49ers' Kyle Juszczyk: 'Crazy to Me' Jimmy Garoppolo Doesn't Get Deserved Respect

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 2: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Kyle Juszczyk #44 of the San Francisco 49ers talk on the field before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-20. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk has heard all of the Jimmy Garoppolo slander and is fed up. 

On a Tuesday call with reporters, Juszczyk took a moment to remind everyone just how successful his quarterback has been. 

"It's crazy to me that he doesn't get the respect he deserves for what a phenomenal season I think he had, the numbers that he put up, the way he led this team," Juszczyk said per NBC Sports' Matt Maiocco. "He was no doubt our leader on offense. He brought us to a Super Bowl and within seven minutes of winning one. So for him not to get the respect I feel he deserves is pretty wild to me." 

Juszczyk certainly has a point.

In 2019, the Niners offense ranked fourth in the league with 381.1 yards per game while scoring a second-best 29.9 points per game. Garoppolo himself had the eighth-best passer rating (102), the third-best yards-per-pass attempt (8.4) and the fifth-most touchdowns (27). He finished just 22 yards shy of the 4,000 mark in passing.

And that was only his first full season as a starter. At 28 years old, this could be what his prime looks like. 

Instead, there have been plenty of rumblings about whether or not Garoppolo's good enough to keep his job. 

Juszczyk is making sure those jabs don't get too close to the QB.

"I feel like I've been Jimmy's bodyguard this offseason," Juszczyk said, "but I've never been tired of it."

Part of the noise came from general manager John Lynch acknowledging the team did consider a run at Tom Brady in free agency this year. Brady's love of the Niners—his childhood team—has long been established and a union between the two made plenty of sense on the surface.

Dig a little deeper, however, and it's clear this is an offense made for Garoppolo, a player Juszczyk believes is in line for an even better campaign in 2020 than he put together in 2019:

"We have a full season of him starting, where he can go back and re-watch the tape and spend extra time on watching himself. Because sometimes it is tougher when you're watching somebody else play your position and you're trying to learn the offense through that, which he was doing for a little bit.

"Now you're actually watching yourself and you know what you were feeling in that moment. You got to experience it yourself. So you can learn a little more from it, having been through it now."

Those tapes will include Super Bowl LIV in which the Niners blew a late 10-point lead to the Kansas City Chiefs

While Garoppolo hasn't spoken to the media since the loss, Juszczyk says he continues to "work his butt off" as he looks to prove last year was no fluke. 

In the meantime, Juszczyk will continue taking the hits for him, as any good fullback does.