QB Jimmy Garoppolo
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Press Conference – November 20, 2019
San Francisco 49ers
It seems as if teams are trying to stop the run. That makes sense, obviously, with this team and head coach Kyle Shanahan, but what do you have to do to sort of earn the respect of those teams that they now have to protect against the pass and bring things back into balance a little bit?
“Well, I think whenever you have a rushing attack like we have, I mean, if I were a D-coordinator, I would do the same thing. It’s just kind of an is what it is type of thing. I think you just have to react as the game goes and see how they play you type of thing.”
What do you see from Green Bay’s defense?
“They’re fast. They’re fast, the D-Line gets after it, usually four, maybe five guys, but they’re pretty talented across the board. There’s really no weak links in the defense. They’ll make you earn everything all the way down the field.”
A lot of players have talked about how the crowd at Levi’s has been qualitatively different this year than the last couple years. What do you think a win over the Packers would do to accelerate that trend?
“Yeah, I mean, Levi’s has been rocking. These home games, even the away games, our Faithful, they travel well. It’s been a real blessing for us to have fans like that. It’s awesome to have the crowd rocking. Makes it hard on their offense, great for our defense. This Sunday will be a big one.”
When you head into a practice without TE George Kittle, without WR Emmanuel Sanders, without WR Deebo Samuel, does that change at all how you approach the practice and what you can work on with guys who may or may not be significant players on Sunday?
“Yeah, it’s always a good opportunity. You don’t get a ton of reps throughout the week, so you try and make the best of what you’ve got. I think when guys get their chance to step up and get their number called, it’s a great opportunity for those guys. It’s all about taking advantage of your opportunity when you get in this league. With injuries, that’s kind of the way it goes.”
You seem to be a fairly harsh critic of yourself. What is your process when you throw an interception, you know you’ve made a mistake, it was on you? What is your process when you go to the sideline and look at that tape? How do you overcome that?
“Yeah, just looking at the picture, whether I knew what was going on or didn’t know. You kind of assess the situation as it was and kind of try and move on as quickly as possible. Take it for what it is. You made a mistake or a bad throw, whatever it was, and just move on.”
What’s the key to not losing your confidence in situations like that?
“I think that’s just part of being a quarterback. In football, bad things are going to happen at some point. No one’s ever going to play a perfect game, so it’s just how you react to those things. I thought our team over these last two weeks just when we’ve gotten put in tough situations, I think we’ve responded well, especially this past week.”
Was there ever a point in high school, college, where you did beat yourself up too much over a mistake and it affected you throughout the game?
“I can’t really think of one specific. I’m a pretty even-keeled guy for the most part. Get the frustration out of the way and then, like I said, just try to move on.”
The coach kids TE Ross Dwelley about his YAC, a small amount. Is there anything you can do to get him a little bit more of that? And also, what does he mean to you as a backup to the fullback and the tight end?
“Yeah, I’ve been trying to, we try to get Dwelley on those deep routes and things like that and get the average up. Dwelley just, he’s one of those guys in big moments, when his number’s called, it really doesn’t faze him. He’s a very consistent individual, goes to work every day and shows up in those big moments when his number’s called.”
With that big playbook, is it hard to do both of those positions, as a fullback and a tight end?
“Oh yeah, very, especially with our offense. In the run game, protections, whatever it is. There’re so many things for those guys, so many tiny details that they have to pay attention to. So, you’ve got to tip your hat to Dwelley. I said it earlier, he’s kind of our Swiss army knife on offense. He does a little bit of everything and you love having a guy like that.”
Ross tied George in season total for touchdowns, I believe. Is there a tight end controversy?
“I mean, you’ve got [TE] Levine [Toilolo] and [TE Garrett] Celek in there, too, so there’s a lot of playmakers over there. A lot of characters, too, so it helps keep things light.”
Shanahan said your progress back, just learning his playbook, as well as coming back from your ACL is ahead of schedule in certain aspects, but you can also get better in different areas. How would you assess your comeback?
“Yeah, I think I’m kind of taking it week by week. With the ACL, I really haven’t thought about that in I don’t know how long, so that’s always a good thing. But, just as far as learning the offense, I think you’re never done learning, you’re never done preparing and every week’s a little different. It’s just try to learn it as quickly as you can and understand it the best you can. I think our coaches do a great job of explaining it to us so that we do understand it.”
Kyle’s been described as an extremely honest person when it comes to coaching his players. How much does that help you? I assume you obviously got that in New England, too, but how much does that help players?
“I think it helps a ton, honestly. The communication aspect between coaches and players or whatever the line is, the more honest you are, the more upfront you are about the situation, the easier it is to fix it or move on, whatever the situation calls for. Whenever a coach is talking to you honestly like that and just being straight forward, you really appreciate it.”
Is it hard to hear some of the things? Do you sometimes wish, “I wish he just lied” to feel better about things?
“No. No, when you start playing that game, it’s a touchy game. I always appreciate honesty and someone being straight forward with me and Kyle’s been nothing but that, and I appreciate him for that.”
This game could be huge in terms of seedings down the line. Coach says he doesn’t want to look ahead, but how important is it to have this game at home for a potential one down the line?
“Yeah, like I said before with the Faithful and everything, having them helping out the defense and just getting the place rocking will be huge. The louder they can be, the better. But, yeah, it’ll be a big game Sunday. This is a great opportunity, great challenge for us.”
What does it mean to you guys to have this game be flexed. This will be the third primetime game in the last four games that you guys have played, so basically the NFL is saying, “Hey, we want to see the Niners.”
“Yeah, I mean it’s a privilege. It means we’re in a good situation, obviously, but you can’t worry about that too much whether it’s day or night. It’s football at the end of the day.”
You mentioned on Sunday that you didn’t really get to see the touchdown pass to RB Jeff Wilson Jr. after being hit. Where does that knack for kind of being able to stay in the pocket and take those shots under duress come from? Do you remember a time when you maybe didn’t want to take those shots?
“Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s a knack or anything. I think it’s just you’ve got to be willing to do it. I think as a quarterback, your toughness isn’t really exemplified by hitting people and things like that, but can you hang in the pocket, can you give the guy an extra second in his route and everything like that. I try to do that as best I can and Jeff, you know, he killed the guy. He made me look real good.”
What are the qualities you admire most about Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers?
“His off-schedule plays are incredible. It really is. I try to watch him any opportunity I get, whether it’s film, whether he’s playing on TV, whatever it is. It’s impressive. His arm talent is, it’s up there, probably the best in the league. It’s fun to watch a guy like that.”
Do you know him in any way?
“Yeah, we’ve met a couple times. Great guy.”
Is off-schedule stuff something you feel like you can work on when you break the pocket, for example?
“Yeah, I mean you never really want to get to off-schedule. You want to make the play work and play the play as it is. When those things happen, just kind of react to it. The receivers got work down field, so you don’t get a ton of work at that with practice and everything. It’s something that we can improve, definitely.”
What makes Kyle an elite play caller?
“I think it’s a number of things. Obviously, the work that he puts in during the week and being prepared for the defense that we’re going against that week. But, just how he’s setting up plays, how he’s thinking two, three plays ahead, things like that really makes it difficult on D-coordinators.”
When do you notice Kittle’s absence the most during the course of a game? What sort of plays or situations?
“You try not to think about it too much. You’ve got the guys out there who are available and they’re doing the best they can. I can’t think of one specific spot where you think of it, but he’s one of those guys with energy on the sideline, the huddle, all those little moments like that of him talking, whatever it is. Those little things really help.”