While many outsiders questioned 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, one thing is clear: His teammates believe in him.
Player after player has defended Garoppolo since the 49ers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. There's no denying Garoppolo fell short late under the bright lights. That doesn't mean he isn't a capable QB able to lead the 49ers to a championship.
"I think that Jimmy G, this being his second full season, hopefully, starting, will have leaps and bounds improvement, and he had a great season last year," Sherman said Monday on Instagram Live with Pro Football Focus, H/T 49ers WebZone. "So, I look forward to him having a Pro Bowl season this year."
This past season, four 49ers -- Sherman, George Kittle, Nick Bosa and Kyle Juszczyk -- were named as Pro Bowl starters. Garoppolo was part of a long list of alternates. It's clear Sherman believes Garoppolo will take a leap forward and join the starters this season.
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Garoppolo, 28, finished the regular season with 3,978 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also completed 69.1 percent of his passes in what was his first full season as a starter, one year after tearing his ACL. He ranked in the top five in touchdowns, completion percentage and yards per attempt (8.4).
Losing Emmanuel Sanders to the New Orleans Saints certainly will hurt. The veteran was the perfect security blanket for Garoppolo last season. But the 49ers might have even more weapons on offense this year.
Deebo Samuel could miss the first few games as he recovers from a Jones fracture in his left foot, and Garoppolo surely will miss the versatile wideout. However, injured players like receivers Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd should be back on the field, plus running back Jerick McKinnon could have a big role out of the backfield or in the slot if healthy. The 49ers also added another YAC (yards after catch) monster in first-round draft pick Brandon Aiyuk.
There always will be naysayers, but Sherman and many other 49ers teammates clearly believe big things are ahead for Jimmy G.