49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo says 'life is different now,' citing reaction to date

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A lot has changed for Jimmy Garoppolo since he became the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback and led the team to five straight wins to close last season.

Just how different things are for Garoppolo wasn't fully apparent to him until the days after he was spotted last week having dinner with an adult film star.

On Wednesday, as he and the rest of his 49ers teammates reported for training camp, Garoppolo said the reaction to that night out opened his eyes to just how closely his every move is now being watched.

"Life is different now," Garoppolo said. "My life off the field, I've never really been very big on being very public with things. Even social media, I'm not out there a ton, but my life is looked at differently, [and] I'm under a microscope."

Although Garoppolo previously held a fairly high-profile job as the backup to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, his Q rating has only increased since being traded to the 49ers. His late-season success turned into the five-year, $137.5 million contract he signed with the team in February, a deal that briefly made him the highest paid player in the NFL.

While Garoppolo has mostly kept a low profile in the offseason aside from being spotted with rapper 50 Cent and some teammates at a Bellator MMA event in San Jose and serving as the celebrity door opener at a San Jose Sharks playoff game, he has found himself popping up on gossip site TMZ on multiple occasions.

The most recent of which came after he joined adult film star Kiara Mia for dinner at Avra restaurant in Beverly Hills last week.

On Wednesday, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan briefly pretended to have no knowledge of Garoppolo's night out.

"I never heard anything about those articles," Shanahan said, laughing. "What are you talking about?"

Shanahan went on to point out that Garoppolo learned a valuable lesson about how his every move will be monitored moving forward.

"Jimmy came from a place where he saw a lot of people handle that spotlight and everything, so I think Jimmy does have an idea," Shanahan said. "I think everybody has an idea of how you should handle that spotlight, but not everyone is in that spotlight. I don't think I have ever in my life commented on a player's date in July, so I'm not going to start today. I don't think it really pertains or matters to us.

"But I do think that is a very good example, and even though, you know, sometimes you have got to learn how under the microscope we all are. And it's not just a quarterback, it's all players. The quarterback definitely gets more than anyone else, but I think it's a good learning experience for him, and he's got to know what comes with that stuff."

As it turns out, Garoppolo also hasn't been able to avoid ribbing from his teammates, either. Asked about how his offseason conversations with Garoppolo went, cornerback Richard Sherman couldn't help but poke fun at his quarterback.

"We talked about a lot," Sherman said. "We talked about the strengths and weaknesses of certain defenses, passes that he likes, people that he likes to take on dates ... [laughing]. No, we just talked ball and got to know each other better, got to know about his family. He has a ton of brothers. We had some great conversations."

Garoppolo and the 49ers are set for their first training camp practice on Thursday. It will be the first time Garoppolo will enter a camp as the full-time starter, though he says that isn't changing his approach.

"I have been going about it similar to what I have done in the past," Garoppolo said. "Obviously, different offense and different scheme and everything. But for the most part, preparing the same way as I have in the past and a good mindset going into it."

As for the inquiries about his personal life, Garoppolo hopes to keep the focus on football.

"It's like Kyle said, it is a good learning experience," Garoppolo said. "You just have to take it in stride, I mean, it is what it is."