Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell praise Garoppolo and Lance, believe young 49ers QB can become a ‘superstar’

Feb 9, 2022 at 2:25 PM--

San Francisco 49ers players are gearing up for a quarterback change after four-and-a-half years of locker-room favorite Jimmy Garoppolo leading the offense. Garoppolo was part of a team that fell just one game short of another Super Bowl appearance and made a move last offseason to acquire his successor.

The 49ers invested a lot to draft Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick, surrendering first-round picks in the successive drafts to trade up to acquire the young quarterback.

Outside the building, the sense is that change is quickly approaching. Last week, Garoppolo even sounded like a player who does not expect to return, saying his goodbyes to reporters and fans. Does Elijah Mitchell, the team's rookie running back and leading rusher this past season, feel everything is pointing toward a Garoppolo-49ers divorce?

"Yeah, that's the sense I get," Mitchell admitted to Jim Rome on Monday during an interview on the CBS Sports Radio show.

Mitchell added: "Just as a teammate, Jimmy, he's unbelievable. Things going bad in the game, he's been a leader, pumping us up. He's always positive about it. His head's never down. People don't give him enough credit. He's an awesome quarterback, and I love Jimmy."

Mitchell added that the media isn't in the locker room with the players. That makes it easier for them to criticize the veteran quarterback.

"Everybody's going to say what they want to say," the running back commented, "but at the end of the day, Jimmy's an awesome quarterback."

On Wednesday, Deebo Samuel spoke with Rome, who asked why Garoppolo doesn't receive the same respect from fans and the media that he gets from his teammates.

Samuel pointed to Garoppolo playing through pain to help his team win as part of his response. First, the quarterback suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb during Week 16 but only missed one game. Then he suffered a right shoulder sprain in the playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys, won that game, then another at frigid Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers, and nearly beat the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

"He's out there playing through whatever it takes, and we're still winning with him," Samuel said. "Just imagine if he was healthy all year long, what he would be capable of doing."

Samuel noted Mitchell's earlier comments about Garoppolo.

"He's a rookie, so just imagine how much respect I have for him and the things that I've seen him go through in the past three years," Samuel added. "It's just the energy that he just brings and the fearless mindset that he has to play through anything to help the team."

The two offensive players also discussed Lance and the progress of the 21-year-old quarterback. Lance only started two games this past season but was a diligent worker on the scout team and a student of the game.

"Trey, he has a lot to learn, but he's going to be awesome," Mitchell said. "And I know he's going to grind this offseason, and it's going to be an unbelievable year for us."

Samuel admits that Lance's inexperience could mean patience is required, should the quarterback step into the starting role. However, Lance benefitted from a year of learning from Garoppolo.

"I think Jimmy played a great role in being with Trey, of showing him the ropes of what Kyle (Shanahan) expects," Samuel said. "I think it was a good year for Trey to actually learn how the league goes.

"And me, personally, I feel like Trey could be a superstar in this league once he understands how to practice, and the mindset, and the amount of studying that you need to do to be able to win games in this league."

No one inside the 49ers building seems to have any doubts about Lance's ability to grasp the offense. He'll just need more experience running the system. That will likely come in 2022.

"Just by seeing him, he was very locked in, and he was always asking questions, always being prepared like he was going to play," Mitchell added. "So that's big when it comes down to that."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Mitchell below.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Samuel below.

Related News


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Two NFL playoff teams praise 49ers CB Emmanuel Moseley

By David Bonilla
Mar 14

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley didn't play much this past season, suffering a torn ACL in Week 5. However, it was enough to intrigue some NFL teams. Moseley is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Don't assume he will be an easy re-sign just because he is coming off a severe injury. According to Jordan Schultz of The Score, in talking with two playoff teams, it is clear that Moseley has earned some respect around the league. "Have spoken with two playoff teams today who like him," Schultz wrote. "I'm also told Moseley will be 100 percent ready for camp. Only 26 years old, he had a pick-six, as well as 5 PBUs and 1 TFL before suffering a torn ACL last

Jimmy Garoppolo thanks 49ers; George Kittle bids farewell to former teammates

By David Bonilla
Mar 17

There have been a lot of goodbyes over the last few days. The San Francisco 49ers said goodbye to several players. Jimmy Garoppolo, Mike McGlinchey, Emmanuel Moseley, and many others moved on to new NFL homes, signing deals with other teams in free agency. Garoppolo is the newest quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders. On Friday, he spoke to Raiders reporters for the first time, first sharing a message to his team of the past five-and-a-half seasons (h/t Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area). "I just want to thank the Yorks, thank the 49ers for everything that they've done," Garoppolo told reporters after wishing them a happy St.

Texans, Raiders expected to pursue 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency

By David Bonilla
Mar 13

Soon-to-be former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be in good demand when free agency kicks off on Wednesday. That demand will start today, actually. NFL teams can begin contract negotiations with impending free-agent players from other teams starting at 9 a.m. PT. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Garoppolo can expect to receive some phone calls from the Houston Texans and the Las Vegas Raiders, the two teams anticipated to pursue the veteran quarterback. Garoppolo has familiarity with both coaching staffs. He was with Raiders coach Josh McDaniels in New England and Texans coach DeMeco Ryans in San Francisco. Another team that could be interested in the quarterback is the New York Jets. However, they are also reportedly interested

Raiders signing former 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a 3-year, $72.75 million deal

By David Bonilla
Mar 13

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini, the Las Vegas Raiders are signing former San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback and unrestricted free agent Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year deal. The move reunites Garoppolo with Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator (2006-08, 2012-21). Former 49ers' QB Jimmy Garoppolo is signing with the Las Vegas Raiders, per @diannaESPN and me. Garoppolo played for Raiders' HC Josh McDaniels in New England and they now reunite in Las Vegas.— Adam


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone