QB Jimmy Garoppolo
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Press Conference – December 11, 2019
San Francisco 49ers
What does it mean to you to be named NFC Offensive Player of the Week?
“It’s a great honor. I thought our offense played great this past Sunday, so it was a big group effort.”
What’s been the difference for you these last couple of months as opposed to the first few weeks when you were just coming back off the knee injury?
“I think just obviously taking care of the knee, getting that back to normal and not worrying about that, but just playing football again. You take a year off with the ACL and everything, it takes a little while to get back into it.”
Do you find yourself in a groove now that maybe you haven’t experienced before just given the fact that you have played 13 games for the first time?
“I wouldn’t call it a groove. I think we’re in a good spot as a team. I like where we’re sitting and everything, kind of control our own destiny. That’s where you want to be in December, so I think we’re in a good spot. Just got to keep it rolling right now.”
After that three-game stretch you guys went through, how do you keep the intensity for a four-win team that’s coming into your house?
“It’s pretty easy for us, every week’s the exact same. We’ve got a group of guys in there with a great mindset, guys who, it’s important to them and every week’s just as important as the last. This week’s no different than any other.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan just talked about how earlier this season you were making a lot of big plays, but also there were some turnovers in there as well. What have you done to keep those big plays coming while limiting the turnovers?
“It’s nothing special. I think it’s just going through the game plan knowing where your outs are, knowing where your hots, things like that and just take what the defense gives you. I don’t think it’s doing anything special or anyone making a crazy play. It’s just playing within the offense and just following your rules.”
What comes with the experience you’ve gained this year? Obviously, far and away the most starts you’ve ever had in a season. What is the byproduct of that?
“I think confidence obviously comes with that, being able to do it week in and week out. As a quarterback, that’s what you want to do. You want to be there for the team week after week. That’s part of your job, so I wouldn’t say it’s anything special, just gives you more confidence, though.”
What’s the confidence level with the red zone and you see WR Kendrick Bourne and the play’s breaking down?
“KB, he finds the space. He’s a good, instinctive player who if the initial play isn’t there or a little off-schedule, he has no problem working. He puts his hands up, you know, all those little things that you do when the play breaks down. He’s phenomenal at it.”
You just smiled when you said the words Kendrick Bourne or were talking about him. Is he the kind of guy that anytime you think of him or talk to him, you find yourself smiling?
“Yeah, usually. You guys know KB, he’s a great time, great guy to be around, high energy. And it’s not fake, that’s just how he is all the time and you’ve got to appreciate that. We’ve got a lot of good guys in that locker room that bring energy every day, and you need that.”
What’s it like from your perspective when you hand off to RB Raheem Mostert on that inside run, it seemed like he got to the end zone in a blink of an eye. From the quarterback’s view, how fast does he look?
“Yeah, it was incredible. Raheem’s just got a burst to him. It’s different when he hits the hole. The linebacker was unblocked on that play and he just kind of over ran it. Raheem ran right past him. It was a great individual effort, great blocking up front giving him the initial seam and he did the rest with his speed.”
Kyle just talked about Kendrick and about how sometimes when he was giving him a little criticism, he still smiles and it used to bug him. Obviously, he’s still locked in, but he’s still like a kid out there.
“Yeah, but I’ll tell you, when we were in the Superdome, loudest moments of the game, he was as locked in as anybody. He has that ability to hit the switch and he knows when to lock in, when to enjoy himself and when he scores touchdowns, obviously, he enjoys himself. He knows his role and he knows what it takes to get it done.”
The Falcons are 4-9, but they’ve won three of their last five and a lot of that has been the efficiency of their defense. What challenges does that present for you?
“They’re a fast group, talented across the board. It starts up front with those guys. Got to get them blocked and handle that first, but their third-down conversion rate has been unbelievable lately. You’ve got to be good on early downs, obviously, to put yourself in a good third-down situation, but it’ll be a good challenge.”
How big was that timeout before the fourth-and-two? Did you know you needed one there?
“I thought it was awesome by Kyle. The coaches handle the timeouts and everything like that in those situations, so he obviously didn’t like the look we got on the first play call and switched it up. Obviously, made a great decision.”
