Jimmy Garoppolo talks learning from Tom Brady, working way back from torn ACL

Ryan Hannable
July 12, 2019 - 10:42 am
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Jimmy Garoppolo missed the majority of the 2018 season after tearing his ACL in Week 3, but the quarterback actually feels like the injury may have been a blessing in disguise.

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Speaking with Kevin Clark of The Ringer, Garoppolo detailed the film study he was able to do, which he believes will make him a better quarterback in the future.

"There were a lot of different ways to do that—film with the coaches, watching film when Kyle’s dad [Mike Shanahan] came in a little bit. He and I got to go through some sessions," he said. "You kind of have to be creative because initially you don’t know what to do. I’d never been in that situation before—do I prepare the exact same way, do I just take care of my knee? What do I do? I think there was initially some trial and error, but by the middle of the season, and definitely by the end of the season, I got into a routine. I lost the crutches, and then after that, it was just getting the knee fixed as quickly as possible, and at the same time learning as much about football as possible, and watching as much football as possible. It worked out very well, and I think I took advantage of the opportunity for it to be a blessing in disguise."

Garoppolo added: "The rehab has been great. The whole process, the training staff, and all the coaches put together a great plan. It really went well. To participate in [offseason training activities] the way I did and, hopefully, being full-go for training camp, I couldn’t ask for much more coming off an ACL. Knock on wood; we’ll keep it going and stay in a good place."

The quarterback obviously spent the first part of his career -- 3.5 years -- with the Patriots backing up Tom Brady. Of course he learned a lot from him, with the biggest thing being preparation.

"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. "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. That’s not the coaches telling you, that’s the player playing the game within the game. It’s the little things, the little details and how he ties them all together—that’s what separates you.

The 27-year-old is now working with Brady's throwing coach, Tom House.

"You don’t want to change your entire throwing motion this close to the season, so it’s more about getting into their program, learning how they teach, and maybe everything they teach doesn’t apply," Garoppolo said. "It was a good opportunity to meet some very intelligent minds. I think I’ve learned to use more of my body in the throw instead of just the arm. Getting your legs into the throw—they are real big on that. It’s cool to see different perspectives on how to throw a football. There’s obviously not a perfect way to throw it, everyone has different opinions, and taking all of that knowledge, putting it into your game and becoming the best version of yourself is ultimately as a quarterback what you want to be."

Everything suggests Garoppolo will be full-go when the 49ers hit the field for training camp later this month.

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