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Jimmy Garoppolo won his first start with the 49ers last Sunday against the Bears, leading San Francisco on a five-plus minute drive that ended in a Robbie Gould field goal to seal the win.

In only his third-career start, his first with a team that isn't that good, one may have expected Garoppolo to be sub-par. He was anything but that.

Garoppolo was 26-of-37 for 293 yards and one interception. While those numbers may not jump out at you, they are solid for a young quarterback with not a ton to work with on offense.

So, how did he do it? One way was being more competent than C.J. Beathard. The other way was thanks to lessons he learned from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Sports Illustrated:

“One thing?” Garoppolo said. “I’d say preparation. That stuff that goes unnoticed. Practice. Tom used to say you could get better in practice every day. The time you spend on the things you didn’t do in college—studying, watching film, the little things, everything. I was able to watch him for three-and-a-half years, and I hope to carry those lessons for the rest of my career.”

“We knew we needed first downs,” Garoppolo said, “and we knew we needed to work the clock. That’s what I learned playing for Coach Belichick. It’s funny you mention that, because I was thinking about that [clock management] on the field. Coach would run through situations like this all the time.”

Quotes like these are why I hope (and think) Garoppolo will be a successful quarterback in the NFL. While he didn't get to play too much in New England, when he was in there, it was easy to see he belonged. His awareness, his footwork and his accuracy were all there. He was more than impressive in his two-game stint at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. Against Miami in Week 2 before he got hurt, he was downright dominant.

On that final drive, he adapted to the situation and knew exactly what he had to do, just like Belichick would've drawn it up.

Garoppolo said he and Brady texted post-game, with Brady congratulating him on the victory. Maybe now that'll shut people up about whether or not they like each other.

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Jesse Gaunce 12/07/2017 03:03:00 PM Edit
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