QB Jimmy Garoppolo


QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Press Conference – January 23, 2020

San Francisco 49ers

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You have two Super Bowl rings. Where do you keep them and do you ever wear them? And what does it mean to be a starter as opposed to backing for a Super Bowl?

“Those are back in Chicago, safe and sound. I don’t know if I’ve worn them any other times other than, like, the ring ceremony, maybe to a school, visiting or something like that, that was about it. But, this is another great opportunity to be back to it and just these don’t come around very often. You’ve got to take advantage when you get them.”


How do you feel your Super Bowl experience will help you the next couple of weeks and in the game?

“I think when you get down there, especially the media availability, all the requirements and obligations that you have to do, I think. Just having been through that, and obviously being a starter, it’s a little different with time management and everything. But, just having seen all that, being up close and personal with it, I think all that will help me.”


What are your recollections of Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes visiting you after the Chiefs game last year and did that make an impression on you that he would–?

“Absolutely. I didn’t even know Pat at the time. For him to come out of his way after the game and wish me luck and everything, just a real class act. The guy’s awesome. On the field, off the field, he does it all.”


Have you guys stayed in touch at all?

“Not really since then, no, but just for him to do something as simple as that, it went a long way.”


You said that you don’t really care how often you throw and all you really care about is winning. Somebody like CB Richard Sherman will see any sort of slights against him and use that as motivation. I’m wondering with all this discussion about you, your play, the fact that you threw just eight passes in the NFC title game, how you use that or how you view it if it’s even on your mind at all?

“Yeah, Sherm, everyone has different ways to get motivated, and very similar to Sherm I do the same thing. I hear all the stuff and everything, but you can’t put that all out there all the time. You have to do with it what you will and take it for what it is. Just at the end of the day you’ve got to go out there and play football.”


What do you think is the benefit of examining New England Patriots QB Tom Brady in a Super Bowl, in the game? Will it play a role in how you prepare for this game?

“I think just how calm he was, everyone says you’ve got to treat it like another game, just the way he actually he did it. I was up close and personal, getting all the, picking up everything I could, seeing how he went about his business and everything. And obviously it worked out the two times that I was there with him. Try to transfer that over to my game.”


What do you think about the Chiefs defense?

“Talented group. It starts up front. [Kansas City Chiefs DT Chris Jones] 95, [Kansas City Chiefs DE Frank Clark] 55, they’ve got other guys that could get after it, too. But, their overall team speed, they mix it up in coverages. They don’t really, they’re trying not to give you anything easy. So, it makes it difficult, honest.”


How hard was it to watch that film from last year? Was it like for you obviously with the emotions of your injury, but studying that tape and their defense?

“It brought up a lot of memories obviously with the knee and everything. It’s crazy just how things come full circle like that. But, it’s a new year and everything. You could take some things from the players and things like that. But the scheme, it’s a little different this year.”


Other memory from Kansas City, this year you were coming off a rougher game in Denver in the preseason, but you were really sharp. In retrospect, how important was that performance just to get your confidence back and your legs back underneath you?

“I thought it was important. It definitely was, especially with the timing of it. Coming back from the knee and everything, I knew there was going to be a bump in the road or a hiccup at some point. And I think Denver happened and all that, and then bouncing back in Kansas City, just really helped escalate things.”


You played under a Hall-of-Fame coach, and then you come here and you encounter a rookie coach that doesn’t even look like New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. What were you expecting from Kyle and did anything surprise you?

“I would say I expected a very sharp offensive mind, because I never met Kyle prior to that other than Combine and things like that. But, just from hearsay around the league, just a smart guy who, he commands the room. He could lead men and just offensive mind like no other. So, there was no surprises with that. That all held true. And just the way that he could lead, it’s incredible. He does it in different ways, on the field, in the meeting room, the team meeting, all that stuff, it just goes a long way.”


How would you describe yourself as a leader?

“I think just be myself, let it come naturally. I never try to go outside the box and do something that isn’t myself, because I think guys see right through that and they’ll think it’s fake. Can’t be that way. Guys are smart in there. They’ll see right through you. But, I think at the end of the day you’ve got to be yourself.”


