MIAMI — Jimmy Garoppolo had no problem with throwing just eight passes as long as the San Francisco 49ers won the NFC championship.
Hmm. It’s a wonder where he learned that selflessness. 49ers general manager John Lynch thinks he might have picked that up in New England while winning two Super Bowls as a backup to Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady.
“I’ve got a sense of gratitude for Jimmy,” Lynch said Monday at Super Bowl LIV Opening Night. “I think things happen, and we were able to work out a deal. Jimmy, he made us better as an organization instantly. He’s a winner. I think a lot of that is just inherent in who he is. I think the Patriot Way helped shape that, as well. He had great experiences there. That’s all he cares about is winning. A great example last week, we throw the ball eight times in the NFC Championship, and he’s up on the podium saying, ‘How cool is that? We just threw the ball eight times and won the NFC Championship.’ So, all he cares about is winning. He’s a tremendous talent, a tremendous person. We’re fortunate to have him.”
It seems to come naturally to Garoppolo, but the QB does believe playing in New England helped shape his unselfishness.
“Yeah, I never thought about it that way, but it does translate,” Garoppolo said. “Especially in playoff time, it’s whatever it takes to win, whether we have to — if we don’t pass the ball once and we win, I would be happy with that.”
The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick midway through the 2017 season. Acquiring Garoppolo helped the 49ers achieve one of Lynch’s initial goals.
“It was a big step in our ascension as an organization,” Lynch said. “We knew it was kind our stated goal was we have to find that quarterback and then find the guys to knock them down. He was a big piece of that. That was big for us.”
The 49ers made the Super Bowl in Garoppolo’s first fully healthy season with the team. He tore his ACL early in the 2018 campaign then led San Francisco to a 13-3 record in 2019. The 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images