Can 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo outdo other ex-Patriots QBs?

SANTA CLARA — Forty-Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo descends from the lineage of quarterbacks who began their careers backing up Tom Brady.

Since Brady entered the NFL in 2000, four of his backups have started games around the league for teams other than the New England Patriots. On Sunday, Garoppolo will become the fifth.

Brady’s former understudy now is the face of a franchise. He will make his debut as the 49ers’ starting quarterback when they play the Chicago Bears.

If history repeats itself, Garoppolo could struggle with the 49ers.

This lineage of former Brady backups has not found success away from the Patriots. Playing for the Patriots may make a quarterback look better than he actually is.

Fortunately for Garoppolo, he may have more talent than the backups who preceded him.

Here’s a look at how those four backups performed in their post-Patriots debut and post-Patriots career.

This article has 54 Comments

    1. I copied it from the SKA site. With Grant working overtime to set up unrealistic expectations of JG, some levity is in order.

            1. Yeah, Jar Jar (per Wikipedia)…

              “Jar Jar’s primary role in Episode I was to provide comic relief for the audience. Upon the movie’s release, he was met with an overwhelmingly negative reception from both critics and audiences, and is today considered one of the most hated characters in the history of film.”

              Sebbie, you’re right up there with Jar Jar…

              Wonder what a Wikipedia treatment say about Sebbie?

  1. What do you mean can he out do other patriots ex qbs? Of course he can. Cassel was hot garbage even on the pats regardless of how he played when Brady was out. And who else Hoyer? Don’t make me laugh. The thing that separates Garoppolo from those lames is that he was actually a decent qb coming out of college. No question can garoppolo outshine those losers. And who knows. Brady might actually suck if he’s not on the pats. He’s pretty much a system qb. That might be the only reason why other qbs who moved on were questionable.

  2. The only thing at all that Jimmy has in common with those others is that he was Brady’s backup. That’s it, nothing else.

    He came out of college highly decorated and broke almost all of the schools QB records. Breaking Romo’s and Sean Payton’s records. Cassell didn’t even start in college, but he did go to a pro-bowl and is still in the league and has started this year even. Mallet had talent but no brain. The others were never meant to be full time starters.

  3. Razor are you wearing all your Niner gear tomorrow and where r ur seats? The Cubs fans at Wrigley are some of the best I’ve ever encountered at an opposing teams stadium. Very friendly, classy, and knowledgeable. I’ve never been to Soldier. How’s it there on the visiting fans?

  4. History tends to repeat itself, only if they do not learn from their mistakes.
    Every QB is different, and JG was a second round pick, so he was highly rated, unlike those UDFA QBs mentioned.
    I may have advocated for improving the QB position, because I knew Hoyer would bench himself, but when JG fell into their laps, I am content that he may be the franchise QB they were looking for.
    I still am amazed that Belichick traded JG to the Niners, but he probably did it for Marie Debartolo, who greatly aided his parents. He also got what will be essentially a high second/low first round pick, and placed JG out of the conference.
    JG will do well. My main concern is coaching up the O line so JG can stay upright. With Hyde, Goodwin, Murphy and Kittle, he has good weapons, and the defense is much improved from last season.
    Niners, 24-23.

    1. I may have advocated for improving the QB position…

      Lol. What a load of tripe! There are about 13,000 pages that declare you did and most vociferously!

  5. For those that might care. Final: Marin Catholic 59 Cardinal Newman 56 Wow! Followed the game on twitter tonight. Not much defense but the game must have been amazing to watch in person. Newman was ahead pretty much the whole game, starting it off with a TD on the opening kick. 35-24 Newman at the half. They were ahead 56-51 with a little over 5 minutes left and MC held the next Newman drive and forced the first punt of the second half. With 3 minutes left they scored and converted the 2 point conversion. No more info after that other than Newman had the ball and 3:07 left in the game, but the final on the Marin IJ was the 59-56 so MC obviously must have held again. Hell of a game.

  6. The past failures of other ex-Pats QBs is often brought up as cautionary tale regarding JG. But it fails to take into consideration the talent of the QBs. JG is a more talented QB than the others that have been through the system. Maybe he’ll succeed, maybe he will fail, but playing well in spot duty for the Patriots is not a reason to doubt him.

