Aside from learning this straight from head coach Kyle Shanahan, offensive tackle Trent Williams gave the inside scoop on how the the rest of team is feeling about the non-existent battle.
“Jimmy has always been very competitive,” Williams told reporters, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I watched him play when his — a lot of people didn’t know his ankle was damn near an inch away from just snapping. Just watching him fight through and try to play – a guy who has accomplished so much, got a lot of money, went to the Super Bowl – he didn’t have to press forward like he tried to, and try to play hurt.
“The guys respect that. Jimmy has handled this situation the best as I could imagine anyone handling it. I can’t speak for Jimmy and how he felt, but I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as everyone is making it. Kyle’s been pretty open about saying Jimmy is our quarterback.”
Garoppolo suffered his first high-ankle sprain during Week 2 against the New York Jets. He returned during Week 5, appearing in four more games before he was done for the season.
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Williams Clears Up the Non-Existent Controversy
Garoppolo, who will turn 30 next season, has struggled to stay healthy over his four years in the Bay Area, missing a total of 33 games.
But when the vetted QB is available as a starter, San Francisco’s record jumps to 24-9, and without him, the 49ers hold just a 6-17 record. And after a Super Bowl run just two years ago, Williams doesn’t see a rookie or anyone for that matter taking over Jimmy’s spot anytime soon.
“If you take your team to the Super Bowl, or deep into the playoffs, who can criticize that?” Williams said. “As hard as it is, it’s hard to find good quarterbacks in this league. Hard to see a guy being that successful and then just letting him walk out the door the next year.”
Williams continues to clear up the controversy, believing that Garoppolo is Week 1’s starter and Lance will spend this year (at least) learning the ropes.
“I don’t think there’s any type of competition controversy type deal,” Williams said. “We just bolstered the roster. We got deeper at the position and we got a guy with a huge ceiling and when it’s his time to play I think we will all see what he has to offer
“Inside the building, it’s a lot more cut and dry. This is our guy, this guy is learning. That’s pretty much how it goes.”
Williams Talks Adding Trey Lance
Despite being “team Garoppolo,” Williams is excited about the addition of Trey Lance, whom the Niners traded up nine spots for in this year’s draft.
“When you look at the trend around the league, everyone wants that two-quarterback system or wants to have a quarterback with the potential and the talent and the ceiling that a guy like Trey has. When you can get that, you don’t pass up on that. That’s not saying that Jimmy isn’t improving. It’s not saying that Jimmy can’t win. I think Jimmy is the quarterback here and will be until we’re told otherwise.
“Jimmy’s gotten the team to a Super Bowl. He has an outstanding winning percentage when you look at him as a starting quarterback. So, I don’t look at it as a quarterback situation. I look at it as when you’re up towards that first round, and you don’t have any glaring needs, why wouldn’t you add one of the best players in the draft if you can do so. I just think it makes the whole team better.”
Lance stands out from Garoppolo with his athleticism and ability to be a dual-threat signal-caller, which is why Shanahan couldn’t miss out on leap-frogging up to grab the NDSU product. But as long as Garoppolo can stay healthy, he seems to be the most reliable option for now.
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