Staley believes 49ers fans need 'perspective' on Jimmy G originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Former Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley has seen the best of Jimmy Garoppolo and now, he's wondering why 49ers fans are being so critical of the quarterback.
In the days after Garoppolo played poorly against the Denver Broncos, Staley joined NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco on the latest episode of "49ers Talk" to discuss the scrutiny from 49ers fans.
"I think it's perspective," Staley told Maiocco. "The 2017 season, we went through a bunch of quarterbacks really since Colin [Kaepernick] left and it was just bad quarterback play. And then Jimmy comes in there and we go 5-0 at the end of the season and everybody kind of looks at that like 'All right, this is the next franchise quarterback for us.'
"We made a big trade, we have a new franchise quarterback and then from then on, they went into every single season with high, high, high expectations of what he was supposed to do every year. He has an ACL injury and he's out for the whole entire second year, comes back and we go to the Super Bowl."
Staley is right in that Garoppolo has accomplished a lot during his five years with the 49ers, having reached one Super Bowl and getting back to the NFC Championship Game last season.
But as Maiocco wrote Monday, Garoppolo appears as though he might have reached his ceiling in 2017. He hasn't taken that noticeable next step towards becoming an elite or top-tier NFL quarterback.
That's a part of the reason why the 49ers drafted Trey Lance at No. 3 overall in 2021 as Garoppolo's successor. They needed someone they believed could take the offense to the next level.
The plan was for Garoppolo to play out the 2021 season and then the 49ers would trade him in the offseason, setting things up for Lance to take over. But shoulder surgery in March derailed any chance of general manager John Lynch sending Garoppolo elsewhere. Then right before rosters had to be cut down to 53, Garoppolo agreed to take a pay cut to return to the 49ers as the backup.
Garoppolo wasn't supposed to see the field this year for the 49ers but a season-ending broken ankle suffered by Lance in Week 2 pressed the Eastern Illinois product into action.
The results for Garoppolo haven't been good so far, but Staley isn't ready to put all the blame on the veteran quarterback.
"Honestly, I laugh a little bit because we always talk about how football is a team sport, it's the greatest team sport and everything," Staley told Maiocco. "Well, part of that is, you can't have it both ways and want the quarterback to drive everything and be the reason they are winning games. He's playing within the offense. From where we were to going to the Super Bowl in his first [full] season starting, what else do you want?"
Barring another injury, Garoppolo will be the starter the rest of the 2022 season, and his next chance to show he's capable of leading the 49ers back to glory comes Monday night when the Los Angeles Rams come to town for a primetime clash at Levi's Stadium.