QB Jimmy Garoppolo Press Conference

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Press Conference – December 8, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

What do you see from the Bengals defense?

“Just overall?”

“They’re dealing with a couple injuries. It’s kind of where it starts, but they’re very talented, good at stopping the run. They kind of crowd the box a little bit and make it tough on you. But yeah, they’re talented. The backend, their free safety plays very well reading eyes and just things like that.”

Speaking of injuries, Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow’s dealing with a pinky injury. You don’t think that a pinky is very serious, but for a quarterback, how important is that and how can that sort of affect you when you’re throwing?

“I mean, anything on your right hand all comes into play just a little differently. Could affect a spiral. I mean, it all depends how has severe it is, what exactly it is, but it could affect the spiral a little bit, just your grip on the ball overall. And especially when you get into these colder games, it could play a factor.”

One of the things your teammates talk about a lot is no matter what, you’re always the same guy in the huddle, you’re always the same guy on the field. The other day obviously it was a little bit of a rough day. Does that still bother you? Have you flushed it? Have you moved on? Are you on to Cincinnati?

“Definitely bothered me. It’s more of just the first 24 hours after the game. I try to, you know, be hard on myself, grade everything like I normally would. And then once you hit that certain point, you’ve got to move on to the next week. Cincinnati’s coming quick. We’ll leave on Friday, so feel like a short, different week for us. But yeah, whenever you come off a game like that, you always want to bounce back this week and perform the right way.”

When you talk about grading yourself, is that just like a technical look at the tape? And do you have a process for looking at each play and your decision?

“Yeah. I mean, the coaches do their grading process. I kind of have my own just system of going back through things and you try to replay the play in your head, how you saw it. You know, did you do everything the correct way? What did you miss? Where did the error occur? And you just kind try to go back through that process and figure things out that way and it’s done well for me in the past.”

Is there any one particular play from Seattle that I wish I could have had that one again?

“Yeah. The second interception, definitely. I got greedy with it, kind of put something in my head that I thought it was gonna play out a certain way and certain things didn’t happen on the play, so it played out differently. But I just got greedy with it and instead of taking the check down and keep the ball moving, I got greedy.”

How does the uncertainty in the backfield this week affect your preparation since those guys are such an important part of your protection and all that?

“It’ll affect some things. I think it’s more with the coaches, just how they put together the game plan. But whoever we have back there, those guys are pretty interchangeable. They all bring a different flavor to it, but it’s just whoever’s back, we’ll be ready to roll.”

You went to Cincinnati two years ago when you were kind of starting out. Have you looked at that film and how different are the Bengals now and what can you take away from that game?

“We looked at it a little bit. They’re a much different team, different players, some of the same players have grown and matured. They were rookies back then. But yeah, that’s kind of, we want to get back to that style. I mean, we got off to a fast start. Defense had a couple turnovers of that game I remember. And if we could do that, that’s when we are really playing our best, play from ahead and let the rest take care of itself.”

We saw kind of the winning formula for three games in a row. And then things didn’t go that way on Sunday. How do you guys view it? Do you look at that as a step back or just kind of big picture how do you think you guys are right now?

“You know, there were some good things that came from that game. You know, it obviously didn’t turn out the way we wanted to, but at the end there, moving the ball like we did, getting it down to the whatever two-yard line or whatever that was. I mean, you do all these, we were just talking about it, all these good, bad and different things that go into the game and all that comes down to is that one play at the end, you know, did he tip it? Did he not? Like you said, you have to look at the big picture of it. We did a lot of good things. What can you take from that game? And then at the same time, all the things that you did wrong, how could you correct them so you don’t to make that same mistake again. So there’s a balance between the two of them and we’re trying to find that.”

When WR Deebo Samuel comes back and TE George Kittle puts that kind of game on film, which of course he has in the past, just how much more dynamic does it make the offense, especially in those situations where a defense can’t just say we’re gonna devote all these sources to George?

“Yeah. It makes it tough, especially in situational ball. When you get to third down, red zone, things like that, that’s when they really have to make a choice. Who do we wanna take away? Do we want to give a one-on-one to George, to Deebo and it’s really my job to find that one-on-one and take advantage of that.”

Obviously you’re not going to be unhappy with plays that result in yardage. But when you have a play that you look back on tape and you take the check down and it’s successful, but you look back and there’s like a clear, explosive option on the table that you could have taken. How do you sort of evaluate that?

“I think it goes into the situation of the game, plays a big role of it. You know, how the momentum is, do you have control of the game? And there’s a lot of factors that come into it. Pass rush is also tied into that. But, there’s a time and place where towards the end of the game we had to start making some chunk plays and take some bigger chances. But when you could take those check downs and those check downs are getting you eight, 10, 12 yards, it’s hard to pass those up. And so, you want to stay on track and do whatever you can to do that, but you’ve got to be aggressive at the same time.”

When you went back and saw Kittle’s second touchdown on film and the tight rope act along the sideline, how impressive was that and how helpful is it when he’s causing chaos on a field?

“It’s very helpful. It was an impressive play by George, but [WR]Jauan [Jennings] and [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A. had a nice little hit by, but Jauan really sparked that play just the aggressiveness that he had after he saw George catch it. And that’s really the type of team we’ve got. Guys who are willing to block for each other, guys who are willing to take one for the team and get your brother open so that he could go make a play. And I think when guys could play like that, that unselfish mindset, it creates big plays and creates big plays for everybody.”

On the Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner interception, the fact that RB Elijah Mitchell had to go help with the blitz and Seattle Seahawks S Jamal Adams was blitzing, it didn’t have much of a play fake. Is that a factor? I know you talked about it after the game, but would you have expected Wagner to bite a little harder if you’d been able to have that play fake?

“You’d think so. Yeah. I think just naturally he would’ve felt the backfield action that we were doing. I think he would’ve taken a couple steps down further, but they caught us in a nice blitz right there. Good call by them. And you’ve just got to be patient and wait to clear the next window, knowing that Bobby didn’t get sucked up as much as you wanted to.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said he was probably going to go for two if you guys had scored a touchdown at the end. Were you thinking that way as well? I mean, was that sort of the mentality going that you would get eight points on that drive?

“Honestly, I was just trying to get the touchdown first. In the back of my mind, I know Kyle, and just how he’s been in the past. I had a pretty good idea that we would go for two, especially, we had the momentum, we were moving the ball, all those things. And yeah, unfortunately we didn’t get to that situation, but yeah, I kind of had that feeling.”

When you go into a game, do you even know that what the play call will be going for two?

“You have a good idea. We have an idea going into it, but just as a game dictates Kyle will make that call.”

You’ve been involved in giving back to the community. DL Arik Armstead was just nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. How important is it for you as football players to give back, to be a part of your respectful community?

“I think it’s a huge part. We have a lot of responsibility when given this platform and just all the eyes that are on us and everything like that. I think when we do something, it stands out and it carries a little bit more weight to it, and it just kind of sets its tone for other people in the community. I’m big with giving back to the kids, love any opportunity, game day, whatever it is, to get a little kid out there and just give them a cool experience, something that a lot of people don’t get to experience and these kids are privileged enough to get that chance.”