Jimmy Garoppolo had a tough fourth quarter in Super Bowl LIV, to say the least.
The quarterback completed 17-of-20 passes for 183 yards in the first 45 minutes of play, putting the San Francisco 49ers up 20-10 over the Kansas City Chiefs with 6:17 remaining in the game. But he came up short in those final minutes of play, connecting on just two of nine passes for 24 yards and one interception.
While there has been some questions regarding the 28-year-old’s future in San Francisco, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear Thursday during the team’s season-ending press conference that he doesn’t think any differently of his signal-caller after the Super Bowl loss.
“There’s no difference,” Shanahan said, as transcribed by WEEI.com. “He was on his way close to a Super Bowl MVP and we all know we didn’t… make those plays at the end by we made those plays all year, our whole team, that’s one of the reasons we were there. Whenever you don’t make those plays at the end of the game like that, first and foremost, that quarterback’s going to get attacked and then usually the play-caller. We understand that’s how it goes.
“Jimmy’s one of the main reasons we got to the Super Bowl. He overcame a lot. This is his first year in his career going through an entire NFL season… I think he had a hell of a first year truly playing the position, especially coming off (a torn) ACL where you have to fight through that a ton as a quarterback where your rhythm and everything is not there at the beginning of the year.”
Although Garoppolo has been in the NFL since 2014, he has just 29 career starts — the same amount as Baker Mayfield, who was drafted in 2018. So even though Garoppolo has been around the league longer, in a way he’s still relatively new to the starting role.
“For him to be like that and to not let the pressure get to him and to improve as the year went, I think says a ton about Jimmy,” Shanahan added. “I can’t tell you how much I love coaching the guy as a player and as a person this year.”
It doesn’t sound like the 49ers plan on losing Garoppolo anytime soon. Although, there have been some interesting takes on whether the 49ers should pursue Tom Brady instead – or if that makes no sense at all.