Are the 49ers a better team with Garoppolo at QB?

Jimmy Garoppolo was on the San Francisco trade block this summer but following a Week 2 injury to starter Trey Lance, the veteran Garoppolo will lead the 49ers for the remainder of the season.

Video Transcript

What's up, y'all? It's Votch Lombardi. Watch every second of the NFL season when and where you want it, only on "The Zone." So Jimmy Garoppolo is a guy. He shows up to your team, the San Francisco 49ers. He's been Tom Brady's backup his whole life. He was a dude that won some games when Tom Brady got hurt. No problem, is what it is.

Jimmy Garoppolo gets here, and he-- you know, he's maybe not the most talented guy in the world. But it's all about fit, you know what I mean? Like, can you fit in offense? Does your locker room love you? Can you fulfill the intangible things? Jimmy Garoppolo does all those things. He doesn't get respect for those things, though. But he doesn't.

He takes you to a Super Bowl, right? Regardless of what happens here, we're not saying that the San Francisco 49ers went to a Super Bowl because Jimmy Garoppolo is Jimmy Garoppolo. But he was the quarterback in which it happened, all right? Cool. You would think he gets r-- you would think that he gets some type of respect there. You know, and Jimmy has his playoff appearances, right?

But then the team drafts Trey Lance. This is where it gets weird. Not weird, necessarily, because conventional wisdom would tell you that, hey, if we can go to a Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo. Imagine what we can do with a dude that's more talented than him. You would think that'd be the wisdom. But what if Jimmy's just the guy that works for you, right? What if it's not the talent that gets it done? What if it's just Jimmy the locker room dude, Jimmy the intangible guy, Jimmy the, can we call him clutch? Sure, Jimmy the clutch guy. What if he's the reason that this is going and not necessarily the talent?

But Jimmy is not gonna be disturbance guy. He's gonna shut his mouth and he's going to continue. Now, they draft Trey Lance. Trey Lance is on the team. And Jimmy Garoppolo automatically goes from Super Bowl-playing quarterback to bridge guy for Trey Lance. And the worst thing about being bridge, guys, now you are on a clock. It's not just like, oh, well, maybe one day they'll draft some quarterback and I'll have to sit down and go to some other team. Nah, that dude is on the team.

And I think most of these NFL teams are unfair to some of these bridge quarterback guys. All right, Jimmy Garoppolo, I know you just won a Super Bowl. Your replacement is right here. There are no more question marks. And we know exactly when we want your replacement to be the guy, right? So this year, Jimmy Garoppolo, hey, do your best. Try not to just throw these games away, you know? Come and be a good locker room guy. Teach your replacement the ropes so when it's time to move on from you, we move on from you.

And Jimmy Garoppolo took them dudes to an NFC Championship. And they lost to the dudes that won the Super Bowl, the Rams. They lost to them dudes by 3 points. Jimmy Garoppolo could have two Super Bowls under his belt. I'm not saying Jimmy Garoppolo is the GOAT. I'm not saying he plays amazing. I'm not saying that he's one of those guys that'll go get you 300 and something yards and four touchdowns. But I think that says something about his pedigree, that he can get you to these games and he can play fine when he gets there. Cause you would think that talent would be the reason to put you over the edge. That's why Trey Lance is here.

Trey Lance is starting now. Trey Lance is named the starter. And Jimmy Garoppolo just kind of got to shut up and live, right? They openly shop him. Hey, if y'all want to come by Jimmy Garoppolo, you're gonna have to give us something good. And Jimmy's just had to sit down and shut up. Hey, Jimmy takes a pay cut. Jimmy's making $7 million from his once-- he once was making $24 million. Now he's making 7. There are some incentives now, but, damn, you starting at 7 after this, after you went to a Super Bowl and an NFC Championship game that you lost by 3 points? That's what we doing? And he almost won a Super Bowl.

