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49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo says learning from Tom Brady was ‘tremendous’

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo waited three and-a-half seasons for the chance to establish himself as a team’s full-time starter. And now that he’s entrenched as franchise quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Garoppolo has grown to understand the value of spending so much time as a young player sitting behind Tom Brady.

The fifth-year veteran told The Ringer’s Kevin Clark that learning about the “game within the game” from Brady during the pair’s time with the New England Patriots has proven “invaluable” to his development.

“The preparation as a whole was tremendous just to see it, to be in the same room as it, to learn from it,” Garoppolo said of being Brady’s understudy. “To be a rookie and see that, it was invaluable. I can barely put it into words. What you learn is playing the game within the game, that’s a big part of Tom. I don’t even know if he told me that [directly], but he would always talk about the game within the game. He would talk about the snap count, and he’d say ‘you’re going to go on two on this play’ and he’d have a specific reason.”

The Patriots selected Garoppolo with a second-round pick in the 2014 Draft. After starting just two games over his first three seasons in the NFL, he was traded to the 49ers in October 2017 in exchange for a second-round pick.

Garoppolo was limited to three full games in 2018 after tearing his ACL in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs. In five starts with the Niners the previous season after being traded, he threw for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions while completing 67.4 percent of his throws, leading San Francisco to a 5-0 record.