Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Schlereth: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo has spectacular arm talent...and I mean spectacular

Sep 22, 2021 at 11:20 AM--

File this story under "gonna make some people mad today." Anytime we write about one of the San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks, it stirs some strong feelings among fans. It seems some fans have not received the memo that you can root for whoever is the current quarterback of your team while also being excited about the future of the team's current backup.

When the 49ers traded three first-round draft picks for Trey Lance, the writing was on the wall. Jimmy Garoppolo may be the team's starter for now, but his days are numbered. Fans (and media members) started taking sides. You were either Team Jimmy or Team Trey. The stupidity that has followed has been unlike anything I've seen as a fan who still remembers the team's very first Super Bowl title, back before social media...or electricity.

After the 49ers' Week One win in Detroit, the chatter seemed to calm a little. But after Sunday's win in Philadelphia, where Garoppolo didn't perform to some fans' expectations, the noise has returned.

Former NFL offensive lineman, and current football analyst, Mark Schlereth, stirred the pot with some controversial words about Garoppolo earlier this week, when Schlereth was a guest on Damon, Ratto & Kolsky on 95.7 The Game. Said the former lineman, "Jimmy Garoppolo has spectacular arm talent. And I mean spectacular. One thing I love about him is that he doesn't care how you win. He doesn't care if you go into the NFC Championship and throw it eight times."

When some unfortunate fan responded, "Stink is sniffing glue…Jimmy doesn't have spectacular anything on a football field, period! Just goes to show that these so called former player 'experts' are NOT expert evaluators of players," Schlereth took exception. He responded, "How about you stick to fishing…and don't worry about what I know to be true! BTW the 'expert evaluators' you speak of are 50/50 in the first round at best."

Schlereth should know quarterbacks. For those who may not recall, as an offensive guard, he was one of the players tasked with protecting John Elway. Elway is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. Schlereth should be able to recognize arm talent when he sees it.

Add to that the fact that Schlereth played in the NFL for 12 seasons, winning three Super Bowls (one with Washington and two with Denver). So he knows a thing or two about offensive football. He understands scheme, and even commented on how the 49ers shifted their offensive game plan on Sunday when it became apparent that what they wanted to do offensively wasn't going to work because of the Eagles' defensive front.

There have been some people who say Garoppolo looks the same as he always has, while others say he looks different this season, that he's more focused, that he's better. 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey went on KNBR yesterday morning and was asked if Garoppolo has a chip on his shoulder this season. He was asked specifically if Garoppolo is "chippier" this year after all the offseason noise. McGlinchey was also asked about those quarterback sneaks.

"I wouldn't say 'chippier,' but he's definitely more confident, and he's definitely playing a lot more free," said McGlinchey. "I think when you have a guy like him who just competes every single day as hard as you can, to play as hard as you can to win games, and blocks out all the noise surrounding him for the last year or two, it's truly impressive what he's able to be doing."

McGlinchey continued, "You know that when he looks at you in the middle of the huddle with the game on the line, third-and-one, and we call our fourth or fifth quarterback sneak of the game, and we just keep advancing forward, it's a damn good feeling, and that's pretty cool to see. Jimmy's so great at that, and it's the confidence that he gives everybody else he plays with, is one of the best qualities about him."

Whichever quarterback you think should be starting right now, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is what head coach Kyle Shanahan thinks. And until he makes a change, Garoppolo is still QB1, as he should be.

Garoppolo's teammates believe in him. His coaches believe in him. And we can take comfort in the fact that San Francisco has a quarterback that is "spectacular...and I mean spectacular."
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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