San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo met with the media Wednesday afternoon to talk receivers, the Cardinals, playing for a tie, and more.
When you face a team in such close proximity, what is the process like? Do you try to kind of wipe out what you studied two weeks ago to look at them with fresh eyes?
“Yeah. Yes and no. You want to take it into consideration, things that we saw in the previous game, but all these division games, when you go into it, you kind of have to feel it out, see how they’re going to play you type of thing.”
Did you see the report about the Seahawks linebackers saying that they were able to understand what your checks were and knew what was coming in the fourth quarter?
“I did not see that one, no.”
When you hear something like that, does that concern you? How often do you have to mix up your checks between games to keep defenses off balance? Do you think they may have had a read on you?
“Well, I think our coaches do a good job of that week in and week out, getting the game plan together, tie in runs, pass, whatever it is. Yeah, I didn’t see that report. We’ll just have to work harder, I guess.”
After looking at the film, how do you assess the wide receiver play? Obviously, a slew of drops kind of plagued the night for you guys offensively. How do you assess that and what did you see on film?
“Well, whenever there’s drops, it takes a guy throwing the ball and catching the ball. Obviously, I could throw it better to make it easier on those guys. Those guys work their ass off, they really do. They come in everyday with a good mindset, and it’s just when your number gets called, you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities. In this league, we all know, you don’t get many of them. When you do, you’ve just got to take advantage of it.”
It was suggested after the game that in overtime you guys should have been more conscientious of the possibility of a tie, going for a tie on that last drive. How do you think a tie, going for a tie, would’ve played among players, among you guys?
“It’s tough. You’ve got to trust the coaches, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan], and their decision making with it. Whatever they decide, they’re doing what’s best for the team. As players you just go out there and execute it. Whatever they decide, we’ll back them 100-percent on it.”
But you want to win, right?
“Absolutely, yeah. I mean, you never want to, it’s hard to play for a tie. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before. Yeah, I’m glad we went for the win.”
Kind of going back to that first question, what do you feel like you have learned about the Cardinals now that you’ve been able to watch more tape on them?
“They’re a fast defense. They fly around. Everyone’s around the ball, all 11 guys. Up front, they’ve got some talented players so we’ll have to account for those guys. In the back end, they make it tough on you. They don’t give you any easy completions so we know that going into the game and we’ll have to be ready for that.”
How much time did you get to spend on watching the Seattle game, just knowing you have the quick turn and have to kind of turn the page?
“I mean, you spend the day, or yesterday, watching it and everything, breaking it down. We did a little bit of it today and then it’s on to Arizona. On these short weeks, it’s tough.”
What’s been your read on how guys have flushed that one away and moved on so far?
“I think we have a good mindset with it. Guys, last two days, everyone was in here yesterday working on the day off. Today it’s just a sense of urgency in the building. It’s good to see that.”
Do you get involved at all in changing up the checks and potential trends and even snap count? Is that something that you’re cognizant of going into every game?
“Yeah. Well, snap count obviously yeah, we control that and everything. You know, the checks, every game is a little different. The game plan that the coaches put together is always a little different week-to-week. And so, it’s our job as players to take that in and just regurgitate it on the field.”
T Mike McGlinchey talked about how it kind of took him a little while to get back into it, kind of get his groove back on during the game. Did you see that kind of progression between all three of those guys that were back after injury?
“I can imagine being away from the game for however many weeks they each were, but yeah, it takes a couple, whatever, plays, series, whatever it is for each individual. I thought those guys battled. They fought out there.”
Obviously, news coming out of yesterday was T Joe Staley, fractured finger. How difficult does it make it for the offense with a revolving door of tackles? Obviously, Joe misses an extended period of time, OL Justin Skule comes in and replaces him. He’s back in and now he’s back out. How difficult does that make it for you guys?
“It’s tough, but that’s football, you know? I’m glad we do it in training camp and OTAs as much as we do with the mixing and matching, just because you know injuries are going to happen at some point throughout the season. Especially up front. Those guys work hand-in-hand so often together that it’s good to get that practice in. You never wish injuries upon anyone, but I’m just glad we got that practice in.”
As a quarterback, what’s the balance you need to strike with being in the moment, dealing with drops from receivers, versus also being able to be encouraging or try to keep those guys’ confidence level high?
“You know, there’s a fine line between it. You want to pick guys up especially after a tough drop or whatever it is. Like I said before, it takes a guy to throw the ball and catch the ball to complete a pass. I’ve just got to be more accurate, make it easier on those guys and help them out.”
Are there things you can do during the week, I know you spent some time after practice with WR Emmanuel Sanders recently, are there things like that you can do that maybe help or is it something where it’s just different because it’s a game scenario?
“Yeah, I mean, obviously the more reps you get at it, the more practice, the better off you’ll be. We’ve been pretty good up until this point. Had a little bit of a fluke in this last game with the drops and everything, but you can’t overstress it. Let those guys go play, let them play ball and they’re going to make plays. They’re good players out there.”
The old saying is it’s never as bad or as good as you think. So, after this game, what do you think was good about, what encouraging things did you see from Monday night?
“The fight in our guys was unreal, it really was. It was a dog fight out there. We knew what kind of game it was going to be, division game, they’re always tough and everything like that. It’s how guys responded throughout the ups and downs. No one really got too emotional on the sideline, everyone was pretty consistent and that’s what you want to see in a close game like that.”
Were you able to learn anything about life without TE George Kittle and adjustments that you might need to make going forward if he doesn’t play Sunday?
“I thought the tight ends did great. They did what they needed to do when their number was called. They made good plays and everything. So, yeah it’s kind of one of those it is what it is kind of situations.”
You mentioned the fight in the team. Just considering the barrage of injuries you guys face, is there any, I don’t want to say the word moral victory, but is there anything you guys can take away just knowing that you guys were severely undermanned but you were able to hang in this one?
“There’s no moral victories in the NFL so a loss is still a loss at the end of the day. A game like that, an experience like that for all the young guys, it’ll serve us well going forward. That was a playoff atmosphere that we were in and that’ll only help us going forward.”
Was there one throw that you look back on that you felt that you should have put the ball in a better spot?
“I’m sure there’s multiple. I can’t think of one specific one, but whenever there’s a drop you can always make a better throw, put it more on their body, whatever it is, just to make it easier on those guys.”
The final throw you had to WR Deebo Samuel down the sideline, it looked like the cornerback made the play on it?
“Yeah he made a great play. Left it a little short, wish I would have put a couple more yards on it, give Deebo a better chance at it, but the guy made a good play on it. Those are tough.”
Two of these three years, it’s two losing seasons and then going undefeated until Monday. What’s the barometer of the locker room like at this point?
“Very consistent. It’s been like that the whole year. Guys, like I said, yesterday and today have come in with a good mindset. We’re not dwelling on the loss, we’re moving onto Arizona and I like where we’re at right now.”