Jimmy Garoppolo was teammates with Rob Gronkowski for three seasons as a member of the Patriots. The 49ers quarterback saw firsthand how dominant the tight end was on the field, and what a riot he is off it.
Now that Jimmy G has gone from New England to San Francisco, not much has changed when it comes to his team's tight end.
"There are a lot of similarities -- on the field and a little bit off the field, too," Garoppolo said to Sporting News when asked about 49ers tight end George Kittle.
Kittle and the now-retired Gronkowski both are forces with a football in their hands, creating mismatches all over the field. They both know how to have a good time, too.
Gronkowski has been notorious for his partying and dancing, going viral for more than his stiff arm. Kittle now finds himself in the same boat, as he made waves chugging a beer at a University of Iowa basketball game this offseason.
When it comes to football, however, Kittle hasn't let any extracurriculars get in the way.
"George is tremendous," Garoppolo said. "The energy he brings every day, how he goes about his business -- he's always having fun while he's doing it. Very similar to Gronk, they both enjoy what they do.
"It makes everything more enjoyable. It's fun to be around, and it's contagious. To have a guy like that makes our team so much closer as well as much better."
Garoppolo has been teammates with Kittle for two seasons and has clearly enjoyed it. After only playing in three games last year before tearing his ACL, he'll certainly enjoy throwing plenty of passes to him this season, too.
Kittle broke Gronkowski's single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end last season when he finished with 1,377 yards. Through two seasons, Kittle has 131 receptions for 1,892 yards and seven touchdowns. By comparison, Gronkowski had fewer yards (1,873) in his first two seasons but caught one more pass and had 20 more touchdowns than Kittle.
If Garoppolo has his version of Gronkowski on the field in Kittle, and the 49ers have their own version of Gronk off the field, the team should be a lot of fun this year.