Players typically say they are immune to what fans and media say about them. However, the 49ers can’t help but feel energized about the buzz around new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
If fans feel it, players are reveling in it, even if it’s only been a one-game start for the former Patriot.
“(Garoppolo’s play) gets everyone excited,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. “It feels like we just started last week, especially getting the win. You wish we had more than four games. You wish you had the whole season.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan, not really the excitable type, also feels pumped about his newest quarterback, the third to make a start this season.
“I think it’s pretty obvious for everyone to see his arm talent, just how quick he can get rid of it, the quick twitch he has in his arm and in his legs, the zip he can put on a ball. I think everyone sees that and when you go out there and you make some of the throws that he did, people get very excited,” Shanahan said.
How can you not? Garoppolo threw for nearly 300 yards and led five scoring drives against the downtrodden Bears on Sunday. And he did it with only scant knowledge of the Shanahan’s voluminous offense. In fact, players like Juszczyk helped him in the pocket.
If Garoppolo didn’t get the motion or shift correctly, especially if it applied to Juszczyk, the former Harvard graduate would simply correct the wording. The offense also had a fail safe, if Garoppolo really botched the call, they’d scrap the play entirely and go with an emergency play instead.
It all seemed to work rather seemlessly, in fact, it was Garoppolo who told receivers were to line up when they seemed confused during the game.
The 49ers can appeal to the NFL for a do-over this season, but that’s not likely to work out. Instead, the team will have to relie on the age-old sports addage – wait until next year.
“I think having a full off-season with Jimmy,” Juszczyk said, “we will kind of carry that excitement and momentum into the off-season.”