Jimmy Garoppolo remains a work in progress. The 49ers quarterback has just 10 NFL starts in his five-year pro career and is coming off a 2018 season in which he lost 13 games to injury.
In those 10 starts, however, he is 8-2, and he’s flashed enough potential to make San Francisco believe in him as the quarterback to guide this team back to being a Super Bowl contender.
Now, as the 49ers get ready to open training camp July 26, Garoppolo says one of the reasons for the success he’s had so far is attributable to the fact he played behind Tom Brady in New England for 3½ seasons.
"The preparation as a whole was tremendous just to see it, to be in the same room as it, to learn from it," Garoppolo said in an interview for The Ringer, published this week. "To be a rookie and see that, it was invaluable. I can barely put it into words. What you learn is playing the game within the game, that’s a big part of Tom.
"I don’t even know if he told me that (directly), but he would always talk about the game within the game. He would talk about the snap count, and he’d say, 'You’re going to go on two on this play' and he’d have a specific reason.
"That’s not coaches telling you, that’s the player playing the game within the game. It’s the little things, the little details and how he ties them all together – that’s what separates you."
Garoppolo says he and Brady have remained friends, and continue to text and talk with one another. The two pushed each other in Patriots practices and continue to talk football, he told Bleacher Report earlier this year.
Garoppolo says he feels good – ready to take part in full activities following knee surgery and rehab – and is excited to get things rolling in training camp.
"I couldn’t ask for much more coming off an ACL (knee injury)," he told The Ringer. "Knock on wood, we’ll keep it going and stay in a good place."