As has been stated over and over, and over and over again, 2018 was a horrendous year for a 49ers franchise that was hoping to move up the ranks and at least compete for a playoff spot. In hindsight, the only reason anyone really thought this team would be able to compete, including myself, was the insurgence of Jimmy Garoppolo. As soon as he went down, so did the hopes and dreams of thousands of 49er fans all around the globe. However, that was all the way back in week three, and with the emergence of Kittle, and the confirmation that Kyle Shanahan is a genius (if you need evidence, ask me for the tape; you won’t be disappointed), along with many other story lines for San Francisco this year, Garoppolo’s injury, and Jimmy himself, although always on the forefront of why we were SO bad this year, were mostly forgotten. Now, when you listen to “experts” and sports talk, there seems to be a much more halted view of the success Garoppolo can have for this team. Whereas after 2017, the word was that Jimmy G was going to come in and have immediate success, suddenly all these guys have taken a much more conservative approach. I have heard Will Cain, Stephen A. Smith, and others, speak apprehensively about Jimmy regarding next season, always saying things like “we’ll see if Garoppolo can be a starting QB in this league”, as opposed to what they were saying before the injury, which was that he was the next Tom Brady. However, this is a GOOD thing for all of us in the Bay.
Jimmy being mostly out of the spotlight (dancing onstage at Nelly concerts certainly warrants a “mostly”) should help him get back to where his head needs to be, and humble him a bit. Not to say he was an ego-maniacal person at any point, and I believe things like hanging out with porn stars and partying are just par for the course for a handsome starting NFL QB, but how could all the hype not get to your head if you are Jimmy, having never lost a game. Now, with the ability to just focus on getting better and learning Shanahan’s system for another entire offseason, Garoppolo will come back next season better than he has ever been. Reports from the 49ers have been positive, towards the end of the season Jimmy was able to start picking up speed and really practice and train. Garoppolo will also have an established superstar in Kittle, a guy defenses will have to focus on, opening the field for others (hopefully “others” includes AB? Golden Tate? AT LEAST A DAMN RECEIVER!), including Jerick Mckinnon. Last year, the 49ers weapons were slight, and Dante Pettis was really the only guy to be excited about; this season, there are going to be a lot more weapons at his disposal.
Let the rest of the world keep forgetting about Jimmy G, but don’t you forget the feelings you had when he came out and won 5 straight games for us against solid competition in 2017. While he won’t win them all, 2019 is going to be OUR year, and you can count on that. When no one expects it, that’s when we strike.