Through the first two weeks of the season, there have been about a million takes on what is wrong with Jimmy Garoppolo. About half the fan-base isn’t worried, and the other half already knows he is overpaid, can’t make good decisions and will underperform. Here’s the deal: OUR QUARTERBACK IS GOING TO BE FINE.
During the game Sunday against Detroit, there were absolutely some concerning plays. I found myself yelling at the TV for him to get the ball out as the defense was bearing in on him, or wondering where his mind was on some of his reads. What we as fans must remember, is that it was his 9th NFL start. It does not matter how long he sat behind one of the greatest, there are many aspects of the game one can only get better at by playing against the best players in the world, when it counts; not preseason, not week 17 when the standings are set.
He is capable of highlight reel plays, such as his lone TD to Pettis in week 1, but his talent is much greater than someone capable of a couple big plays. His quick release is the 2nd best in the league next to Aaron Rodgers, the best QB in the league, and his spirals are as tight as there is in the league. His will to win is above all else, which he proved with some fiery reactions to his receivers who had run the wrong routes. Dante Pettis, while saying Jimmy wasn’t very polite about it, gushed about Garoppolo’s passion for the game, which Pettis saw full force when he ran a wrong route at the end of the Lions game, almost leading to disaster. If this seems to be a red flag, you haven’t been paying enough attention. Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday had an infamous spat, and Tom Brady seemingly gets into a yelling match with a coach or player every season. This fire and passion on display is the only way to succeed as an NFL player.
What is important for the 49ers is getting many more pieces around him. Kyle Shanahan’s scheme WILL work, and that has been proven throughout his career. While Matt Breida looked great and has loads of potential, our running game does not instill fear into opponents. Our offensive line, already average, has suffered multiple injuries to the right side, and Mike McGlinchey still has much to learn. Kyle Shanahan told reporters Pierre Garcon was the only receiver against the Lions who was beating their man coverage, and that the other receivers could not beat them one on one in man coverage. When the only guy winning those matchups is a 32 year old who has taken a beating throughout his career due to his physical, aggressive nature of play, there is a lot of work that needs to be done with the receiving core.
Truth is, we all wanted Jimmy to come out this year and have the same success he had a year ago. That was never going to happen over a 16 game season with the personnel we currently have. I see big things coming THIS year, but to expect him to play like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers is ridiculous. Yes, he is getting paid like those guys, but it is for 5 years. That means we need to give him time, and give this team time, but they will be contenders, if not this year, SOON. And that should excite the 49er Faithful.