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How Jimmy G, 49ers could benefit from fans rallying behind QB

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There is no denying Jimmy Garoppolo has the talent.

But, perhaps, all he needs is a little patience — nor to mention some positive vibes.

ESPN NFL reporter Josina Anderson, appearing on 49ers Talk, spoke to the intangible benefits of the team’s fan base providing support for the team’s quarterback.

“Franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees,” Anderson said. “And when you have one that’s above average, you have to appreciate that.

“I’d personally say to the fans in San Francisco, ‘Don’t give up on Jimmy G.’ I think he has the potential, and if they sense the positive energy in the area, that feeds into your quarterback, too.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have provided public votes of confidence for Garoppolo. Speculation surrounding Garoppolo’s future with the organization will likely remain until the 49ers restructure his contract.

Garoppolo continues to be a polarizing figure for the 49ers’ fan base.

Injuries essentially wiped out the 2018 and ’20 seasons for Garoppolo.

The one year Garoppolo remained healthy from start to finish was a season in which the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl. The 49ers blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

Although the origin of any negativity around Garoppolo is outside of the building, Anderson believes there is an intangible impact a discontent fan base has on a team.

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She cited the situation with the Philadelphia Eagles. That organization went from winning the Super Bowl just three years ago. Now, the head coach, Doug Pederson, has been fired and the once-franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, has been traded.

 

“(If) you want your quarterback to succeed, feed positive energy into the situation,” Anderson said. “I say that as a comparison to Philadelphia. That’s basically the antithesis — a lot of negativity in the city, filtering into the team, filtering into the play.”

Garoppolo, 29, has the NFL experience that equates to just two full seasons as an NFL starter. He has 35 career starts, including the postseason. He did not finish four of his starts due to significant injuries.

Because Garoppolo does not have much of a body of work, there remains the question of how he will consistently respond in big moments.

“What you’re looking at the elite level when you’re separating athletes out, do they have that extra — that shift — where Kobe (Bryant) used to get that tight jaw and (Michael) Jordan would stick out his tongue,” Anderson said. “And you knew it was going into fifth gear, another level where you’re relishing the pressure, as opposed to backing down from the pressure.”

Anderson said, ultimately, that might be the most important topic when it comes to Garoppolo maximizing his skills.

“That, I think, is maybe a little bit more of a fair conversation when it comes to Jimmy, especially when you talk about how he performed in the Super Bowl,” Anderson said. “How much can you take your performance from second gear to fifth gear when your heartbeat is racing?

“Which is where we’ve seen Tom Brady perform so many times with his back against the wall.”

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