San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been the recipient of plenty of criticism over the past two weeks as he’s posted relatively uninspiring numbers in the Niners’ two postseason games. However, with the 49ers gearing up for the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams, tight end George Kittle was asked multiple questions about Jimmy G in his weekly media availability on Thursday.
Kittle has been a staunch defender of Garoppolo throughout his 49ers career, which remains unchanged. Kittle’s outgoing personality has always led him to go out of his way to compliment and defend his coaches and teammates when he’s talking with the press. On Thursday, he was asked about how Garoppolo has handled this season, amidst the arrival of rookie first-round pick Trey Lance and speculation that he would replace Jimmy G at some point this year.
While a pair of injuries caused him to miss two games in the regular season, Garoppolo amassed 3,810 passing yards, 23 total touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Garoppolo has a 61.4% completion percentage this postseason for 303 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Kittle complimented Garoppolo for the relationship he’s built with Lance and said he hoped the North Dakota State alum has “been like a sponge and absorbed all the information he could from Jimmy.” In addition, Kittle mentioned Garoppolo’s experience with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in New England as a source of valuable knowledge that he can share with Lance.
Most importantly, Kittle continued crediting Jimmy G for his ability to block out the noise. “He doesn’t worry about the outside world,” Kittle said, “All he does is worry about his job playing quarterback from the San Francisco 49ers.” Given the criticism that has Garoppolo’s way throughout this season, Kittle reiterated that despite all the outside noise, “all Jimmy has done is stand firm and continue to throw darts left and right to all of us.”
Here are Kittle’s full comments on how Jimmy Garoppolo has handled this season:
“He [Jimmy Garoppolo]’s been incredible. He’s been nothing but inviting. He and Trey [Lance] are really good friends. I think he’s taught him a lot of things. I hope Trey’s been like a sponge and absorbed all the information he could from Jimmy. Strictly because like I said earlier, Jimmy came from a room with Tom Brady and I think he brought a lot of those attributes that Tom brought... He’s been fantastic every single day this year. As a leader. As a quarterback. As a captain on this team. Like I said, he shows up, he’s consistent, every single day he leads this team. He doesn’t worry about the outside world. All he does is worry about his job playing quarterback from the San Francisco 49ers. As I’ve said multiple times when you’re the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers you have a spotlight on you just based on the players that have played that position before you. There’s a lot of people that consistently try to bring you out of that spotlight and all Jimmy has done is stand firm and continue to throw darts left and right to all of us. So I just appreciate that about him.”