Kyle Juszczyk demands respect for Jimmy Garoppolo
Although the San Francisco 49ers may be coming fresh off a Super Bowl run, there had been plenty of speculation regarding whether or not quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the right man for the job. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was among those that had to come to bat for his quarterback on multiple occasions.
Garoppolo caught plenty of flak for being pegged as the weak link of this talented 49ers team. According to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports, Juszczyk feels his efforts under center have been overlooked:
“I feel like I’ve been Jimmy’s bodyguard this offseason,” Juszczyk said Tuesday in a video call with Bay Area media members, “but I’ve never been tired of it.”
It’s crazy to me that he doesn’t get the respect he deserves for what a phenomenal season I think he had, the numbers that he put up, the way he led this team,” Juszczyk said. “He was no doubt our leader on offense. He brought us to a Super Bowl and within seven minutes of winning one. So for him not to get the respect I feel he deserves is pretty wild to me.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Juszczyk’s comments. Garoppolo’s 102.0 passer rating was the best for a 49ers quarterback since Steve Young finished the 1997 campaign with a 104.7 rating. He also threw for the fourth-most passing yards in franchise history en route to the Super Bowl.
There is no question that Garoppolo underwhelming performance in the postseason still leaves much to be desired. Of course, some growing pains were to be expected given it was his first full season as a starter.
Despite some of Garoppolo’s shortcomings, Juszczyk and tight end George Kittle have become some of his most staunch supporters in the locker room. Having the confidence of his teammates should certainly help pay huge dividends.
Regardless, he will need to prove the doubters wrong by showing he is capable of taking over as the focal point go the offense when needed.