But we get no respect for Jimmy Garoppolo, right? And we just kind of, all right, cool, we're just gonna run with Trey Lance cause he's the young guy, he's the better guy. And then you get to the actual games. You get to week one. And Trey Lance doesn't win you that game. And you would think that, hey, Trey Lance, we gave you the year off. We gave you the team. The coaching staff is here. We're ready for you, Trey Lance. Take us to prosperity. Take us to the land of better than Jimmy Garoppolo. In week one, Trey Lance did not do it.

I'm not wishing injury on anybody. We're not celebrating injury right now. We don't think that it's a good thing that Trey Lance got hurt. We hope for the best. We pray for him and his family. We hope for a speedy recovery. He'll be back playing football next year. I do think there's something to Jimmy Garoppolo coming into the game week one and Jimmy just catching fire, right? I'm not saying that Jimmy Garoppolo went out there and tore the game up, but you could see a different energy on that offense when Jimmy Garoppolo started to play, right?

And it was a slow game at first. And then Trey Lance wasn't out there very long. But I do think the ultimate 27 points that we came from, I think that you only get those by way of our team synergy being good. That's another thing that we haven't talked about. We always talk about the intangible things, right? But, just, it's about who gets hot, right? Who is behind you?

And we saw Trey Lance do some things, man. We saw Trey Lance move the ball around. But it didn't really feel like the team was fully behind Trey Lance. What makes me think that? Well, because Jimmy Garoppolo has been a part of this team for a long time. They've been to a Super Bowl together. They have been to an NFC Championship game together. And we're in a team that I would say we're in win now mode. So if you're not fully ready with Trey Lance, you might want to sit them and trust Jimmy Garoppolo until Trey Lance is ready.

It's almost like you got-- and this is a wild example, so pardon me-- but it's almost like you got Aaron Rodgers, but you're forcing Jordan Love into the first team position just because, OK, well, we spent the first-round pick on him. We spent the Draft capital. Aaron Rodgers a old man, you know. And Aaron Rodgers came and cleaned that right up. But, sure, let's move away from all this synergy from all this good team vibe just to start the young guy cause we spent the first-round pick on him.

And you see in that last touchdown, when Jimmy Garoppolo scored-- it was quarterback sneak at the very end-- you saw those dudes embrace Jimmy Garoppolo. You saw it. Because they're a team in win now mode. And we ain't got time to be messing around with your roster-building mechanics, GM, owner. We ain't got time for that right now. We got time to win ballgames. We don't know if we can win games with Trey Lance. We know for a fact that Trey Lance is more talented than Jimmy Garoppolo.

But in 17 games, can Trey Lance win more? I can't measure it. I don't know why Jimmy Garoppolo is more of a winner than Trey Lance. Jimmy Garoppolo wins more games than some of the most talented dudes in the League. That's what we call intangibles for, things that we can't measure. Now, Trey Lance is out for the season. We are so sorry to hear that. But Jimmy Garoppolo is your quarterback now for the rest of the season.

I have a question for everybody watching right now. If Jimmy Garoppolo, I don't know, let's just say he take it to another NFC Championship game, hypothetically. That'll give that dude a Super Bowl and two NFC championships. What does that do for Trey Lance in the future? Because just because you're better at quarterback, doesn't automatically mean that your team will be better.

So what do you do in this situation? Jimmy Garoppolo, by way of this injury-- and that's just how the League works, that's how football works, man. This is a land of opportunity. And if you have an opportunity, it is your job to take advantage of it. The San Francisco 49ers has had one shot to do right by Jimmy Garoppolo, by him getting you to a Super Bowl. Another shot to do right by Jimmy Garoppolo, by which he takes you to this NFC Championship last year. He almost took you to another Super Bowl. Now you have a third opportunity to do right by Jimmy Garoppolo. If Jimmy Garoppolo does well, will the 49ers do well by him? I don't know. We'll see. But I do think that it's something worth keeping the eyes on in the future.