SANTA CLARA — The transition for Jimmy Garoppolo to return to his role as the starting quarterback for the 49ers has appeared seamless but the veteran shared one moment that sparked his determination to succeed.
While the 30-year-old quarterback outwardly has seemed to take everything in stride, Garoppolo shared how his conversation with Kyle Shanahan about the team moving on to Trey Lance affected his drive.
“I think it lights a fire under you, I’ll tell you that,” Garoppolo said on Thursday. “Obviously as a competitor, whenever you get told something like that, it’ll get you going a little bit. I have plenty of motivation, I don’t need that to motivate me but it always helps.”
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Other teams did express interest in Garoppolo but obviously, the play caller decided that staying with the 49ers was the most attractive situation. Staying in the offense he knows, with players he has chemistry with, on a roster set to win now, is difficult to match, let alone beat.
Instead of overanalyzing what has happened, Garoppolo is choosing to live in the moment, with winning football games as the goal. The Eastern Illinois product has not had time to reflect on how unlikely the story has been thus far, but the goal always was to be the starting quarterback of an NFL team.
Having that role with the 49ers wasn’t a clear option during the offseason but Garoppolo couldn’t be in a more opportune situation than the one he is in now. Instead of being on a team in a rebuilding phase, Garoppolo and the 49ers have the same goal of playing deep into the postseason as they did prior to Lance’s season-ending injury.
Garoppolo, like his teammates, is devastated for Lance but knows the young quarterback will bounce back. As he was last season, Garoppolo will be a source of knowledge for Lance as he works his way back to the field. Garoppolo knows exactly what Lance is going through, after having experienced a season-ending ACL injury in 2018.
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For now, Garoppolo is focusing on the task at hand — winning football games.
“You always want to be on that field,” Garoppolo said. “You always have that in your mind that you’re preparing that way. For how things worked out, it’s pretty crazy, but everything happens for a reason. I’m a big believer in that. It’s just another opportunity.”
“I’m just trying to stay in the moment right now, honestly."
How to watch 49ers vs. Broncos
GAME TIME: The 49ers’ Week 3 game against the Broncos will be played on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Empower Field at Mile High. Kickoff is set for 5:20 p.m. PT on Sunday Night Football.
TV: 49ers-Broncos will air on NBC. Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color analyst) and Melissa Stark (sideline) will be on the call.
For more information on the 49ers vs. Broncos matchup click here.