49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo 'really good' but not elite, analyst Chris Simms says

Jimmy Garoppolo 'really good' but not elite, analyst Chris Simms says

Is your quarterback elite? Well, if you're a fan of the 49ers then no -- at least according to Chris Simms.

The NBC Sports football analyst couldn't confidently put Jimmy Garoppolo in the elite category, but still had plenty of praise toward him, especially knowing he plans on leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

"I think there's some quarterbacks in football right now: Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes -- they kind of stand alone," Simms said.

After that handful of quarterbacks, Simms highlights a group of "good," a squad that he considers Jimmy G to be a part of. Plus, Garoppolo has a lot of "good" surrounding him.

The elite talents of tight end George Kittle are something that shouldn't be argued -- unless you're not sure if he's a decent blocker or not. Ahem, Doug Gottlieb.

"That's all you need to win a Super Bowl," Simms added.

The consensus around Jimmy G's eliteness is that he's not elite, but he's not bad, but he's good enough.

[RELATED: NFC offensive consultant on Jimmy G's eliteness

Got all of that?

His throwing abilities have been talked about, but once again the word "elite" was not mentioned.

Kyle Juszczyk brings juice to 49ers' run game from endangered position

Kyle Juszczyk brings juice to 49ers' run game from endangered position

SANTA CLARA -- The fullback might be a position on the NFL’s endangered list, but Kyle Juszczyk is thriving.

A segment of the uninformed criticized the 49ers for overspending to acquire Juszczyk on the first day of 2017 free agency without understanding how coach Kyle Shanahan planned to incorporate two-back personnel groupings into his offense. And while the 49ers have achieved success with numerous running backs carrying the ball, the man leading the way has remained consistent.

As San Francisco breezed through the NFC side of the playoffs with a varied running attack, Juszczyk rarely came off the field. He did not had a rushing attempt or reception. But while playing 90 of the 49ers’ 119 offensive snaps, Juszczyk’s contributions were enormous for a team that advanced to Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Perhaps nobody on the 49ers’ offense, other than quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, has more responsibilities in the execution of the team’s offensive game plan than Juszczyk.

“We put a lot on him, and we haven't put too much on him, yet,” Shanahan said. “So he's been able to handle it each time. I'll say that's because of his Harvard education, but he's a hell of a football player who doesn't get nervous about anything, and he works very hard throughout the week to understand everything.”

Because the Niners' run game is so varied, Juszczyk has to understand the nuances of every play, and he must be able to adjust on the fly to ensure that he blocks the defender constituting the biggest threat to running backs Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida or Jeff Wilson.

Juszczyk said he deals with a vast amount of verbiage on a weekly basis. When he initially sees the offensive game plan early in the week, it might look overwhelming at first. But his Ivy League education pays off as he, without fail, is able to learn his assignments in the classroom, then carry it over to the practice field and into games.

“After a day or two of being able to absorb it, usually I don’t have a problem with it,” said Juszczyk, who has proved to be a bargain with his four-year, $21 million contract.

Juszczyk, who missed four regular-season games due to a knee injury, made a significant impact in every aspect of the offense even without regularly touching the ball. He carried just three times for 7 yards and caught 20 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown.

The fullback was selected to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl this season, although he obviously won't be participating. He might not have a lot of competition for selection into the event because few teams actually deploy a fullback these days, but that does not minimize his importance to the 49ers.

[RELATED49ers vets give Super Bowl advice to newbies: 'Just say no']

Said Mostert: “Our coach always explains it to us in the meeting room, ‘I don’t want guys who are necessarily the strongest or the fastest, the ideal fullback; I want a guy who’s a smart football player, because I know a smart football player won’t beat this team up.’ That’s what Juice is. He’s a smart football player. He gets the job done every time he goes out there.”

Because of Juszczyk’s versatility, the 49ers have the ability to be multi-faceted with their run game. You name it, the 49ers do it, as Juszczyk explains, from gap scheme to wide zone to misdirection, traps, counters. The 49ers are able to adjust because their fullback is the best in the business.

“There aren’t too many defensive schemes that are built to take away every single one of those,” Juszczyk said.

Richard Sherman doubts he'll visit White House if 49ers win Super Bowl

Richard Sherman doubts he'll visit White House if 49ers win Super Bowl

The question is inevitable in today's political climate, especially to someone as socially conscious as Richard Sherman.

With the 49ers heading to Super Bowl LIV to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2, will they be making a celebratory trip to visit the White House and President Donald Trump if they are victorious?  Will they even be invited? Will they be invited and then uninvited ala the 2017 Warriors? Or given the total cold shoulder like the 2018 Dubs?

If the 49ers are victorious and receive an invite, Sherman doesn't sound like he'll be RSVPing.

"I haven't thought about it. We've got a long way between now and then, but I doubt it," Sherman told The San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Oster. 

Sherman did visit the White House and President Barack Obama after the Seattle Seahawks won the title in 2014.

Last year, the New England Patriots did not visit the White House after their Super Bowl victory, while the Philadelphia Eagles had their invitation revoked in 2018 after it was leaked that very few members of the team would be attending. The Patriots visited in 2017, although Tom Brady did not attend in order to spend time with his mother who was battling cancer.

LSU just visited the White House fresh off their national title win over Clemson. Dabo Swinney's Tigers made the voyage to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last year after beating Alabama in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Levi's Stadium.

[RELATED: Chiefs have high praise for Kittle, 49ers' run game]

The 49ers have been dominant during the playoffs, thumping both the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers by 17 points. Now, they face the daunting task of trying to stop reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, although it's one they seem to be well suited for

However, if they are unable to stop Mahomes then they won't have to worry about whether or not to they should make the trip to D.C.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).