SANTA CLARA – New quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been impressed with how his teammates have welcomed him. Many have invited him to their homes to hang out. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk made sure Garoppolo had a place at his Thanksgiving night table with about 20 of his teammates and their partners.
When 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan heard that receiver Marquise Goodwin yielded his seat in the front row of the team bus to the airport to Garoppolo, Shanahan said, “Smart,. receivers should do whatever they can to get quarterbacks to like them.”
When Juszczyk was asked about inviting Garoppolo for holiday dinner he said, “It’s always good to have the future quarterback hanging out at your house.”
When rookie wide receiver Trent Taylor was asked about how Garoppolo fired a perfect pass to him despite throwing off his back foot, with a defender descending on him, Taylor said, “(I’m) looking forward in the years to come, that you got a playmaker back there. And it makes you work that much harder for that guy, knowing he’s going to lay it on the line for you.”
The bottom line here is everybody loves Jimmy and it appears that the offensive players are already envisioning that he will be a 49er for a while, and they are anticipating that he will be an excellent quarterback for a long time.
It’s only been one game, however, fans and media aren’t the only ones getting excited about Garoppolo as the team’s long-term quarterback. Skill players seem to be lining up to get in favor with the 49ers’ newest sensation. They might well be sensing that Garoppolo could make them all look better. That he might not only be the ticket to winning seasons, but to fatter contracts.
Obviously one game didn’t convince the players that Garoppolo could be the guy. The team has witnessed Garoppolo up close in five weeks of practices. They’ve seen the arm strength, the decision-making, and devotion to the game.
Of course, all of this could evaporate in an instant. Garoppolo could turn out to be Matt Flynn or Matt Casel.
At this point, that would be a surprise. Garoppolo seems like the real deal and no one knows that more than the players who see him daily. And that’s the reason they are lining up to curry favor with him.