Former 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo talks Kyle Shanahan, Trent Williams, Brock Purdy, and his ACL injury (2024)

There isn’t a more polarizing player on the San Francisco 49ers during the Kyle Shanahan era than Jimmy Garoppolo, and it’s not close.

Jimmy’s rocky relationship with Shanahan is well-documented. A career that couldn’t have started on a higher note would have been difficult to end at a lower point.

Garoppolo did a press run in Las Vegas with USAA on Friday afternoon. He spoke in front of 150 people in the military, where he was asked to give a score prediction. Before giving it, Jimmy said that he was rooting for points and believed Super Bowl LVIII would be a shootout.

He picked the Kansas City Chiefs to win 35-31, which may come off as if he still has sour grapes toward the organization, but I didn’t take it that way. It’s a human making a prediction on the fly without thinking twice about it.

Of course, since there’s history, 49ers fans won’t appreciate Garoppolo picking against his former squad. But while it seems like predicting a Niners loss means he’s rooting against them, it was anything but.

Jimmy was complimentary about Brock Purdy and believes he doesn’t get enough credit for what he’s done this season. Garoppolo said, “You have to give him his flowers.”

I had a chance to speak with Jimmy about Shanahan, Trent Williams, his ACL injury, and if he had any advice for Brock.

Can you recall a time when Kyle Shanahan was the most upset at you?

Jimmy: Most upset? Oh, man. [Laughs] When wasn’t he? Just missing an easy read or something like that, probably. Kyle only did it in the right situations, I guess you could say. It was a blessing in disguise, I would say.

On the flipside, what’s one thing that he taught you the most to help you become a better quarterback?

Jimmy: How he sees the game is different than the offense that I was first brought into in New England. Seeing both different offenses, I really tried to take the best of both worlds. So, I really tried to take it as a blessing in disguise when I first got there, kinda learning the different sides of the offensive game.

Now, it’s catching on like crazy. All these different teams run similar schemes. He taught me a ton. How to play on time and little things like that.

What was the most impressive thing you’ve seen Trent Williams do on a football field?

Oh, man. I’m trying to think of what game it was. I can’t remember what game it was, but we called a sweep to his side. Just how quickly he gets out of a 3-point stance. To be full sprint, and running with the running back at 3-whatever he is...and I heard his basketball game is even better. That’s the crazy thing.

He’s one of a kind. He’s one of one like, for real. I know everyone says that about different guys, but he really is.

What was your favorite moment as a Niner?

Tough one. That game in Green Bay was pretty sweet. The playoff win in the snow. In Green Bay. Just how everything played out that season. Barely making it into the playoffs. Going on a little run. That was some good times. We had a lot of good times, though.

Is it still “F Green Bay!”

[Laughs] I grew up in Chicago, so yeah. That one runs deep.

Do you ever think about how different your career would have been if you didn’t tear your knee up, and do you think that changed how you played the game?

Oh yeah. I think it’s very evident that it changed. It’s a weird thing because I know exactly what you’re saying. I look at everything as a blessing. And everything happens for a reason. I think me tearing my ACL, as much as it sucked, as much as rehab sucked, it happened for a reason, and I’m glad everything worked out the way it did. Who knows? If I don’t tear it, who knows?

What’s one piece of advice for Brock heading into the big game?

Keep it simple, man. Just be yourself. He’s played a hell of a year. You have to remember what got you there. What you did and the routine to get you there, all of those little things. Do what got you there and let the chips fall as they may in Vegas.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert in the field of American football, particularly the San Francisco 49ers and the Kyle Shanahan era, I can confidently say that there has been no player more polarizing than Jimmy Garoppolo. The ups and downs of his relationship with Shanahan have been well-documented, and it's fair to say that his career trajectory has been quite tumultuous.

Recently, Garoppolo participated in a press run in Las Vegas with USAA, where he spoke in front of 150 military personnel. During the event, he was asked to give a score prediction for Super Bowl LVIII. Jimmy, without thinking twice, predicted a shootout with the Kansas City Chiefs winning by a score of 35-31. While some may interpret this as sour grapes towards his former team, I believe it was simply a human making a prediction on the fly.

Of course, this prediction may not sit well with 49ers fans who expect Garoppolo to support his former squad. However, it's important to note that Jimmy also took the time to give credit to Brock Purdy, a player who he believes doesn't receive enough recognition for his accomplishments this season. Garoppolo stated, "You have to give him his flowers," showing his appreciation for Purdy's talent.

During my conversation with Jimmy, I had the opportunity to ask him about his relationship with Shanahan, his thoughts on Trent Williams, his ACL injury, and if he had any advice for Brock. When asked about the times when Shanahan was most upset with him, Jimmy chuckled and replied that there were many instances, usually involving missing an easy read. However, he saw these moments as blessings in disguise, as they helped him grow as a quarterback.

On the flip side, Garoppolo acknowledged that Shanahan's unique perspective on the game, different from the offense he was initially exposed to in New England, had a significant impact on his development. He learned to see the game differently and incorporated the best aspects of both offensive schemes into his play. According to Jimmy, Shanahan taught him how to play on time and pay attention to the little details.

When asked about Trent Williams, Garoppolo couldn't pinpoint a specific game but recalled a play where they called a sweep to his side. He marveled at how quickly Williams exploded out of his three-point stance, sprinting alongside the running back. Garoppolo even mentioned that he had heard Williams' basketball skills were equally impressive, emphasizing that he truly is a unique talent.

Reflecting on his time as a Niner, Jimmy found it difficult to choose a favorite moment. However, he mentioned the playoff win against the Green Bay Packers in the snow as a particularly sweet memory. The entire season leading up to that game, with the team barely making it into the playoffs, made the victory even more special. Despite the rivalry between the 49ers and the Packers, Jimmy's roots in Chicago influenced his sentiment towards the Packers, adding an extra layer of excitement to the win.

Addressing the topic of his ACL injury, Garoppolo acknowledged that it undeniably changed the trajectory of his career. However, he viewed it as a blessing in disguise, believing that everything happens for a reason. Although tearing his ACL was a challenging experience, the rehabilitation process and the subsequent events shaped him into the player he is today. He expressed gratitude for how things unfolded and recognized that without the injury, his career might have taken a different path.

Finally, when asked to provide advice for Brock heading into the big game, Jimmy emphasized the importance of keeping it simple and being true to oneself. He praised Brock for his exceptional performance throughout the year and encouraged him to stick to the routine and strategies that got him to the championship game. Garoppolo reminded him to trust in his abilities and let fate take its course in Las Vegas.

In summary, Jimmy Garoppolo's tenure with the San Francisco 49ers under Kyle Shanahan has been a rollercoaster ride. Despite the challenges and criticisms, Garoppolo remains grateful for the lessons he learned and the growth he experienced. His prediction for Super Bowl LVIII may have raised some eyebrows, but it was merely a spontaneous moment and not a reflection of any ill-will towards his former team. Garoppolo's insights into Shanahan's coaching style, Trent Williams' exceptional talent, and his own career journey provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of professional football.

Former 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo talks Kyle Shanahan, Trent Williams, Brock Purdy, and his ACL injury (2024)

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