Along the same lines, because your teammates say you’re one of the guys, you don’t elevate yourself, you’re not, like, I’m the franchise quarterback. But, at the same time you can’t just be one of the guys because you’re the quarterback and there are times where you have to scream at them, like it was the Browns game or whatever. Is that something that comes naturally or have you learned the art of how to balance those things?

“There’s definitely a balance to it. It’s a fine line. But, I think at the end of the day as long as guys respect you and respect your opinion they see the work you put in things like that, I think all that carries tremendous weight. When we’re around each other, the teammates just, as much as we are, you just know your guys inside and out and they know you inside and out. There’s no really being fake. It is what it is.”


On a pretty young team, how important is T Joe Staley just as a voice and a locker room presence?

“It’s huge to have him, especially just big moments, games like this. We’ve had them throughout the entire end of the season, it feels like, these big games. But, just having a guy like that who could calm everything down, put everything in perspective, things like that. Joe’s done phenomenal on the field, and the things he does off the field go very unnoticed, but it carries us a long way.”


Does he say much in the huddle?

“From time to time, I think there’s a time and place that he will. But, everyone leads in their own way or shows examples of that.”


Just wondering, because it is different going through the process as a starter and a backup, will you reach out to Tom or anyone from the Patriots just to get advice how to handle what you’re about to encounter in the next week and a half?

“I might. It’s not a bad idea. The more information that you could get about it and having been through it, it’s a little different than as a starter than and backup, so any information I could get would be great.”


Speaking of what you learned from Tom Brady, just being part of the Super Bowls, against the Seattle Seahawks, what can you speak about his demeanor when he led that game-winning drive in the Super Bowl?

“As I said it before, he treats it like every other game. You could see it, how he is, his body mannerisms, everything, just how he prepares for it makes him confident on Sunday. And so, I’m trying to do the same thing, be ready to go and we’ll see what happens.”


One of the things Kyle’s done and general manager John Lynch have done is they have embraced the history of this franchise. Former QB Joe Montana was at a game, former WR Jerry Rice was at a game, former QB Steve Young. How do you feel about the importance of that and then how do you feel about being measured by the standard of those players?

“I love that we keep it in the family and everything. When those older players come back, just whether they talk to us or you just see them on the sidelines, having them around, it’s cool. It just makes you realize the history of this organization and whenever you get that opportunity, it’s great.”


You mentioned you were similar in to Sherm in the way that you guys both perceive slights. Obviously, you guys react publicly to them in very different ways. I’m wondering, where do you think your approach to just being kind of quiet about that comes from versus Sherm obviously, who seems to feel himself by being a little bit louder about it?

“I don’t know. I think maybe having two older brothers, you say too much you keep your mouth shut a little bit. Just, I don’t know. I think it just comes for me naturally, how I am.”


How important was the first road trip where you guys stayed out on the road and building team unity and getting off to a good start, 2-0 and then going on the run you did 8-0?

“The one in Ohio you’re talking about?”


Yeah starting the season. How important was it to build team unity?

“It was cool. It seems like a lifetime ago. Staying in a Holiday Inn, all that stuff. It was an eventful week, a little different than what we were used to. But, the time you get to spend with each other, with the coaches, with the teammates, you can’t replace that. It’s awesome.”


There was a viral moment where Kyle talked to an official on the sideline who said the coverage is going to go this way, watch for holding. How often does he do that with you guys as players during the week on install? Is there a certain time that you remember where you think, well, is that really going to happen? It happened exactly the way that they said?

“Yeah, there’s definitely been a couple of those. It would be hard to recall one off the top of my head. But, he always, throughout the week, whether it’s situationally, this specific play or whatever it is, I don’t know if you call it predicting or giving you a heads up of what he thinks is going to happen, and when it does happen it’s very impressive. As a player, when a coach does that, you can trust him so much with that. It’s invaluable.”


The fact that you guys have not run a lot of passing plays this last week, can that be an advantage in the Super Bowl since the defense hasn’t seen much?

“Yeah, they’ll have to be on their toes, kind of play the game out as it goes.”