49ers' Robbie Gould certain Trey Lance will make Jimmy Garoppolo better

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Gould has no doubt Lance's arrival will make Jimmy G better originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After briefly thinking about asking for a trade in the wake of the 49ers' blockbuster NFL draft trade to select Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo decided that the best course of action was for him to return and compete to keep the job that has been his since the end of the 2017 season.

Lance impressed during rookie minicamp and OTAs, but coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo had his "best spring" as a 49er to date. Garoppolo and Lance are expected to compete for the starting job when training camp opens at the end of July, but the 29-year-old has a massive leg up in the competition and is expected to be the starter come Week 1.

Lance's arrival could have rocked the boat in Santa Clara, but Garoppolo has handled everything with a proper attitude, setting the tone for what the 49ers believe will be a return to Super Bowl contention this season.

Kicker Robbie Gould hasn't been around Lance much, but believes the 21-year-old will bring out the best in Garoppolo this season.

"I got to meet [Lance], he's a pretty down-to-earth kid," Gould told NBC Sports Bay Area via Zoom from the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe. "He has a lot of talent obviously, you can see that on the field. I think as long as he keeps developing and he keeps working as hard as he has been working, and with everything that I have heard of him, he definitely fits the bill and obviously it will push Jimmy and Jimmy will push him, and I think competition is great for anybody.

"I've had a camp where I had a kicker competing with me and that has been some of my best seasons. I think it's great for us as an organization to have a young kid, but it's also great to push Jimmy and I'm looking forward to seeing Jimmy have a great season."

Garoppolo has been in Lance's shoes, and also has seen what it takes for a veteran starting quarterback to fend off his planned successor. Of course, Garoppolo isn't Tom Brady, and the 49ers invested a lot of draft capital in acquiring Lance. Garoppolo knows the shadows are longer than they have ever been, but his goal is to hang on to his job for as long as possible and to prove he can stay healthy and lead a team to a Super Bowl.

"It was one of those things where I know [Lance] is going to come in here, there's going to be some competition between us like there was with me and Tom [Brady] in New England. But at the end of the day, like my dad was just saying, all you can ask for is the opportunity. So, once they said you'll have the opportunity to start this year and fight it out, I was all for it. I'm ready for the competition and that's what we're here for," Garoppolo told CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara."

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While some players might have been upset by the decision to draft their successor, Garoppolo has no ill will toward the 49ers.

"No, not really," Garoppolo told Amendolara. "Like my dad was saying, my dad is an electrician, I grew up in a blue-collar household. It's one of those things where you got to roll with the punches and whenever an opportunity presents itself you have to be able to take advantage of it. That's kind of what I've done throughout my entire career and that's what I'm going to keep doing."

So far Garoppolo and Lance have gotten along great, and Garoppolo knows, from his time with Brady, that its a relationship you can't fake.

"I think a big part of it was that Tom [Brady] never did anything that wasn’t him," Garoppolo told 95.7 The Game. "He was just himself, he didn’t try and do anything that was fake or something that would be weird to me. That’s kind of the approach that I'm taking with Trey [Lance] and the rest of the QBs too.

"We’re around each other so many hours during the day, and so consistently, that you really can’t fake it because guys are going to see right through it. The relationship between me and Trey, it’s been good so far, I think it’ll keep growing as time goes on, but it’s just one of those things, you gotta take it day by day."

Garoppolo has missed 23 games over the past three seasons. During his lone healthy season, he led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and was 10 minutes away from delivering a Super Bowl title.

Shanahan has faith in Garoppolo's ability, but in the end opted to control his own fate and draft the quarterback he believes can elevate his offense to the next level.

Lance has all the tools to be a lethal weapon in Shanahan's system, but the rookie's mere presence also could push Garoppolo to new heights, giving the 49ers the best of both worlds.

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