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Long-time team photographer sees something special in Jimmy Garoppolo-led 49ers

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The last five weeks of the season brought renewed optimism about the 49ers

NFL: Super Bowl 50-Stadium Views Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers finished a rather magical run of five games under quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and it has fans going crazy with optimism. The franchise has struggled to find a long-term QB dating back to the end of the Steve Young era, and so it is not surprising people are latching on to Jimmy G the way they have the past month.

When it comes to the 49ers quarterback position, we as fans regularly look at the back-to-back run of Joe Montana and Steve Young. Everybody is compared to them, and thus, regularly we are left disappointed.

Whether or not Jimmy G can match the hype, one person who knows his 49ers history is intrigued by what he sees. Photographer Michael Zagaris has worked with the 49ers since 1973, and has seen the highs and lows of this organization. Following the team’s Week 16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, he posted this great picture of Garoppolo calling out the play in the huddle. Check out the caption for it.

If you can’t see the caption, here’s what Zagaris says:

Inside the 49er huddle with Jimmy Garoppolo before he guided the Prospectors to their 5th win in the last 6 games...I’ve seen a lot in sports in my almost 50 years covering it...NEVER have I experienced this kind of phenomenon...I can’t really articulate it...I won’t try...except to say it’s an incredible heady experience...it transcends winning...it’s an almost magic feeling...one that you want to hold onto forever but know you can’t...so I’m reveling in the moment...knowing something like this...this FEELING...is fleeting...even once in a lifetime is a GIFT...Levi’s Stadium, Christmas Eve 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars 33 resurgent San Francisco 49ers 44#jimmygaroppolo #sanfrancisco49ers#prodigy#levi’sstadium#nfl2017#somethingshappeninghereandyoudontknowwhatitismrjones#thefutureisnow#sanfranciscosportshistory#magician#reelartpress#michaelzagaris

We have no idea what 2018 or beyond holds for Garoppolo or the 49ers, but I wholeheartedly agree with Zagaris that there was a magical feeling about the 49ers over the final five weeks of the year. The team can’t rest on any laurels from that, but there is something to build on moving forward. It’s a fascinating time to be Niners fan!

Speaking of Zagaris, whether you know a lot about him or nothing at all, I highly recommend this five-part piece by Dylan DeSimone about the photographer.