49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo Says He's Fueled By Criticism,Trade Rumors

Ernesto Cova

Even before the start of the NFL season, people talked about whether the San Francisco 49ers should move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and just ride with Trey Lance since day one.

While Garoppolo hasn't exactly been spectacular, Lance is still a work in progress and isn't ready to take the reins just yet, which is why some analysts expected them to trade Jimmy G at some point in the season.

Fast-forward to today and the Niners are in the Divisional Round of the playoffs with Garoppolo behind center.

Garoppolo Shuts Down The Outside Noise

Garoppolo knows he's been on the hot seat all year long.

Even so, he's been unbothered by the criticism and feels that only motivates him to silence his doubters:

"I think a big part of it is just knowing who you are—as a player and a person, really," the QB told NBC Sports. "That will take you a long way. It's kind of a big part of just my mental game. I know what type of quarterback I am. I know what type of player I am in this league and where I stand. All the noise out there and everything, keep it coming. It fuels me and it keeps me going. It's a good thing when people are talking about you."

The Trade Rumors Are Always On The Back Of His Mind

Jimmy G recently admitted that the trade rumors have been on the back of his mind since the start of the season. Nonetheless, he's taken a business approach and just dealing with them one game at a time:

“It’s always in the back of your mind,” Garoppolo said, per Bolavip. “It has been in mine, really, the whole season. I knew what type of season it was, knew everything that was going on behind the scenes and what-not. It was a little different.”

“You got to toe that line because you don’t want to get too emotional in those moments,”_ the former Patriots QB continued. “You just got to go play football when it comes down to it. But the human side definitely comes into play. You feel it for a little bit after the game. And I think 24 hours after that, you have to move on quickly. And we’ve done that pretty well.”

Kyle Shanahan Lauds Garoppolo

But even despite all the chatter about Trey Lance being the future of the franchise, HC Kyle Shanahan still has Garoppolo's back:

"Jimmy's been unbelievable this year,"Shanahan told Sports Illustrated. "And I really think when Jimmy's been healthy and he’s played, he's playing how he always has, which is more like a top quarterback. I think people are a little unfair with him, but Jimmy, he's the same guy regardless. I mean, I've known him for five years, and he's always the same guy, and the guys really fight for him."

The Niners Have A Tough Task Ahead

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Even so, Garoppolo will have to take his game up a notch for this weekend's visit to Lambeau Field.

While the 49ers have fared pretty well against the Green Bay Packers as of late, Aaron Rodgers' MVP caliber season is a big reason to be worried about.

Also, Matt LaFleur's stout defense will put a lot of pressure by forcing Jimmy G to beat them with his arm and limit their running game.

Right now, the Niners are 5.5-point underdogs for this win-or-go-home matchup.