Jimmy Garoppolo was out for most of last season after suffering from a torn ACL. Following the unfortunate event, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands, but that time was put to good use.
While the 49ers were busy scrambling to figure out how to replace Garoppolo, Jimmy G turned into a sponge of sorts and soaked up as much information as possible while he rehabbed.
A lot of that time was spent with two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan -- the father of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
"As a quarterback, you always want to know the why, because if someone comes up to you and asks a question, you want to be able to answer it," Garoppolo told Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. "So there's certain things when I got traded here, they were just telling me, 'Learn this play, you don't need to know the whole play, just this part of it.' And then after that was over, you get more time to break it down and everything, and Mike did a phenomenal job with that."
Back in April, Garoppolo said the time he used to spend on game planning turned into hours of studying the basics.
"Whether it was in the film room or out on the field. Even trying new things. Different drops, how your movement is. It’s been a very productive offseason," Garoppolo said.
Mike Shanahan is one of the greatest football minds you could work with, and he himself said he wouldn't take the time he had with the quarterback for granted.
"With Jimmy not playing, if he's sitting in the meetings as the third-team quarterback, that's totally different from sitting down for four, five hours a day to talk about the plays," Mike Shanahan told Breer. "That's what was fun for me, fun for Jimmy too."
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Head coach Kyle Shanahan knows what Jimmy G can do, but despite being in the league for five seasons, he only possesses 10 career starts. So that experience he lacks is something weighing heavily on their minds.
"We've seen it in practice. But he's still got to go play quarterback," Kyle Shanahan told Breer last week. "There's going to be ups and downs with that. And I'm expecting that. No one goes out there and just plays great. He started that way last year. He did some good things and some bad things in his first two-and-a-half games. We were ready to have some ebb-and-flow throughout the year and to learn a lot, and then we missed that."
Let's hope the knowledge he possessed is showcased on the field this season.