Jimmy Garoppolo has had it pretty good during his four-year NFL career.
The Eastern Illinois product was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, and after learning under Bill Belichick and watching Tom Brady for three-plus years, Garoppolo found himself as the franchise quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco traded for the young signal-caller last October, and they gave him a lucrative five-year, $137.5 million contract this offseason after Jimmy G went 5-0 as a starter with the 49ers.
As Garoppolo prepares to embark on his new journey as the face of the 49ers franchise, NFL analyst Tony Romo told NBC’s Peter King that he believes the 26-year-old is in the perfect situation, and it all started with his time in New England.
“You cannot be in a better situation early on than Jimmy,” Romo told King. “He’s been with some of the best minds you could ever be around in the National Football League. He got the foundation of Bill Belichick, who probably set his routine for success for the rest of his career. He was around Tom Brady for three-plus years, learning through osmosis if nothing else. Tom’s ability at the line of scrimmage to do something, and then for Jimmy to go back and study the how and why … I am sure Jimmy saw so much subtlety that took Brady years to learn through experience.
“Jimmy could just see it in practice and he’s like, Oh, now I see why he did that. You get that ability to improve at a much faster rate than you otherwise would have on your own. It’s really a priceless thing for young quarterbacks to be behind a great quarterback.
“And now with Kyle Shanahan, he’s getting an offensive genius,” Romo continued. “I don’t throw that term around lightly—Kyle really is. I would argue there’s three or four guys in the league who really separate themselves as head coaches or offensive coordinators getting chunk plays. You’re dropping back and you’re having a guy come open 20, 25 yards downfield. That’s a huge load off a quarterback’s shoulders for always having to produce on third down to move the chains. That’s where Kyle really separates himself.”
The expectations are sky-high for Garoppolo this season, and the 49ers will need him to be the great equalizer if they are to compete for the playoffs in the loaded NFC.
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