QB Jimmy Garoppolo Press Conference
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Press Conference – November 3, 2021
San Francisco 49ers
Seeing the post-game video of you guys in the locker room, it just seemed like there was a lot of, I don’t know, stress relieved, a lot of excitement. Can you kind of explain, and you made the comment we’re getting right back to work, but can you kind of talk about how you felt in the locker room after that, what it kind of meant, and then that process of getting back to work?
“Well, whenever you go on a four-game slide like we did, to get out of it and get that win, getting back in the win column, you’ve got to enjoy it for that moment, while you’re in the locker room, plane ride home. And then when we get back here, I think our group does a good job of turning the page and moving on. We’ve got a good game plan in this week for Arizona. We know it’s a tough team coming in, one of the best in the league right now, they’re playing good and it’ll be a good challenge for us.”
Can you tell that, obviously the game plan is different because you’re at quarterback than it was whatever that was three weeks ago, does that create an advantage for you guys in the sense that you could kind of sit back and watch that defense?
“Yeah. I mean, there’s advantages, disadvantages. It’s just a different style, I guess you could say. But yeah, I think our guys game plan-wise, feeling pretty good about it right now. We’re in a good spot. We’ve just got to go out there and what we did last week so well was we executed the little details. We spent extra time on it, whatever it took last week we did it and that’s just what we have to do going forward.”
What’s it going to do to get TE George Kittle back on the practice field? From the energy and everything?
“It’ll be awesome. I mean, just having him out there for the walk-through just a little bit ago, you could feel him. He’s got some fresh legs, so his legs are, he’s looking fast right now. So I’m excited to get him back out there. Just another weapon for us. And we’ve got [RB] Jeff Wilson [Jr.] coming back too. So it’s a good Wednesday for us.”
When you say focus on the little details, what are you talking about?
“Just, everyone sees the guy who catches the ball and makes the big play, but you know, whatever the route complementing that is, the backside, we had a couple of broken plays in the game and I thought guys did a good job of extending the plays with me. It’s just little things like that, that kind of slip through the cracks if you’re not on top of them.”
RB Elijah Mitchell is taking on a real big role quickly in his career. What makes him so dependable?
“It starts with his mind. When you’re in the huddle with him, you feel him. He doesn’t talk too much, but you feel his presence. You feel when he’s ready, when he’s rolling in a groove like that. Just all those little things and for a young guy to have that it’s, [RB JaMycal] Hasty had that last year, I would always say, and Elijah’s the same way this year. It’s just you’d like to look a guy in the eyes and know that he’s ready.”
In terms of percentage of yards gained, WR Deebo Samuel’s percentage of the passing yards that the 49ers have accumulated is far and away the highest total in the league. I mean, way higher than Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp or another place. Does that figure have to come down for the sake of a balanced offense as the season goes on?
“You’d like to spread the ball around, definitely. I think some of that stuff just happens on the go, whatever it is, a broken play, maybe he’s on the backside and they switched coverage up or something. But yeah, you’d like to spread the ball around and get it to the playmakers, let those guys just go do their thing, but it’s whatever it takes. If Deebo has to get 99-percent of the yards, I think he’s willing to do it. And vice versa. We’ll do whatever it takes.”
I know every week now is important, but do you look at these next two weeks with division opponents in particular, how important is it in terms of maybe the way this could, the next couple of weeks, could shape your season?
“Yeah, every week going forward is big now, especially with the little hole that we put ourselves in. So that’ll be a challenge. It really will be. I mean, there’s some good teams right now, good teams in the league, good teams in our division too. So it will be a challenge for us. But you know, that’s the NFL man. It’s every week’s tough. It’s going to challenge you in different ways and just it’s how many times can you keep coming back and answering the bell like that.”
Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt was such a big part of that last game and now he’s done for the year. I don’t want to say it’s an advantage, but what difference does it make with him not out there?
“Yeah, just his presence. It changes some things for us, but not tremendously. They’ve still got good front. [Arizona Cardinals LB Markus] Golden, [Arizona Cardinals LB] Chandler [Jones] on the edge, they still present some problems for us. So it’ll be tough for us, but yeah it’s unfortunate. You never wish injuries on anyone, but just it is what it is.”
I first noticed it after your deep pass to Deebo, C Alex Mack just sprinted down the field. He was ready, yards ahead of everybody else. Have you ever worked with an offensive lineman or a center that hustles like that, that gets up in front of plays like that?
“No, I mean, on a post that was impressive. He was moving on that one, but Alex is always like that. He kind of sets the tone for us offensively with that, just chasing down from the backside, getting a little extra block here or there. Those are the little things that add up throughout an entire game, maybe steals you a first down on second down or something like that. And it’s just, I love having Alex like that. He brings that energy, good vibes that we need.”
Do you notice him getting on some defensive players nerves? It seems like after the play times because he sticks with stuff.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. But you love to see that though. Especially from the center, he sets a tone for the rest of those guys too.”
I know you haven’t been asked this specific question, but obviously with the Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers news, have you been vaccinated?
“I have, yeah. It’s unfortunate for Aaron.”
I think you guys had eight plays of 200-plus yards against the Bears. Maybe not as many big plays prior to that, this season. Do you feel that during the game? Do you know drives like, man, this seems like a lot of 15-16 play drives where maybe you can make more mistakes or things like that?
“Yeah. I mean, it’s a week-to-week thing, just going against certain defenses that allow you to make some of those plays. But whenever we get an opportunity to take a shot you know, [head coach] Kyle’s [Shanahan] as aggressive as it comes with that mindset of play calling. And I love him for that. So it’s, yeah when it presents itself, we definitely try to take advantage of it, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to force it too much because then you get behind the chains and now you’re in trouble.”
The trade deadline passed yesterday. And I would guess over the last six, seven, eight months you were the subject of some rumors. How much did you pay attention to those? Did anything ever come close and did you ever have to use your no trade clause?
“I mean, nothing really ever came up. I mean, I was aware of it obviously like everybody. I’ve been traded last second before, so I know how that goes, but yeah, nothing came up with that and we’re past it now.”