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Jimmy Garoppolo: It was a weird year, but I loved every minute of it

Things did not go as planned for Jimmy Garoppolo and the Raiders in 2023.

It started when Garoppolo needed surgery to correct the foot injury he suffered with the 49ers during the 2022 season that delayed his initial press conference. Then it extended into the regular season, when Garoppolo played poorly, Josh McDaniels was fired as head coach, and rookie Aidan O'Connell took over as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

Still, Garoppolo said that as he reflects on his 2023 with the Raiders, he loved it.

"When you're in the middle of it, it’s a whirlwind," Garoppolo said, via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com. "You can’t really smell the roses too long or you get caught up in it. And just reflecting, [I] built a lot of cool relationships in this building. The players, obviously, but just the people in this building — it’s a cool building, good people to be around. And that's the stuff you carry with you, man. That’s the stuff, yeah, you look back on the season and there are little moments here and there — fun stuff.

“Yeah, I loved it. It was a weird year, don’t get me wrong, but I loved every minute of it.”

Garoppolo added that he enjoyed helping out O’Connell, saying, “I was a rookie once and Tom [Brady] helped me out.”

But now at the age of 32, Garoppolo says he's healthy and is confident he can be a starter in the NFL.

Garoppolo signed a three-year, $67.5 million contract with the Raiders last March. He started six games, completing 65.1 percent of his throws for 1,205 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.