Jimmy Garoppolo has been a constant topic of conversation ever since the 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs. Potential replacement options have been bandied about: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, etc.

But Garoppolo put up good numbers in his first full season as a starter and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath is a fan, not only of how the 49ers quarterback can sling the pill, but also of his swagger.

 

“I liked Garoppolo before he got there, when he was in Illinois, at that small school,” Namath told Scott Ostler of The San Francisco Chronicle. “I was tickled that he got drafted and was with the Patriots. I’ve liked him ever since I saw him in college, and I still think a great deal of his abilities and the way he carries himself. ... I like his style.”

The Super Bowl III MVP was pleased to learn that Garoppolo has some Namath-like charm to him. He also praised coach Kyle Shanahan and the team the 49ers have built, which was seven minutes away from Super Bowl glory against the Chiefs.

“It’s great to hear that he’s that kind of guy,” Namath said, “and that his teammates can appreciate him, and he appreciates them. He knows he’s not doing it all himself. He can flat play, I know that. And that coach is pretty damn sharp. And look at that defense, and the way (Nick) Bosa’s playing. ... Well, that’s a hell of a team they’ve got.”

[RELATED: 49ers still NFC favorites for Super Bowl rematch with Chiefs]

The 49ers expect Garoppolo to take a leap in his second full season as a starter. He must cut down on the interceptions and show he can be the quarterback who outdueled Drew Brees in New Orleans on a full-time basis.

With the 49ers' championship window firmly open, the pressure is on Garoppolo to overcome his Super Bowl failure in Miami and lead the franchise to its sixth Lombardi Trophy.

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