    1. Scooter,
      Not sure anyone is saying that he will fail, my take is that back-up QB’s who have been under the Patriots umbrella does not automatically guarantee success elsewhere.
      The thought here has more to do (at least for me) with the belief that anyone coming from Bill Belischick’ camp is a can’t miss prospect.

  7. Me too Seb. I’ve been advocating for improving the QB position ever since Jeff Garcia left. Never happened. Maybe JG will finally break the stench of mediocrity that has engulfed the QB position in SF over the last many years.

    1. See, that is where you and I differ. Kaep actually made the Niners relevant again by getting to the SB and being one pass from returning. That sure is better than toiling in the basement.
      Sure, he did not go all the way, but that will make the next one all the more sweeter. Just another life lesson, that sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination.
      Why do you bring up Jeff Garcia? he never made it to a SB, much less win it, so he should be considered a failure to you.

  8. We, the Niner fans are picky about our QBs. Let’s raise the bar. These are all the QBs the 49ers have traded for. Jimmy needs to clear this bar, or at least, be in the conversation.

    Arnie Galiffa: 1954, from Giants (DE Bob Van Doren).
    Earl Morrall: 1957, Steelers (with G Mike Sandusky for LB Marv Matuszak).
    Norm Snead: 1974, Giants (1975 3rd-round pick and 1976 4th-round pick).
    Marty Domres: 1976, Colts (1978 5th-round pick).
    Jim Plunkett: 1976, Patriots (QB Tom Owens, two 1976 1st-round picks, 1977 1st- and 2nd-round picks).
    Guy Benjamin: 1981, Saints (1982 2nd-round pick).
    Matt Cavanaugh: 1983, Patriots (1984 4th-round pick).
    Jeff Kemp: 1986, Rams (1986 3rd-round pick).
    Steve Young: 1987, Buccaneers (1987 2nd- and 4th-round picks plus cash).
    Cade McNown: 2002, Dolphins (2003 7th-round pick).
    Trent Dilfer: 2006, Browns (QB Ken Dorsey and 2007 7th-round pick).
    Colt McCoy: 2013, Browns (with 2013 6th-round pick for 5th- and 7th-round picks).
    Blaine Gabbert: 2014, Jaguars (2014 6th-round draft pick).

  9. Jeff’s team was completely inferior to the team Kaep played for Seb, yet he still brought them to the playoffs including the thrilling come from behind victory at the ‘Stick against the NY Giants. I have no doubt that if Jeff was the QB of the 2012 Forty Niners they would have hoisted their sixth SB trophy, and possibly their seventh in 2013. Both years I truly believe the Niners had the best team, but were handicapped by a mediocre QB that eventually reared it’s ugly head at the most inopportune times. When we needed a Jeff at the end of those games when everything was on the line, we only had a Kaep. The difference between the two is Jeff was great on a mediocre team and made them very good, while Kaep was mediocre on a great team and made them just very good.

    1. Interesting. Jeff Garcia had TO to throw to. Kaep did not have a WR of his talents to throw to.
      Guess you are forgetting that Kaep ran for 181 yards in GB, then spotted Atlanta 17 points, then made a stirring comeback to win the NFCC Game. That is something that Garcia never did.
      And no, those Niner teams were just after the Glory Years, so it was laden with SB players, so it was not mediocre at all.

          1. Both hall of famers anyway!

            The argument that he didn’t have receivers is specious. He didn’t have decent receivers the last year, otherwise, he had decent targets.

        1. Moss was on his last legs. He also did not even try for a ball in the SB. He just put his head down and let it be picked off. If he had tried for it and acted like he was going to catch it, he would have drawn the safety to him and it might have fallen incomplete.

    2. Garcia never had anywhere near the talent on his team the Kaep did in the early years. Yes that is true, they were probably them most talent team in the NFL at that point. They had the Best Oline in football, They had Frank Gore in his prime and had good wr’s but not a great one.
      The true strength of the team was on the defensive side of the ball with Aldon and Justin Smith backed by Bowman and Willis. They had pro bowlers at every level of that defense. The problem was that defense suffered major injuries to both Justin and Aldon Smith down the stretch and was no where near as dominate in the playoffs as it had been all season.
      I don’t know that Garcia would have won those games but I believe he was highly underrated and played on some poor teams that didn’t have a defense that was anything like what SF had in 2012 or 2013.
      Kaep, while not a complete qb, at that time really helped open up the offense because defenses hadn’t adjusted to the read option yet. So he very much helped them win some games in the playoffs as GB had no clue how to defend the read option. Looking at the matchups I would guess that Garcia would have beaten Baltimore in the SB but I don’t know that he would have gotten there as I not certain he would have beaten GB.
      In 2013 I’m not certain if Garcia would have won just due to the match ups, but I can’t imagine him costing the team the way Kaep did with his three 4th quarter turnovers which gave Seattle the win.

