From the moment Trey Lance was drafted, the 49ers have been doing their damndest to sell other teams on the virtues of Jimmy Garoppolo. On yesterday’s Good Morning Football, former 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders did it for them.
“There’s certain people who know who they are. Jimmy G. knows who he is. Jimmy G. plays with swagger, Jimmy G. has his own swagger. He’s not walking around saying it, but Jimmy G. plays with swagger. Jimmy G. is a leader. He’s a natural leader.
I’ve played with a lot of quarterbacks. When I tell you this guy is a leader, he’s a leader. He allows guys to follow him, not just by how he works, but when he comes in and he’s running meetings like coaches? He’s a natural born leader.”
Sanders went on to say that Garoppolo is the kind of person that would take Trey Lance under his wing because he wanted Lance to be successful.
“That’s why I respect him, always.”
When pressed more about the relationship between the two quarterbacks knowing that Garoppolo was training his replacement, Sanders elaborated.
“Jimmy is looking at it like, ‘Hey, you come in, I know who I am. There are 31 other football teams out here. There’s 31 other football teams, I’ll get another shot somewhere. I respect you guys, but at the end of the day I’ll go somewhere else if need be, but let me choose where I want to go.’”
That last sentence is particularly interesting considering all that has transpired between Garoppolo’s camp and the team since the start of the Scouting Combine in February. Was Sanders relaying something he got directly from conversations with Garoppolo or was he simply applying what his own preference would be in Jimmy G.’s situation?
Regardless, Sanders’ words on Garoppolo’s leadership should mean a lot. As our own Marc Delucchi pointed out on Twitter, Sanders has been around some elite quarterbacks in his career. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Josh Allen, to name a few. Clearly, he knows a good leader when he sees one.
Now, how do we make sure the Panthers see that interview?
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