The San Francisco 49ers were busy in free agency this offseason, and they have had a mix of hits and misses. You can make quite a few arguments as to the best signing, but my money is on wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. The 49ers signed Goodwin to a two-year, $6 million contract, and in short order, he has blown past career highs in receptions and receiving yards.
Goodwin had a big game on Sunday against the Houston Texans, catching six passes for 106 yards. He now has 41 receptions for 783 yards and one touchdown on the season, leading the NFL with 19.1 yards per reception. Goodwin has a legitimate shot at surpassing 1,000 receiving yards on the season. He needs 217 more yards, which means averaging a little over 72 yards each of the final three games. He has had 78 or more receiving yards each of the last four games, and has clearly become Jimmy Garoppolo’s number one target.
After the game, Goodwin talked about how he and Garoppolo got on the same page so quickly. He also went into what Garoppolo has done to elevate the offense. Here’s a full transcript, courtesy of Jennifer Chan.
How able to get on same page with JG so fast?
Jimmy and I are able to click because we’re professionals. You know, in the line of work that we do, it’s what we have to do. That’s why we were hired to come to this organization to make plays. So regardless of the time that we didn’t have together, we just have to find a way to make those plays.
Do you see him elevating this team?
100 percent. Jimmy is a great guy. He’s a leader. He’s natural at it. He doesn’t show (fear) at any point of the game. When you see that in the position that he’s in, it gives you extreme confidence. When you look at him in the third quarter or in the second quarter and we’re down by one or up by one, you feel that sense of hope. You feel that sense of ‘I’m going to get the job done.’ And at no point in the game, do I ever feel like we’re behind or we’re slacking in that position because he’s led us the whole way from start to finish.
Celek said he turned on the jets, were you impressed?
That’s Celek time right there. That’s what we call it. It’s Celek time and when it’s Celek time, you know what time it is. Whatever that means. I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine but I know when it’s Celek time, it’s time to go. He turned on the jets, I think he’s been watching my film a little bit, watching my technique, my running style but he had a wonderful day today, made some key plays that ultimately helped us win this game, gave us great field position and it’s something that Kyle Shanahan had planned out this whole week and we knew it would work. Running me up the hash and running him underneath basically from the other side of the field, they catered to him, you know what happens next: Celek time.
He credited you with block
I saw it develop but I wouldn’t say I blocked. I think I just got in the way of the DB. He set it up, he made the play himself and I was just out there trying to do my job.
Does it feel different with a couple wins in a row?
I wouldn’t say it didn’t feel the same way before because the other quarterbacks we’ve had, they did what they could and they did great. C.J., he’s a tough guy, he fought his butt off every week and he prepared himself like a professional and it’s hard for a rookie to come in and do that.
Do you look forward to finishing strong?
We always have got a lot to look forward to. Each opportunity each week, it’s a different week. You just look forward to each day that you get because sadly, some people didn’t make it today. Some people didn’t wake up this morning so when we get that fresh breath of air in our bodies, we have just got to really look to God and thank him for the opportunities. We will have many more to come. We’ve got, what, three games left in this quarter to finish the season strong and I think we’ll do so.
Is winning becoming more business like?
Winning is hard to do, especially in this league. There’s such great athletes, good coaches, it’s just hard to do so when you get one and then you get another back-to-back, it kind of becomes a habit. And you want to form those good habits, especially leading to the end of the year. We want to finish strong, finish as a team and have high hopes for next year so I think we are getting the ball rolling, things are starting to fall into place and I’m just thankful for that.
How did you bounce back from early struggles?
Oh yeah. When a ball is dropped or a play is missed or an interception is thrown, you really can’t dwell on it. You have got to kind of have a short memory and move forward because if you focus on that, you’re just stuck in the past. This game moves so fast that you have to really just move on to the next play, whether it be a good or a bad play. So when we started out shaky like that, you’ve got a guy like Jimmy, who is like ‘Hey, guys, it’s all right but we can’t let it happen again.’ Like, let’s go, let’s get it going and he does a great job of managing the huddle and keeping everybody composed throughout the game.
Jimmy said (jokingly) he wasn’t sure if he’d start next week, you’d like him out there, right?
What? I don’t see why he wouldn’t. He better be out there. For sure.