On how much football Garoppolo watched this past weekend and if he had a chance to enjoy the games.
Just about all of them, yeah. The AFC ones you got a chance to enjoy them a little more. You’re trying to do scouting reports on them as you go. Trying to pick up anything you can from the TV copies like you always do. Being able to see them live is a little different.
What’s your scouting report on the Vikings
They’re a talented group defensively. Very sound. They have their rules, and they stick to their rules. Coach Zimmer does a great job of getting them in great plays, and they make plays. They make it tough on offenses. That d-line, they’re impressive. They’ll get after you. It’ll be a big test for us.
What makes the Vikings such a good team at defending tight ends?
Their overall scheme. They have talented safeties and talented linebackers who are the guys covering them. They do good in man-to-man situations, so it’ll be tough on us to get those completions.
Why was Emmanuel Sanders able to make an impact right away, and how does his experience in the postseason help?
Whenever you got guys with experience like that, whether it’s sharing their experience, sharing stories, what they’ve went through, anything like that can help the younger guys out. There’s a number of things. It starts with him being a pro. The trickle-down effect that he had on the other receivers and skill positions on offense was huge and doesn’t get seen, but just the stuff he does in the locker room. He does a little bit of everything.
What statistical benchmarks are important to you?
Honestly, I don’t really look at the stats. I know it sounds cliche, but as long as the quarterback is winning, I think he’s doing his job. As long as he’s putting his team in a position to win, as a quarterback, I think that’s your job.
Has playing in close games during the regular season helped prepare you for this upcoming game?
We’ve had a couple of late games this season that felt like playoff games — starting with Seattle here, Baltimore, New Orleans, all those games. We’ve said throughout the entire season it’ll help us going forward. As far as the entire experience with it, we don’t have to deal with the noise at home. Just the energy and the intensity at home, it’s a little different.
What do you remember about Week 1 2018 and the challenges that defense gave you?
They do a good job with their disguise, obviously holding it with the safeties and things like that. They don’t give you anything easy. They make you work for everything down the field. There’s really no easy completions, no easy eight-yard run that you’re going to get. We’re going to have to earn everything. We know that going into this.
How much growth have you seen in assistant Katie Sowers since she’s joined the staff?
She’s been tremendous. What she does with the receivers, all the skill position guys, how she interacts with them, it’s special. She’s feisty, man. She’s awesome. She’ll get after the guys. It’s fun to be around.
What was your reaction to being fined $7,000 for throwing the ball into the stands, and then when you found out it was caught by a San Jose fan who caught it who had drove all the way to Seattle?
I was pretty accurate on the throw, I thought. I wasn’t trying to start a riot or anything. I was trying to throw it to that specific guy, and he made a great catch. But yeah, I’m glad it was a San Fran fan that caught that.
Do you have a sense of what this run means to Joe Staley going into this?
Not even this run, just this whole season in general. You could really see it after the Seattle game how much it meant to everyone, not just Joe, but he’s been through some ups and downs through this whole organization. The one in Seattle was a big one, and we just want to keep this thing rolling for him.