QB Jimmy Garoppolo Press Conference

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Press Conference – January 12, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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Just seeing how you made it out of Sunday’s game? How did you feel on Monday morning? And then as far as the fumble, did the thumb have anything to do with that or was that just, you were going to fumble in that situation and no matter what?

“Yeah, I think the D-Lineman made a nice play, reached out for it and just got a finger on it. But yeah, thumb held up pretty well. It is what it is. It was a little sore after the game, but it’s feeling great right now.”

You relayed a little story to Sports Illustrated reporter Albert Breer about you and FB Kyle Juszczyk before the game. How much have you, I mean, you play with such emotion, but how do you try to kind of remove that emotion of getting nostalgic in thinking about what the future holds for you here?

“You know, it’s a fine line. You kind of tow it every day, really. At least I do. You know, there is a lot of emotion that goes into this game, but when those moments, those big moments happen at the end of the game, you really have to kind of just stay cool down the middle. And I think our team does a good job of that as a whole, but yeah, just me and Juice had a cool moment there. It’s these guys on the team, I love this team, love the players, love everything about it. It’s a good group to be around, fun group. And we want to keep this thing going for as long as we can now.”

Kyle was just saying that WR Jauan Jennings, he thinks he plays 95-percent blacked out, and he obviously brings quite a bit of enthusiasm to the game. What does that do in the huddle, in the locker room and practice to just kind of keep it fun, even in the more serious moments?

“Yeah. That’s where Jauan is special because there is a fine line between you want to be hyped up and everything, but in the big moments you want to be locked in and Jauan does a good job of that. He knows when to separate it in the locker room, he is the life of the parties. He’s fun to be around. But then when you’re in the huddle, I mean, I look into the guy’s eyes and he’s as locked in as anyone in that huddle. So he does a great job of towing that line. And those are the guys you want in the huddle with you, someone you could look at and know they’re in it with you.”

I know you’re kind of focused on the game, but just the human side of it, how much does the idea that this could be the last ride, does it add any motivation and anything like that? How much does that weigh in your mind just throughout the course of a week, going into games like this?

“It’s always in the back of your mind. It has been in mine, you know, really this whole season. Just I knew what type of season it was, knew everything that was going on behind the scenes and whatnot. So it was a little different. But, at the same time, it’s like you’re saying you’ve got to tow that line because you don’t want to get too emotional in those moments. And you’ve just got to go play football when it comes down to it, but, the human side definitely comes into play. You feel it for a little bit after the game. And I think 24 hours after that, you’ve got to move on quickly and we’ve done that pretty well.”

What kind of a hazard does Dallas Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs and the Cowboys offer you?

“A big one. He’s talented, man. He’s good in that back end. Trevon really just tracks the ball really well. I mean, you could tell that he used to play receiver. He could make some great plays on it. But, their whole defense, they’re pretty skilled across the board, got some big time players and it’ll be a good challenge for us.”

The drive where you guys had 10 straight runs and then WR Deebo Samuel’s pass, nine of those runs were up the middle, just right at them. Is that an area maybe you guys are special, just the physicality, sometimes you can unleash and exert your will or whatever on your opponent?

“I think, yeah. I think it shows in that aspect and another way I think it shows just the way that the O-Line sets the standard for us. You know, those guys played really well last week, just getting off the ball, moving the line of scrimmage. I mean, we had some guys playing positions they weren’t used to. [OL] Colton [McKivitz] stepping in at tackle. Those guys really do set the tone for us up front. And then I think it plays off of that in the running backs finishing runs and the receivers finishing blocks. All that stuff tied together, it makes it hard on defenses to stay with us for 60 minutes.”

I think in your first start with the 49ers, you got the ball and drove down the field and they kicked a field goal to beat the Bears. We just saw what you did against the Rams. You’ve had a lot of two-minute drills, a couple of them this year that didn’t even work out, but were still impressive drives. I’m just curious as to your perspective on what it takes to thrive in those situations? Something or a knack you seem to have?

“I think it starts with just wanting to be in those situations. As a quarterback, those are the moments, the drives, that you live for. You want to have the ball at the end of the game. You don’t want to leave it up to, as much as I trust the defense and special teams, you want it just as a quarterback, as a competitor. I don’t know. I’ve always had that and I don’t think I’ll lose it anytime soon, but it’s just we have guys in this huddle that you could tell they want the ball in their hands. You know, when the crunch time comes, I’ve said this a million times, but I just look in guys’ eyes and I know whether they want it or they don’t. And those big moments you want guys who want the ball in their hands. That’s what it really comes down to.”

Kyle said that there’s never been any unwavering in the locker room and that no matter what’s gone on outside the building it’s been solid behind you and supporting you. What does that mean to you when you have gone through what you’ve gone through this season?

“You know, I think it’s the type of locker room we have. We all put a lot into this. We all put, you check a lot of things and put them off to the side just because of the importance that we put into this football. And this team that we have, we know we have a chance to do something special and it’s just you don’t get that opportunity every year. And so I’ve been on a number of teams that went to the Super Bowl, and I’m not saying anything like that, but just there’s a feeling and you want to make them count as long as you have them I guess.”