Whether you loved former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr or not, the lack of overall team success during his tenure is quite obvious. The reasons for that are plentiful, but still, that era is over. Team brass felt they needed to upgrade the position, and in their minds, they did that. Enter Jimmy Garoppolo. Whether you’re excited about the acquisition or not, it doesn’t matter. The Raiders’ brain trust is “confident” in their new signal-caller.
The Raiders need to win games, thankfully, Jimmy Garoppolo does that. Right?
With the NFL and their owners meeting in Arizona this week, general manager Dave Ziegler shared some insight into what went into the Garoppolo signing. While speaking with Tashan Reed of The Athletic, Ziegler made it clear that he believes “Jimmy G” is the man for the job.
“We’re confident. We’ve been around Jimmy since he came in the NFL, so we were with him through a few of those developmental, nurturing years where you really get to learn who people are as football players, as people, from a talent standpoint. And he was successful with us in the time that he got to get on the field.”
Ziegler is referring to Garoppolo’s time with the New England Patriots, where he went 2-0 while Ziegler worked as their Director of Pro Personnel. However, Ziegler also pointed to the quarterback’s success with the San Francisco 49ers as further proof of his ability to adapt and succeed despite playing in a different system and its surroundings.
“You see him go to San Francisco and, again, there’s a high level of success that he has there, too, when he’s out on the field in a completely different system. He showed the ability to adapt to that system, adapt to a new culture, adapt to a new set of teammates and you saw a lot of the same things that we saw in New England, which was players gravitating towards him. The locker room embraces him.”
Dave Ziegler needed a leader. He has one now.
So, what exactly made Garoppolo the right choice? Was it the shared history between him, Ziegler, and Josh McDaniels? Surely knowing and having existing knowledge of the most complex offense in the NFL played a factor. Sure, but it was the fact that Garoppolo wins wherever he goes. Pundits will point to the defense that the 49ers have fielded as a large reason for their success, but if you recall, they weren’t winning much when Garoppolo wouldn’t play.
“Proven leader, proven winner. I think he’s won 70 percent of his starts. And you can caveat that with the whys and all that stuff but, at the end of the day, he was a part of winning a lot of football games… Simply put, that’s what it was.”
It doesn’t get much simpler than that, folks. Jimmy Garoppolo wins games; is he a choir boy? Heaven’s no. Is he going to go up to the podium and claim it’s all on him? Doubtful. In a year where the pressure is on for Dave Ziegler and Co., they went with a “sure thing.” A winner.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images