      1. Exactly…The Defense was the main reason they made it that year…Kaep had other great players on the team that year…Kaep caught other defenses off guard by his running style and being new to the NFL but they got his number the following year…It’s getting old seeing Kaep’s name still here…It got really hard to watch his play, his slow wind up, indecision, inaccuracy and one read play. Also his focus was distracted by his social issues he should taken off the field and taken to the streets, media, internet and halls like others exercising their right and protesting now and before him. Where is he now if he was that good, don’t buy blackballing. He wanted starter money and can’t even make it to holding a clipboard.

        1. If you think Siemian, Osweiler, Lynch, Cutler, McCown, Moore, Peterman, Bortles, Fitzpatrick, Savage, Kizer and many others are superior to Kaep, I will just question your football acumen.
          Kaep is being blackballed, and never once stated that he wanted starter money. He wanted a fair chance to compete, but has been ostracized and shunned. His courage in the face of hate and death threats will keep inspiring others enough to call him man of the year, but the good ol’ boys network is heaping shame and dishonor on the league. Now they want to take money away from veterans to try to buy silence.
          History will not be kind to the NFL and owners, because calling players SOBs and firing them by not letting players play, is doing more to ruin the league than peacefully, non violently protesting.

          1. Not sure about good ol’ boys network. I didn’t say those Qb’s were better or worse…did I…Kaep sucks period. I really question your football acumen. He was reported wanting a big contract, maybe not big starter dough but not $1-2Mil/YR backup money because that’s what he is on most decent teams. He should of taken his issues off the field and protested on social media, internet, town halls and the street peacefully like others now and before and probably wouldn’t get as much hate and threats which he shouldn’t get period. He has the right to protest but he was a big fool to do it on the field, now look at him. Bringing up Kaep to play here is old. Side note…Alex Smith just threw today for 370 yds/4 td’s.

      2. I do not beg to differ, I vehemently disagree.
        Woulda coulda shoulda. The Niners were coming off their Glory Years, so they were a good team, with high expectations. The Niners in 2010 was an under achieving squad, even with some talent. It took JH to forge them into winners, and his final piece was moving on from Alex. Kaep stormed into the SB after only 10 games, and Garcia never could have done what Kaep did, because he never could win an NFC championship game.
        Garcia was a decent QB, but Juan should have said that the Niners never had a dominant QB since Steve Young. I would still propose that Kaep got them to the SB and helped make the Niners relevant again, but Garcia was pedestrian, with decent numbers, not dominant.

  10. Hush little Jimmy, dont say a word,
    Kyle’s gonna get you the offence you deserve.

    And if those offensive players dont score,
    Kyle’s gonna show them all the door.

    And if those wide receivers dont run,
    Kyle’s gonna draft you a Number One.

    And if those offensive players dont gel,
    You’re gonna find it a living hell.

    And if those linemen cannot block,
    You’ll spend the entire game in shock.

    And if your offensive line dont hold,
    At least you look good in the red and gold!

    (smile to the fans Jimmy!)

    And if you end up hit too hard…..
    Kyle’s gonna replace you with CJ Beathard!

  11. Jimmy has promise as a QB. He has to turn that promise into reality. No matter what people say there’s no guarantee he’s going to be anything special. I hope he is special and am would love to see how it works out over the next two seasons.

  12. Grant, you conveniently left out some Matt Cassell stats that stand out. In 2010, under Todd Hayley at KC, Cassell led the Chiefs to a 10-6 record, threw for 3,000 yards, and 27 TDs to 7 picks and the Chiefs, to the playoffs. Cassell was a pro-bowler in 2010. Todd Hayley and Scott Pioli got into a weird beef, which saw both getting fired from the Chiefs. Had Hayley and Cassell stayed together, he would have had a different career arc. That one season alone would place him far above Jacoby Brissett.

  13. Lots of talk about the college playoffs. I liked the old conference affiliated bowl games better than the current system, but they won’t go back. ($$$$$$$)

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