The San Francisco 49ers are a tale of two halves. After going 0-8 in the first half of the season, they’ve turned it around and compiled a 4-2 record so far through the second half of the season. That’s thanks in large part to an aggressive front office who was willing to look at their quarterback situation honestly and say:
“We need to do better.”
Enter Jimmy Garoppolo, who has won all three of his starts, never thrown for less than a 61 percent completion percentage, and has rattled off 715 yards and two touchdowns in his last two starts.
Just how do 49ers fans view Garoppolo and their quarterback situation in general? Did they expect the team to go after him after the season started?
I sat down with David Fucillo, one of the Managing Editors over at Niners Nation to answer these questions and more.
Looking back, I'm sure every 49ers fan wishes he had been around starting in Week 1. Three starts is not enough to firmly declare he is going to be their starter for the next decade, but that sure as hell isn't going to stop us from getting excited about the move. He's lifting up the players around him, showing some strong leadership skills after only two months, and generally looks like the kind of answer the 49ers have been searching for much of the past 15 years.
The decision to sign Brian Hoyer and draft C.J. Beathard was not exactly shocking. A lot of people figured the 49ers were buying time for 2018 when Kirk Cousins might hit free agency, and the QB draft class was viewed as one of the best in a long time. I figured John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were already cognizant of the fact that this is a long rebuilding process, and they were comfortable more or less punting on the quarterback position in 2017. Hoyer would buy them time, and Beathard could take some time developing. When it became clear Hoyer just wasn't going to do the trick with this current group of players, Beathard got his opportunity. He had some solid moments, but he also took a beating behind a questionable offensive line.
The decision to acquire Garoppolo came out of nowhere for fans. John Lynch confirmed the 49ers had inquired about Garoppolo in the offseason, but were quickly shut down. The Patriots called back in October, and it didn't take long to get a deal done. Nobody knows for sure what changed, but clearly things have worked out well so far for the 49ers since moving Garoppolo into the starting lineup.
We can't say with 100 percent certainty that he is clearly the answer long term. That being said, it's hard not to get excited and be optimistic about where this thing could go. I would be comfortable with the 49ers giving him a big-time extension even after just a small sample size. With Patriots quarterbacks that are not named Tom Brady, the name Matt Cassel is always brought up. Garoppolo could flame out, but what we've seen so far seems to indicate he has the tangible and intangible qualities to turn into a quality quarterback. He is the guy they will look to build around, so it would appear that yes, he is the quarterback of the future. We'll see a year or two from now how that plays out.
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