Others may have doubts about 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but Richard Sherman certainly does not.
In fact, Sherman – the Niners’ terrific cornerback – believes that anyone who question Garoppolo’s ability after the QB threw just eight passes in a dominating NFC Championship Game victory over the Packers might just be an "idiot."
In an interview with Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report, Sherman waved off critics’ opinions about Garoppolo as San Francisco gets ready to face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV Sunday in Miami. Sherman believes Garoppolo is far more than a game manager for a team with a strong running attack. He’s seen Garoppolo lead his team to wins late in games and have terrific performances with clutch completions and long drives.
Says Sherman of those hinting that Garoppolo looks more like a game manager: "Idiots sound like idiots at this point."
Dunne asked Sherman, "If he doesn’t have to throw, is that a good thing?"
Sherman responded: "Once again, it’s people telling you how to win. Like, 'Hey, we don’t care that you’re winning by double digits every game. You’re not winning the way we want you to. So let’s criticize him.'"
In playoff victories over the Vikings and Packers, the 49ers were able to control the game by successfully running the ball. San Francisco had more than 40 rushing attempts in each victory. Against the Vikings Garroppolo threw just 19 times and completed 11 for 131 yards; against the Packers, he was 6-of-8 for 77 yards.
But this season Garoppolo had an overall strong performance, going 13-3 as a starter while completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns (vs. 13 interceptions) and a quarterback rating of 102.0.
Niners CEO Jed York this week told reporters that getting Garoppolo from the Patriots was a turnaround point for the franchise. He’s proven his worth time and again. Without Garoppolo, the 49ers would not have evolved into a Super Bowl team, said York.
"He’s continued to improve, he’s continued to work, he’s continued to get better," said York. "If you don’t have a quarterback you just don’t have a chance."
Sunday’s Super Bowl is set for kickoff at 3:30 p.m. Bay Area time.