49ers' Emmanuel Sanders raves about Jimmy Garoppolo's strong work ethic

Brian Witt

Emmanuel Sanders has played for three NFL teams and caught touchdown passes from eight different quarterbacks.

He's a big fan of his newest ones in both categories.

Ever since arriving with the 49ers ahead of the trade deadline, Sanders has become quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's go-to wideout. In two games, he has hauled in 11 receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns, filling the role of No. 1 receiver in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. While Sanders certainly has made Garoppolo's job easier, the 10-year veteran appreciated how San Francisco's signal-caller aided in his transition to a new team.

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"I've had my fair share of quarterbacks," Sanders said Wednesday on "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" on "95.7 The Game." "The one thing that I like about Jimmy is that he doesn't have an ego. He's not one of those guys that demands respect, or, you know, you're not going to get the ball. He's really a great team guy, just by the positive energy that he gives.

"I knew the moment I stepped in, he really attacked me with so much positive energy in terms of the playbook, and what I've got to do. He communicates very well in and after practice. All the receivers, we throw extra passes after practice. Truthfully, I just feel like the timing was perfect. I literally walked into the locker room ... I felt like I was at home. They welcomed me so much with open arms, and Jimmy [did] as well. It was just a good fit."

A good fit, indeed. Sanders caught a touchdown pass from Garoppolo on his first offensive possession with the 49ers, and caught another one on the final play of the first half in San Francisco's Week 9 win over the Cardinals. Garoppolo threw a career-high four touchdown passes in that victory in Arizona, arguably his best performance as an NFL quarterback and one that Sanders insists doesn't happen by accident.

"He works his butt off," Sanders said of Garoppolo. "Yesterday, I saw a guy ... we were supposed to be in the weight room 20 minutes. I go in there for 30 minutes, and the next thing you know, I go take a shower, and I'm coming out of the locker room -- it's like 40 minutes later -- and Jimmy is just now walking out of the weight room.

"He's one of the hardest working guys on the team. I think that we saw all the hard work that he's put in, and we saw him unleash it on Thursday. It was good to see."

[RELATED: Sanders acknowledges Shanahan for hot start with 49ers]

Based on the early returns of the Garoppolo-Sanders connection, we can expect to see it a lot more often.

49ers' Emmanuel Sanders raves about Jimmy Garoppolo's strong work ethic originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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