Jimmy Garoppolo has been in Trey Lance's shoes, and has, to this point, been the ideal mentor for the 49ers rookie quarterback.
Garoppolo immediately texted Lance when the 49ers drafted the North Dakota State product and has said he'll use some of the lessons he learned being Tom Brady's understudy to help grow his relationship with the man drafted to take his job.
So far, Lance has nothing but good things to say about his relationship with Garoppolo.
“Yeah, it’s been awesome,” Lance said, via KVRR in Fargo, ND. “He’s a great guy. I mean, one of the best people I’ve been around and I’ve been fortunate to be around some, I think, really really great people, guys that are going to play today and guys still in that locker room right now. Jimmy is just like it and that organization is the same exact way. So I just feel very blessed and fortunate to be where I am and be able to be a part of something like this. I’ve heard from other guys’ experiences and how we handled OTAs and things like that, our coaching staff and everyone that runs that organization does it at a really high level.”
Garoppolo admitted that he first thought about asking for a trade after the 49ers made the move up to draft Lance. But once the 49ers assured him he would have the chance to compete for the job that has been his since the end of the 2017 season, he was all in on returning to the Bay and trying to lead the 49ers back to the Super Bowl.
"We were pretty honest with each other," Garoppolo told CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara about the conversation he had with the 49ers. "It was one of those things where I know [Lance] is going to come in here, there's going to be some competition between us like there was with me and Tom [Brady] in New England. But at the end of the day, like my dad was just saying, all you can ask for is the opportunity. So, once they said you'll have the opportunity to start this year and fight it out, I was all for it. I'm ready for the competition and that's what we're here for."
While Garoppolo's attitude toward Lance has set the ideal tone for the 49ers' planned march back to the Super Bowl, the 29-year-old quarterback isn't going to lay down and let Lance take his job.
The chip will always be there," Garoppolo told ESPN's "Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin." "That hasn't gone away at all. Since I got in the league, I've had that. I think that kind of comes from just the way you were raised and everything like that. My dad was an electrician, blue-collar guy and I think it kind of just rubs off on you.
"It's kind of the way the league is going nowadays. Everybody is drafting young, wants to get the developmental guy and things like that, so I kind of know what it is. I've been on both sides of it now, but at the end of the, like I said earlier, all you can really ask for is the opportunity. Once you get that, you've got to take advantage of it."