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Jimmy Garoppolo sees similarities between George Kittle and Gronk

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He also spoke about Dante Pettis, recovering from a knee injury, and much more

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LIII Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sat down with Sporting News for a Q&A to talk about his injury, the influence Tom Brady had on him, the Niners offensive weapons, and much more. Garoppolo said that having Jerick McKinnon—who was rehabbing from an ACL injury as well— around made it easier.

Garoppolo was then asked how it was different observing the game from the sideline, what his takeaway was:

You’re seeing the game from a different perspective, more of a coach’s perspective. I took every opportunity, whether it was third down, red zone or backed up in our own end and said, “What would I call here? What would I be thinking?” It helped my mental game tremendously watching the way Kyle does and strengthened us as quarterback and play-caller. The more we can do that, the better.

I wonder how that will affect Garoppolo’s decision-making when the bullets start flying, and he’s under pressure. It’s easy to say that you’ve learned and will change when there isn’t a 300-pound man chasing after you trying to take your head off. That’s a storyline we’re not talking about enough. Will Jimmy G have to shake off the rust after being sidelined for nearly a year? If minicamp is any evidence of how Garoppolo will throw the ball this season, we won’t have to worry about rust.

The next question was about if the added pieces on offense made Jimmy want to rush back to playing:

The motivation to get back on the field, it’s always been there, because I haven’t been used to not being on the field. Then seeing the guys who came in, the free agents we signed, the rookies we drafted, things started to come together, piece by piece. Exciting is a good word for it, but also anxious to get back out there and go to work with them.

Garoppolo seems like he is high on the talent at the skill positions. The expectations seem to be getting higher by the day for the offense, but that’s a good thing. That means people are starting to recognize the talent on the roster.

Here’s Jimmy G talking about his relationship with Tom Brady, who he was spotted with at the Kentucky Derby:

Tom is a great friend. He’s real down to earth - if I ever have a question on anything I text him and he replies very quickly with an answer. You have to appreciate that in him. He’ll text to just say hello. I talked to him about my knee rehab earlier this offseason, and he helped me there. It’s a great relationship, and I’m thankful I have him to help.

ACL injuries aren’t uncommon. Having several people to lean on at the highest level for advice is a great luxury to have.

Here is Garoppolo speaking on Dante Pettis and his potential of turning into a No. 1 wide receiver:

Dante is something else. His physical ability is different from most receivers, and different from any receiver I’ve been with. How he moves, it’s very long and gangly, but he makes it work. He has enough explosiveness and power to get out of cuts when it doesn’t look like he can. I’m thrilled about it. It makes my job easier for someone to win one-on-one opportunities like that. He’s a tremendous talent and keeps working, grinding to make big things happen.

I’m most excited to see Pettis play a full season. He gets open effortlessly. You cannot say that for many first-year wide receivers. I’d like to see the chemistry between the two and how it grows throughout the season.

Finally, George Kittle to Gronk comparison:

There are a lot of similarities - on the field and a little bit off the field, too (laughs). George is tremendous. The energy he brings every day, how he goes about his business - he’s always having fun while he’s doing it. Very similar to Gronk, they both enjoy what they do.

It makes everything more enjoyable. It’s fun to be around, and it’s contagious. To have a guy like that makes our team so much closer as well as much better.

Kittle was seen chugging beers a couple of times this offseason, I believe. He’s a 25-year old. Who cares! Some people get upset about the same things they do, but because Kittle is on TV he’s not allowed to have some fun? Come on. Kittle is a character. That’s another storyline that’ll be interesting throughout the season. Does Kittle take the next step and become a dominant red-zone threat, or go-to guy on third down like Gronk was?