QB Jimmy Garoppolo Press Conference

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Press Conference – January 26, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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A couple of your teammates after the game on Saturday night mentioned the amount of crap that you take. And I was just wondering, do you have a strategy? I know some guys shut down all social media in the playoffs. Do you have a strategy for keeping yourself protected from that? I know that even if you don’t look at things, sometimes friends will say something, your brothers, whatever. What’s your strategy on handling the crap?

“Well, yeah. Friends, family, they always seem to remind me of those things, but I don’t know. I think just knowing yourself and knowing who you are plays a big part of that, because if you get lost in it and start believing some of those things, it could take you down the wrong road. So I don’t know, I think it’s just about knowing yourself as a player, as a person and as long as these guys in this locker room have faith in me and belief in me, that’s all I really care about.”

How do you approach a week like this, where you’re so familiar with the opposition? Do you just try to go into each week where you play the Rams with a blank slate or how much carryover do you begin the week with?

“Well, I think you always go back and watch the prior games. That’s kind of where it starts and then you kind of just take it from there. The games that they’ve played recently you take into account, but you there’s a lot of football that they’ve played throughout this whole season, so you don’t want to bog yourself down and be too overwhelmed with all the stuff. So I think there is a fine line of you want to study the tape as well as you can. And we know these guys as well as possible, playing them for a third time now, nothing will really surprise us, I wouldn’t say.”

Kind of to tee off of that, do you get a sense in the pocket of where Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald’s coming from? What moves some of these guys like to do? How has the, I don’t even want to say trash talk, but is there like a dialogue that’s kind of gone over from game to game where you know these guys that closely?

“Yeah, absolutely. Any division opponent is always like that, but yeah, especially these guys, we know each other pretty well. Coaching staffs know each other. So yeah, as far as maneuvering in the pocket, I think that kind of just happens naturally. You always have an awareness for where Aaron is pre-snap, but after that, you’re trying to read the defense and just react as the pocket allows.”

You guys after that Week 18 game made it clear how much you enjoyed having so much red in the stands. What does it actually do for you throughout the course of the game and besides potentially getting false starts and making the other team go silent count, but just in terms of energy, what does it do for you guys?

“The Faithful? They travel tremendously. When you can get your fans behind you like that on a road game and we knew it before the game even started, there was a lot of red, you could see it, but once we started making plays and they started getting loud, it just changes the momentum of the game, I think. And you could feel it on the sideline. It’s not something that you could really put your finger on and you can’t see specifically, but you could feel, you could hear it. And our team responds well to that. So hopefully the Faithful will be out there loud and proud. And I know they’re trying.”

In the last game against the Rams when T Trent Williams couldn’t play and OL Colton McKivitz played and he hadn’t played all year, obviously he performed admirably, but initially were you like unsure of how that was going to go? Was there some trepidation from you or just the offense about what might happen?

“You have an awareness for that stuff, obviously, especially as the quarterback just knowing who’s on your blindside. But Colton came in and did a hell of a job. Like all the guys, we have faith in whoever comes in. Unfortunately, Trent couldn’t go, but it’s just kind of the team that we have. Whoever has to be in there you have faith in them, you learn that through practice and being around these guys every day, you just know the kind of person they are. So when that happened, I wouldn’t even say it was panic mode. It was just, alright, next guy’s up. How do we approach this? What do we have to do? And you just take it from there. You don’t want to make it too much bigger than it already is.”

You mentioned the other night that you felt you guys were in control of the game the entire time, and that there was a calm. Is that a feeling you guys have in every game, is that why you’ve been able to win all of these games and deal with such adversity?

“I wouldn’t say you feel it in every game. Every game’s different. So the feel of it, the flow of it, last time we played the Rams when we were down 17-3, it didn’t feel like we were in control of that one. So I think each one has its own flavor to it, but you could feel it, it’s kind of like the momentum thing I was talking about. You can’t really put your finger on it. There’s no statistic for it, but there’s a feel to it during the game. And I think the coaches and players, especially the guys on the field, have a feel for that. And you kind of get into a rhythm of it as the game goes.”

Also in regards to feel, head coach Kyle Shanahan was talking about sometimes the sack is the best play. How do you find the balance between maybe taking a sack and then trying to make a play, a big one and obviously, sometimes there’s an interception, but where’s that balance?

“It just comes with being a quarterback, I guess. You kind of learn as you develop as a quarterback, what time in the game is it? What’s the score? Everything that that’s going on. You’re always keeping track of these things in your mind. And the game in Green Bay is obviously a little different than some other games, just dealing with the weather and things like that. So you’re taking a lot into account. I know I just listed a lot of things there, but that’s just the job of a quarterback.”

I can’t think of many instances of you throwing the ball out of bounds, which is often like the conservative play. And I asked Kyle Shanahan about it and he said, your aggressiveness is one of your best qualities. What is your philosophy about throwing the ball away?

“When it’s necessary, you’ve got to. I think each play, whether it’s first, second, third down, I think all that takes into consideration. But the Dallas game we had to do it a couple times, I can remember. But yeah, if you don’t have to throw it away, you want to take a chance to a certain degree, but that’s a fine line. Some of those amazing plays that people make, some of those should have been throwaways, but they decided to try and make a play, so there’s a balance there.”

Whether it be K Robbie Gould punting in Week 18 or what DL Jordan Willis did or countless other contributions, it seems like you guys are getting just really clutch, pinch-hit appearances, if you could take a baseball analogy. Going back to your days with the Patriots, I know you guys won a couple titles there, have you ever seen anything like this team-wide where guys, seemingly people haven’t heard of the week before, are stepping up and getting the job done in the absolute clutch?

“On a consistent basis like this? Not really, to be honest. Every postseason that I’ve been paying close attention to over the past years, there’s always somebody who you won’t expect to make the play, make the play. And whether it’s our team, another team, it’s just something that I’ve noticed over the years. And when guys can do that, because you already have your A-players and they need to play like A-players, but when someone else can step up in those key moments and do something like Jordan this past week. What he did was incredible and he played a huge part in winning that game for us, so when you have guys do that, that’s what makes for a good team, man. That’s what makes you tough to beat.”

You get the ball out at an extraordinarily quick rate against this Rams front. How much of that is by Kyle’s design? How much of that is you feeling the pocket? It’s like two seconds and it’s gone. Just describe what that pocket feels like against this front?

“There’s some plays where it feels tight and some plays where it feels normal. It just depends what they’re trying to do up front, but I think there’s a balance of it. Kyle is aggressive in nature, so our gameplan usually dictates that a little bit, but as the game goes, you’ve just got to feel the pocket and you never want to go into the game saying, ‘I have to throw it in two seconds, I have to throw it in three seconds,’ it’s more of a feel thing. As the game goes, you get a feel talking to the O-Line on the sideline, how they’re feeling about it, all that stuff. And it all is played into consideration, but if you get the ball out, it makes everyone’s job easier.”