49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo seems completely unfazed by the successes he experienced and the criticisms he faced from his first full season as an NFL starter.
At least that's the viewpoint of fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who said he has taken pride in adding another skill to his do-everything position with the organization.
"I feel like I've been Jimmy's bodyguard this offseason," Juszczyk said Tuesday in a video call with Bay Area media members, "but I've never been tired of it."
Garoppolo had one of the best seasons for a 49ers quarterback in the past two decades while starting 19 times, including three games in the team's postseason march to the Super Bowl.
He threw for 3,978 yards in the regular season, fourth-most in franchise history. His passer rating of 102.0 was the best for a 49ers quarterback since Steve Young had a 104.7 rating in 1997. Garoppolo's completion percentage of 69.1 was third-best in franchise history. And his 8.4 yards per pass attempt was the best since Young had a 8.5 average in '97.
"It's crazy to me that he doesn't get the respect he deserves for what a phenomenal season I think he had, the numbers that he put up, the way he led this team," Juszczyk said. "He was no doubt our leader on offense. He brought us to a Super Bowl and within seven minutes of winning one. So for him not to get the respect I feel he deserves is pretty wild to me."
Garoppolo completed 18 of his first 22 pass attempts and could have been in line for MVP honors before the 49ers' offense and defense staggered in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished with 20 completions on 31 attempts for 219 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
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Juszczyk said he believes Garoppolo will only build on his play from the 2019 season. This offseason has been valuable for Garoppolo, Juszczyk said, because he has plenty of material from which to learn.
"We have a full season of him starting, where he can go back and re-watch the tape and spend extra time on watching himself," Juszczyk said. "Because sometimes it is tougher when you're watching somebody else play your position and you're trying to learn the offense through that, which he was doing for a little bit.
"Now you're actually watching yourself and you know what you were feeling in that moment. You got to experience it yourself. So you can learn a little more from it, having been through it now."
General manager John Lynch said he and coach Kyle Shanahan looked into the possibility of adding Tom Brady as a free agent this offseason in an exercise that they said confirmed their belief Garoppolo is their answer for now and the future.
Garoppolo faced criticism for his role in the 49ers blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl. But Juszczyk notices no changes in Garoppolo's demeanor as he remains above the fray.
"He seems to have handled it like the way Jimmy has handled everything," Juszczyk said. "He's exactly the same guy that he always is in these meetings. You haven't seen any crazy media lash-outs from him or him be down on himself or anything like that.
"It's just Jim. He comes to work every day and works his butt off, has the same demeanor every day. The outside noise truly doesn't seem to affect him."
Garoppolo has not made any public comments in the months since the end of the season.
49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo unchanged by success, criticisms of 2019 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area