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Jimmy Garoppolo talks about risk-taking, Titans defense, first home start

The 49ers quarterback met with the media on Wednesday. We’ve got a full transcript, courtesy of 49ers PR.

San Francisco 49ers v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Have you heard about Celek Time and what does that mean to you?

“Have I heard about it? Of course. It’s exciting. The guys love it. He’s one of the fan favorites in the locker room you could say. Just one of those things that gets everyone going.”

When you first came in, I know he wasn’t in a whole lot, but has he helped you? Because he does know this offense pretty well. He is a tight end so he knows the progressions and the routes.

“Yeah, especially on. I can remember the first couple of weeks calling a play and I would call it wrong and he would correct me in the huddle. He’d be like, ‘No, that’s not right.’ Early on it definitely helped. He’s just one of those veteran guys who it’s good to have those guys around.”

The television cameras showed you running out to the field with your helmet off in front of the team. Is that homage to New England Patriots QB Tom Brady?

“A what?”

Homage. Were you modeling yourself after Tom Brady? That’s what he does.

“No. I’ve always done that.”

Are there ways that you model yourself after Brady at all?

“I think being around him for three and a half years, just naturally things rub off on you. The way he prepares and everything it’s good to emulate a guy like that.”

Do you emulate the way he interacts with the media?

“I don’t know. I’ve never really paid attention to that.”

You had 67 seconds in front of the home crowd last time. How much do you look forward to starting off the game and getting in a bit of a flow?

“It’ll be fun. Our home fans, ‘The Faithful’ I found out, got some heat for that, for saying ‘49ers Nation.’ But, ‘The Faithful,’ they’re an awesome fan base. It’ll be fun to get in front of them this Sunday.”

When a new receiver shows up like today in WR Max McCaffrey, what’s the routine as a quarterback? Do you go up and introduce yourself to him or does he come up to you? How did that work out?

“I saw him in the hallway today, recognized the new face and everything so I went up and introduced myself. That was about it. Wednesdays are crazy. You’re putting in a million different things, running from meeting to meeting. We’ll have more time as the week goes on to get to know each other.”

So funny you say that because I know when you came I asked FB Kyle Juszczyk if he had met you yet and he gave the same answer, that it was crazy, I think he saw you in a hallway but he hadn’t gotten to say hi. He said, ‘I guess I’ll have to introduce myself in the huddle.’ Now you’re on the opposite end of that, not the newest guy anymore. What does it feel like being welcoming as opposed to being welcomed?

“It’s a bit of a comforting feeling I guess having been here a little over a month now. I’ve said this before, the team was so welcoming of me when I first got here. That makes everything so much easier and allows you to be more comfortable. I think being on the other end of that, I’m trying to do the same to every new guy we get.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was just mentioning the chance to get a little bit of momentum, maybe a three-game winning streak and playing well at home. How important is it to sort of establish that over the last couple of weeks?

“Yeah, we have a little bit of momentum with us right now. First and foremost, we have to go practice well today. Get through a good week of practice, preparation. I think that’s what’s really helped us these last two weeks is we’re putting in the time, practice has been good tempo and everything and I think that carries over to Sunday.”

Is a leadership role something that you’re consciously thinking about as you transition to this team and you get familiar with the locker room or is it something where if you do your job then maybe that will come naturally?

“I think I’ve always kind of naturally been a leader, in the sense. I think quarterbacking kind of comes with the territory. I’ve always thought leadership, if you fake it and act like something you’re not, guys are going to see right through that. You can’t really respect that. I think everyone does it a different way and does it their own way and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

It’s only been a couple games, but do you think you are the leader of this team at this point?

“I’m not going to jump to conclusions here. I’m just trying to go out, do my job, help the guys in getting successful plays and give them the opportunity to be successful.”

Do you classify yourself as a risk taker?

“A risk taker? Sometimes I guess.”

Do you have that mentality to make a decision hoping for the best, is it important to have a short memory in that regard and if you do take risks and it doesn’t work out?

“Quarterbacking, there’s so many different variables that go into it. Every play is a different situation. Throughout the entire game, things change. Sometimes you have to be more aggressive than other times. Other times you’ve got to take what the defense gives you. It’s just knowing the situation and trying to be successful and just move the ball in a positive way.”

Do the Titans play a much more aggressive defense than you faced the last two games?

“The Texans have a very good defense. I don’t think they get enough credit. That was a talented group that we went up against with some very talented players. The Titans are a good challenge too. Their front seven is very physical. The guys up front get after the quarterback and their DBs do a good job too. Like every week in the NFL, every week is a tough week. There’s a lot of good players out there, so we’ll have to be on our game.”

The Texans put a lot of good shots on you too. Were you sorer this week than last week?

“No. Just normal stuff.”

Who got on you about calling it ‘Niners Nation’ versus ‘The Faithful?’

“My friend sent me a couple of tweet reactions. They didn’t get on me, it was in a good way. I don’t know who they were specifically. My friends in a group text all texted me like, ‘Man you’ve got to get this right. Come on, these are your fans now.’ So, it was just a little funny thing.”

Was that immediately after that first game?

“Like a day or two ago. Something like that.

When you got here you had to have known that WR Marquise Goodwin had world-class speed, but has there been anything now working with him for a few weeks that’s kind of surprised you or jumped out to you about him?

“Just seeing him run full speed is surprising every time I see it. It’s impressive. You don’t see may guys like that, even in the NFL. It’s great to have on your team that deep threat that guys have to think about. They have to respect that. It opens up a lot of other things.”

Do you feel like you guys have established some kind of chemistry quickly?

“I think we’re working in the right direction. Not even just with ‘Quise. All the receivers. It’s a good group of guys. Very willing to learn. I listen to them, they listen to me type of thing. It’s a good back and forth that we have. When a receiver is as skilled as he is and can see things the way he sees it, it’s similar to how I see it, it makes everything that much easier to talk about.”

Marquise was a deep threat in the AFC East while you were there. Now that you’re here with him, has he exceeded your expectations or idea of what he was?

“I didn’t really pay attention much. I was looking at the defenses and everything. But, I remember when they were playing the Jets, when he burned [Kansas City Chiefs CB Darrelle] Revis deep. That was one of the first times I was like ‘Holy cow this guy can really fly.’ I’ve been around a lot of fast guys, but he’s up there. Like I said, it’s just world class.’

It looks like you’re going to start Sunday.

“I heard, yeah. Appreciate the input, thank you.”

The thought of just playing in front of ‘The Faithful’ now. I guess you won’t know until Sunday, but does it add another element or are you just looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd?

“It’s definitely exciting getting that opportunity. Against Seattle I had a couple plays, but I think it’ll be a fun atmosphere. Hopefully the crowd comes out and they’re loud helping our defense out and everything and we’ll make some plays for them. It’ll be a fun environment.”

You guys are going to end against three winning teams. Maybe three playoff teams. Looking ahead trying to figure out maybe where you are or what you could be next year, is this a nice test and way to end the season?

“Obviously not ending the season the way we want to, being in the regular reason. But, it’ll be a good challenge. We’ve got to take it week-by-week, day-by-day. We really can’t look too far ahead because these are three good teams we’re about to play. The Titans are a very, very talented team who’s in the playoff hunt. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing, working hard and plucking away at it.”

With Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and the way he runs his defense, does the offense have to put in a little extra time because he does do a lot of different things?

“Nothing that we haven’t been doing. Recently we’ve been putting in a little more time, having a couple more meetings here and there with the players and everything and I think they’re starting to pay off. It’s just part of the process. This time of year it’s a grind. We’re looking forward to it.”