He said there was a number mishearing, too, 14 and 15 or something he was saying on Monday?
“Yeah, well, obviously hearing the noise and everything in the Superdome, it was difficult. So yeah, a little bit of a communication issue with the 14, 15. We had a couple of those throughout the game, but I thought for the most part, guys handled the noise really well. Especially in that environment, it’s so unique and different, but guys stepped up to it.”
You’re a few weeks removed or a few months removed now from when WR Emmanuel Sanders got here. Does it come as any surprise to you that he’s been able to just click the way he did in this offense?
“It’s impressive. I wouldn’t say surprised or anything, but it’s very impressive. Coming from a similar offense, not the exact same as ours, but just with the verbiage, cadence at the line of scrimmage, signals, all that stuff. It’s those little details that he’s so locked in on. The guy just takes it very seriously. It means something to him. You’ve got to appreciate having a guy like that.”
You mentioned the way that this offense is playing. There’s a pretty long list on both sides of the ball of injuries now, but that’s been the case throughout the year with a lot of guys stepping in. What does that say about the depth that you have on this team and how everyone can just jump right in and be effective?
“That’s December football. Everyone across the league has that dealing with injuries, but when guys get their number called, whether it’s offense, defense, special teams, guys who haven’t even played that much, they’re just ready for the moment. You’ve got to appreciate that. I think you’ve got to give our coaches a lot of credit for getting those guys ready in practice, the behind the scenes stuff, and it’s starting to pay off now.”
Even the last couple of years before this one, you guys tended to play your best ball late in the year. I think the reasons would be obvious, just cohesion and things like that, but why do you think you guys are clicking this late in the year?
“I wouldn’t say there’s one specific thing. We have a pretty young team in general, a lot of rookies playing and everything. Those guys are starting to catch their stride. Like you said, the cohesiveness, just being around each other. I think the week in Florida definitely helped us, too, just being around each other that much more this late in the year. It’s pretty unique.”
Is Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan someone whose game you’ve paid attention to over the years and what have you observed he does well?
“Yeah, Matt’s awesome. He plays within the timing of the play. If it’s man, he’ll find his matchup and go to it. Having Kyle come from Atlanta, we’ve watched a ton of Atlanta tape to learn this offense, kind of learn the rhythm of it with the footwork and everything. I’ve seen a ton of Matt Ryan tape over the last couple of years. He’s one of the best to do it. He’s as consistent as it comes.”
Kyle has mentioned going up against your defensive line in OTAs right away there was a presence. What was that like? Could you tell how different it was when those guys showed up?
“Absolutely. Yeah, you could tell in the run game. That’s how you really know it’s different. The pass game, obviously, as the quarterback, you’re feeling the pocket and everything, but when you’re going to hand off to a running back in OTAs and the D-Lineman is right next to you, it’s not a normal feeling. I knew we had something back then and those guys just put it on display week in and week out. They’re a fun group to be around, too.”
Do you ever find yourself measuring yourself against what Kyle did in Atlanta in 2016 and maybe how do you all matchup now do you suppose?
“Yeah, it’s difficult. It’s two different teams, different players and things, obviously, but that’s the benchmark. That offense was rolling throughout the entire year, into the playoffs, Super Bowl, all that stuff. Obviously, it’s a good benchmark for us, but we’re a little bit of a different team, so we’ve just got to play our game.”
Is that more of the film that you’ve watched of past Shanahan offenses was the ’16 offense to familiarize yourself with it?
“That was a good majority. We’ve watched things all the way back to his days in Houston with the Texans. The film, you can’t even see the numbers on the guys, so we’ve seen just about everything you could see as far as the offense goes. Whenever you can learn from guys who have done it in the past successfully, it’s always a good opportunity.”
Were you Matt Ryan that week in practice?
Super Bowl week?
Anything that you kind of picked up by trying to put yourself in his shoes?
“That was a long time ago. It was throw the ball to [Atlanta Falcons WR] Julio [Jones] a lot I remember, so I’m sure that’s a big part of the game plan.”