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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch believes Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers will respond to adversity

Sep 19, 2020 at 3:05 PM--

The criticism was expected. The hope was that after shouldering much of the blame for the San Francisco 49ers' fourth-quarter collapse in Super Bowl LIV, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would come out against the Arizona Cardinals and silence his critics.

That didn't happen.

Garoppolo's numbers weren't terrible, but the 49ers still lost their regular-season opener last weekend. The quarterback always takes on much of the glory after a victory. He also endures much of the blame after a defeat. Garoppolo's struggles were apparent to those who watched the game and didn't solely rely on the stat sheet.

Garoppolo was asked this past week to offer up a self-evaluation from Week 1 and share what he feels needs improvement.

"I think there's obviously good and bad from watching the film, but just being decisive, getting the ball out on time," the quarterback responded. "I think those are two big things that will go a long way ... but just being more consistent as an offense. Each drive, going out there and executing."

John Lynch joined KNBR on Friday morning and discussed Garoppolo. Fair or not, the 49ers general manager knows how much responsibility the quarterback position carries.

"A lot of Jimmy's struggles, oftentimes, it's really easy just to say, 'Hey, the quarterback, the quarterback,' when oftentimes it's a bunch of people, and it's a timing thing, and it's this and that," Lynch shared on the Murph & Mac show. "The thing I love about Jimmy is the way he has shown us his history of responding.

"Last year, there was the crazy statistics of when he threw an interception, how he'd come back, and his numbers were just off the charts. I think that's one of his gifts, is the ability to respond to adversity."

Hall of Fame quarterback and Bay Area icon, Steve Young, joined KNBR on Wednesday and tried to pinpoint why Garoppolo struggled against the Cardinals. He could relate, too.

"One of the things that I struggled with is I tended to read (my progressions) too fast," Young told said via NBC Sports Bay Area. "I would go, 'Oh no, no, no,' and then my options were over, and then Mike Shanahan (Kyle's father) would turn to me like 'Bro, no one is open because you're going too fast.'

"The reason why I say that is I notice in Jimmy, especially in those key plays in the Super Bowl at the end, George (Kittle) came open, and he had to be primary, and my sense is when I watched the game back was that he went through it too fast. He wanted to make sure he found somebody, and that's when he overthrew out wide. I got that feeling again this week. He would go through things, and it was like 'Hold on. Just take a deep breath, they're going to come open.'"

Added Young: "To me, it looks like he's going too fast, then late. There were times that he was late, not because he was too slow, but because he went too fast, and now you have nothing and the ball just kind of flies. I want to believe that things will get settled, and things will get much, much better."

Kyle Shanahan was asked on Friday about Young's analysis. The head coach didn't seem as concerned.

"Yeah, that's a very common thing," Shanahan explained. "All the time throughout every game, there's going to be times where a quarterback either goes too fast through a progression or too slow. Sometimes it's harder when you're amped up and everything, so you're just trying to find that even-keeled throughout the game, that balance of being amped up and trying to keep your rhythm of the game.

"So, there was a couple he might've been a little too fast on, a couple a little too slow, but that's pretty normal."

Garoppolo's teammate, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, acknowledged that the problem is more commonplace than some might assume.

"I think that's definitely something that everybody's gone through at one point or another is overthinking on a play, not trusting your first instinct," Juszczyk told reporters. "That's something that happens when you're not playing fast, when you're not being deliberate.

"My advice to someone who's dealing with that is to just trust that first instinct. Play fast, and if you make a decision, just be deliberate about it and make it fast. Things always seem to work themselves out. As long as you're aggressive and you hit it, guys can react off of you."

While Lynch believes Garoppolo responds well to adversity, he's unsure how much adversity one early-season defeat generates.

"We lost a game," Lynch added. "That happens in the NFL. But I do really believe we'll respond, and that's our challenge. We've got to go do it."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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