Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Rodgers had a tumultuous offseason.
Rodgers made his frustrations known and seemed close to leaving the Green Bay Packers. The apparent rupture between the player and team made the NFL pay attention to what was happening. Some franchises just grabbed their popcorn, while others wanted to star in the drama or, at least, be part of the supporting cast.
One of the teams that tried to play a big part in the Aaron Rodgers saga was the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan picked up the phone and called the Packers to ask about Rodgers’ situation. Of course, that was not great news for Garoppolo, the 49ers’ starting quarterback.
The Packers did not trade Rodgers, and the reigning MVP is back at Lambeau Field. After the call, many expected Garoppolo to have antipathy towards Rodgers. But according to Michele Tafoya, that is far from the truth.
Tafoya on Garoppolo playing against Rodgers
On 95.7 The Game’s “Covay and JD” show, Tafoya said:
“He [Garoppolo] looks forward to these matchups with Aaron Rodgers because he likes to emulate his game after Rodgers. He looks up to him. He thinks he is what he is. He’s a superstar.”
Tafoya also revealed that Garoppolo tries to learn what he can when he plays against Rodgers.
“I [Garoppolo] try to look and see what I can take from his game.”
Clearly, any rivalry that Shanahan may have created this offseason is not strong enough to overpower the admiration Garoppolo has for Rodgers.
Tafoya’s take on the upcoming Sunday Night Football game
Tafoya believes Garoppolo is a lot more secure than he was at the start of the season. She said:
“He’s [Garoppolo] finally feeling as though he gets this offence. It’s really much more natural. He’s playing a little freer at the line of scrimmage, not having to think as much. This could be a prime opportunity for him [to air it out]. He certainly has the offensive line to do that, no question about that.”
The 49ers will host the Packers at Levi’s Stadium with a depleted roster. Running back Raheem Mostert is out for the season, JaMycal Hasty is out tonight with an ankle injury, Elijah Mitchell is doubtful due to a shoulder problem, and Trey Sermon only had one full practice due to a concussion.
With no trustworthy running backs on the roster and the 49ers playing against a Packers secondary that gave up seven touchdowns in two games, Garoppolo will have an excellent opportunity to shine and maybe even outshine the quarterback that he admires so much.