Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

‘He taught me a ton’: 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo talks Bill Belichick, says ankle has made ‘big jumps’

Oct 21, 2020 at 11:39 AM--

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo joined KNBR on Wednesday morning as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to head on the road to face his former squad, the New England Patriots. Garoppolo spent his first three-and-a-half NFL seasons there learning behind future Hall of Famer Tom Brady under the tutelage of Bill Belichick.

The Patriots head coach spoke with 49ers reporters on Monday and praised Garoppolo.

"I mean, he's a quality player," Belichick said on a conference call. "The 49ers gave him a high contract that, you know, reflected their confidence in him going forward to lead their team, won the NFC Championship last year behind him. So, I think that all speaks for itself."

During Wednesday's radio interview, Garoppolo was asked about Belichick's comments and what it means to have his former coach speak so highly of him, even three years after shipping him to the Bay Area.

"Whenever Coach says something along those lines, coming from him, it means a lot," Garoppolo said on the Murph & Mac show. "Just the respect I have for him with his football knowledge, all the experience he's had throughout the NFL, his resume speaks for himself.

"Coach and me, we always had a good relationship. Obviously, being a defensive coach, there'd be some battles in practice, things like that with iffy calls that would go to the defense's way. But it was all in good fun.

"But Coach, he taught me a ton. Got nothing but respect for the guy. He's first-class all the way, and everything you could ask for in a coach, he was about it."

And of course, Garoppolo had to be asked how his ankle is feeling. The quarterback missed two games after suffering a high-ankle sprain during Week 2. He looked uncomfortable upon his return in Week 5 but looked much-improved during Sunday night's victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

"I forgot about that," Garoppolo said while laughing after being asked about the injury.

Added Garoppolo: "No, it's feeling real good. It's definitely made some big jumps since last week, and it will just keep getting better."

You can listen to the entire interview with Garoppolo below.

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