference call and was asked if Shanahan's and Lynch's efforts to add complementary pieces have been good.

"Absolutely," Garoppolo responded. "I think the speed that we bring in, especially in the offensive skill group, I love that. That helps with the run-after-the-catch. It makes my job a little more tough getting the ball on time and accurately. It's a little different with speedsters like that, but it's a luxury that I love to have.

"So, yeah, I think Kyle and John, and the whole front office, just bringing in good people, people that work hard, people that all think relatively the same, I think that's a big key to our success.

"Bringing in the new O-linemen, bringing in Trent (Williams), Tom (Compton), it's a great group up front. And those guys, I love having them. It's just been fun so far."

One weapon that Garoppolo has yet to utilize in a regular-season game is running back Jerick McKinnon, who was signed in 2018 to be a featured piece in Shanahan's offensive puzzle.

McKinnon suffered a torn ACL about a week before the start of the ensuing regular season and has yet to play for San Francisco. Garoppolo discussed the rapport he had quickly developed with the running back before the injury.

"Yeah, Jet, being a former quarterback, it's a rarity to have a skill-position guy who sees the game like a quarterback still," Garoppolo said. "Jet does a great job of that."

McKinnon played quarterback in high school and some at Georgia Southern.

"Just throwing routes on air this offseason, he runs them differently than most running backs," Garoppolo continued. "He has a feel that's like a receiver, but he feels space like a quarterback. It's very unique. I'm excited to get him back. It's been a while."

The 49ers also added a new tight end, Jordan Reed, into the mix.

"It's been a productive offseason, just you know, getting new guys, the guys that we've already had, working with them, and even getting some guys back from injuries," Garoppolo said. "So, it's a great group. It's going to be a competitive camp. And going into the season, we'll see who kind of separates themselves from the crowd.

"But, I think whenever you can get more weapons like that, the more competition you add to different position groups and things like that, it only adds to better play."

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