George Kittle has been Jimmy Garoppolo's top apologist the last two years, ever since the 49ers' disappointing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
Kittle is friends with Garoppolo on and off the field. He became an All-Pro for the first time in Garoppolo's first full season as a starter and has seen the QB lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl. The star tight end has every right to stick up for Garoppolo.
He also can't help but join the rest of his teammates in seeing the talent of rookie quarterback Trey Lance.
“He has such a big arm and he can kind of make any throw,” Kittle said Wednesday on KNBR's "Papa and Lund." "You guys have seen the highlights they post of him throwing off his back foot, 50 yards downfield, across his body. He has a big arm. He can make all those throws and effortlessly.
"He is a 21-year-old rookie who has a lot to figure out and he has a long way to go, we all do, but he’s playing at a high level right now."
Lance has all the tools a football coach dreams of. He's big, fast and can zip the ball down the field with a flick of the wrist. The game isn't supposed to look this easy for someone this young.
The pure talent isn't what has impressed Kittle most, though.
Kittle knew Lance had immense talent and potential. That's why he was the No. 3 pick in the draft. That's why the 49ers gave up so much to grab the North Dakota State QB. It's the consistency and ability to quickly correct that really has caught Kittle's eyes.
“He continuously makes plays every single day," Kittle said. "He usually doesn’t make the same mistake twice, and if you cannot make the same mistake twice, you’re doing something right. I enjoy watching Trey play, I enjoy watching him use his legs a little bit. I like watching guys who enjoy playing football, and you can tell how much he loves it and how much he wants to be good and better every single day.
"I appreciate that from him because you get a great mindset and attitude every single day.”
After all the talk of Lance lighting up training camp, fans finally will see the rookie take the field Saturday in the 49ers' preseason opener against the Chiefs.