QB Jimmy Garoppolo Press Conference

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Press Conference – October 16, 2020

San Francisco 49ers

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Head coach Kyle Shanahan says you’re in better shape this week than last week. One, how much more comfortable are you? And then back to last week’s game, did you get hit on that first pass when the guy came in low after you threw that third down pass? And did that sting you initially?

“The hit didn’t really bother me. He went a little low, but it didn’t bother me too much. As far as the ankle, it’s feeling great this week. It really is. Just made a lot of improvements, just a couple extra days I think to consistently get better. So, it’s just one of those things you’ve just got to keep working at it.”

When you’ve had some kind of stops and starts with the injuries and stuff like that and you’ve got moving pieces around you, how hard has it made for you to kind of find your rhythm just in these first five, six weeks?

“It’s kind of one of those things, everyone in the NFL is dealing with this. We’ve dealt with it year to year. I think just that ability to bring different guys in and plug them in is tougher this year, not having OTAs and a full training camp, like usual. So, it’s a little different, but it’s kind of a situation that everyone’s dealing with. It’s one of those things, you’ve got to make the best of it and just play catch up as quickly as possible.”

After the game Sunday, TE George Kittle talked about, he was disappointed because the defense is so banged up and the offense kind of had everyone back and didn’t feel like you performed like you were capable. Obviously, as offensive players, you’re trying to score a touchdown on every drive and all that, but I don’t know. Is there a certain weight that you feel for the offense to maybe shoulder more of the load?

“I think in our minds as an offense, like you said, we could look to score every single drive, every play we want to execute perfectly and as long as we can hold ourselves to that standard, I think it’ll put us in a good spot. As far as, playing with the defense, I think one of our strengths is we play complimentary football. I think that’s what we need to get back to. When they get a turnover, can we take advantage of it and go punch it in for a touchdown? That’s how you make jumps on teams. That’s how you really put teams away early and you have a chance to do that. So, I think it’s more about playing complimentary football with one another. And yeah, obviously we want to execute as best we can.”

One of the areas where you guys were really good as a pass offense last year was first down on the efficiency numbers and this year, it hasn’t been good. I’m wondering, do you guys break it up into downs? Do you look at your efficiency per down and what do you think is the key to improving those numbers on first downs?

“I think being efficient on first down last year helped us with everything throughout the game. I think that was one thing that really carried game to game. We were very consistent at it and so putting ourselves in a lot of second and longs this year. We’ve overcome a couple of them, but in the NFL, when you put yourself in too many of those, you’re just not going to make it and you don’t have a chance. So, I think yeah, getting back to our roots. It’s all about efficiency. Keep the ball moving forward. As long as we avoid the sacks, the negative runs, things like that, penalties, it’ll put us in a good position.”

You finally had a lot of your pieces back on the offense in practice this week. How much does three days of great practice with all your players and pieces help you going forward on Sunday?

“Oh, it’s a ton. It’s tremendous. When you get guys out there and we’re doing the same plays with the same people and you start to get a feel for one another, it takes time. It’s one of those things that it’s not going to happen overnight. We know that. So, it’s just about putting in the time on the field, off the field, interacting with one another and just getting on the same page as fast as we can.”

George said yesterday, he thought the Thursday practice was the best one of the season for you guys. What was your assessment of that practice and if you agree with him, what made it sort of stand out?

“I think it was just how locked in people were. This whole week, there was a sense of urgency around the building that you feel. You definitely feel with the guys, with the coaches and then when we get on the field, just guys have been locked in. That’s really what you need, especially when you’ve got young guys who are trying to play catch up with this different type of season. You’ve got to do things a little differently and so guys have been locked in all week. I thought Thursday, we were running around, good energy, good tempo. Yeah, I would agree with George. It was a good day.”

George has also said that the captains need to play better. As a captain, as a leader, going into this division game, what do you say to the team to help keep that sense of urgency?

“There’s really not a ton to say at this point. It’s more of just go out there and show it. I think guys, enough has been said, enough clichés and everything like that. Now it’s about going out there, doing the work, putting in the time and committing to it. That’s really what it comes down to and I think we’ve got a group of guys where, like George said, the captains lead the way, show everyone how to do it, set the example and I think everyone else will follow them. We’ve got a good group for that.”

You mentioned there’s some urgency. Obviously, seasons can get away from teams. You mentioned clichés, how about this one? Is this kind of a must win situation? Sheesh, just another awful media question. But, anyways, is there that sense that guys, we’ve got to stop the bleeding and win this game?

“I thought it was a good question, just for the record. I wouldn’t say we’re in that category. It’s just more of a sense of urgency where everyone feels it. Like I was saying, it’s nothing that we need to say, nothing that we need to talk about. It’s more of just a feeling in the building of guys feeling it, the coaches feeling it. We’re in a good spot and we’ve got a good opportunity on Sunday.”

In terms of the Rams themselves, what do you see that they’ve done defensively this year that maybe they haven’t done in the past? You’re 3-0 against them, so do you get a little bit more jazzed up to play that division rivals or is there’s something special about the Rams?

“Any division rival, all those games you get fired up for them. Obviously, carried more weight, feel a little different when you get out there. They’ve moved [CB Jalen] Ramsey inside, so that’s obviously a little different with their defense, but for the most part, it’s very similar to what it’s been in the past. Got to handle them up front. And in the back end, they’re very talented. So, it’ll be a good test for us on Sunday.”

You had said you’ve never dealt a high ankle sprain before. What have you learned about the injury the last couple of weeks?

“They suck. Yeah, they’re not very fun. I always thought a high ankle was like a normal ankle sprain. So, you learn something new every day, I guess. It’s just kind of one of those things, everyone in that locker room is dealing with something. Just got to handle it. It is what it is and go play the game on Sunday.”