What Arik Armstead said about Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance

When 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday morning, the veteran had some interesting comments about the quarterback situation in San Francisco.

Here is what he said regarding the criticism Jimmy Garoppolo has dealt with during his time in San Francisco.

“I think we’ve been close to the top of the mountain sometimes, and I feel that when you don’t win the Super Bowl, people start to point fingers and question why. Sometimes there are not many reasons, and not everyone can win each year.

“The quarterback position is very important, so he becomes the number one prime suspect of why we can’t get over the hump. Is it fair? I would say no.

“I think Jimmy is a great quarterback. I was a part of a lot of losing seasons before he joined our team, and he brought a sense of a new profound energy and faith in that position to help us win. I think he’s proven that he’s a phenomenal quarterback and can win games.”

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Here is Armstead on what he expects from Trey Lance.

“I’m really excited. I love what I saw out of him in OTAs. Granted, it was a lot of 7-on-7, and you know only time will tell.

“But I think he has the right demeanor, he has an extremely high ceiling, and an amazing skillset to be successful. I think he goes about things the right way, and I think when you have that combination, it usually turns into a pretty amazing player. So, I’m expecting great things from him, and I’m excited to see what he can do.

“But he’s not alone when he takes the field. Our team is very talented, and it’s not just the Trey Lance show. He’s surrounded by a lot of talented, great players, and we’re all going to go out there and do what we can do win games, so it’s not going to be just on his shoulders.”

I find Armstead’s comments to be interesting.

It’s clear he has admiration for Jimmy Garoppolo, as is likely the case for many of the 49ers veterans who were on the roster before 2017. Those players struggled to succeed on the scoreboard until Garoppolo took over at the end of the 2017 season, and it was with him at quarterback that they reached the biggest game football has to offer.

When it comes to Trey Lance, the comments are much more measured. Stating that he looked good this offseason, but “it was a lot of 7-on-7” somewhat diminishes the performance.

While Armstead is quick to point out the importance of Garoppolo in the 49ers success, he is just as quick to point out that it will not be the “Trey Lance Show.”

On numerous occasions, I have stated that quarterbacks get too much blame for losses and too much credit for wins. A game is rarely won or lost solely due to their mistakes, so I can understand the comments from Armstead about the game not just being on the shoulders of San Francisco’s young quarterback.

Armstead’s comments point to a more significant issue the 49ers must address. Several players are still loyal to Garoppolo.

While keeping him around makes sense from a football standpoint, if the plan is to move on from Garoppolo, San Francisco cannot have him anywhere near the locker room when the team convenes for training camp. Having him there would create an unnecessary distraction and make it harder for Lance to win over the remaining Garoppolo loyalists.

It’s time for San Francisco to cut the cord finally. They have about a month left to make the right call.

This article has 9 Comments

  1. Arik Armstead is a steady force on the defense. He’s reliable and he does a lot that doesn’t show up in the box score. He also talks like a team leader. I am looking forward to seeing him have another great season.

  2. Jack
    This sentence explains WHY Arik Armstead said what he did about Jimmy Garoppolo.
    * It’s clear he has admiration for Jimmy Garoppolo, as is likely the case for many of the 49ers veterans who were on the roster before 2017. Those players struggled to succeed on the scoreboard until Garoppolo took over at the end of the 2017 season, and it was with him at quarterback that they reached the biggest game football has to offer.
    * But we all know WHY the 9ers drafted Lance! It was NOT due to JG’s lack of ability, but because of his available. Unfortunately, JG was on IR for ~50% of the 9er games. We also know about JG’s limitation.

    * As a 9er fan, I’m looking forward to watching Lance grow, to become a pro QB, and witness his ability to open up the 9ers offense.
    * And as a 9er fan, lets not overlook what else Arik Armstead had to say…
    “But he’s not alone when he takes the field. Our team is very talented, and it’s not just the Trey Lance show. He’s surrounded by a lot of talented, great players, and we’re all going to go out there and do what we can do win games, so it’s not going to be just on his shoulders.”
    THATS WHY IT’S CALLED A TEAM SPORT!

  3. im a big Jimmy G fan, hes one player’s career ill be following closely after he leaves the bay for sure which i cnat say about many ex-49er players. I wush him nothing but the best but it’s Trey Time now baby!! I want to see a return on the investment of 3 first round picks we made in him and i hope the pressure from that doesnt weigh him down to much and he comes out and balls.

  4. Agree with Jack: for financial AND interpersonal reasons, Jimmy must go. Let us hope that he can be traded so we recover something.

    1. JG is a good QB, but he has to learn not to stay in the pocket for such a long time. when the pocket starts to collapse, he needs to be able to sense that and start rolling out and/or scrambling. staying in the pocket for too long has been JG’s downfall in several key games, and even just throwing the ball out of bounds is better than taking the sack.

  5. On numerous occasions, I have stated that quarterbacks get too much blame for losses and too much credit for wins. A game is rarely won or lost solely due to their mistakes, so I can understand the comments from Armstead about the game not just being on the shoulders of San Francisco’s young quarterback.

    So then you agree with me that the aggregate performance of the 3 positions along the interior O-line will be a more significant factor in Wins/Losses than Trey Lance all alone? Glad you finally admit it.

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