San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday’s practice to discuss his Week 1 performance, how he could improve moving forward, and much more.
How familiar are you with former New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu and what do you think he can bring to the wide receiver core?
“I’ve seen a lot of tape on him, just from watching [head coach] Kyle’s [Shanahan] offense in the past and things that he’s done in it. Heard tremendous things from all the coaches, so we’re excited to get him in here. It’ll be a quick turnaround, but he’s been in this offense before, so hopefully he could pick things up right where he left off.”
Speaking of film, what did you notice about the opener, about your play, what you needed to do better on, what you were happy with?
“I think there’s obviously good and bad from watching the film, but just being decisive, getting the ball out on time. I think those are two big things that will go a long way, but just like I said after the game, too, but just being more consistent as an offense. Each drive going out there and executing.”
Sunday obviously wasn’t a performance that I think you might’ve been expecting, but going back the last couple of years, Week One hasn’t been great for you. Is there something you can point to as to why that might be, and do you expect to bounce back similarly to how you did last year? Maybe get going as the season progresses?
“This season’s a little different than past, so I think without the preseason games and things like that. Obviously, the first game is a little different, but everyone’s dealing with the same circumstances. So, we’ve just got to move on, get to Week Two and get this thing rolling now. You’ve got to deal with the situation that you’re given and control what you can control.”
I know you guys have dealt with a lot of injuries in the past and last year at certain times. Having this many, this early in the season, how big of a challenge is it for you, particularly when you’re trying to game plan and putting that in and knowing what all the moving pieces are at the same time?
“We’ve dealt with this before. I think every team, you’ve got to deal with your injuries. Next man up mindset, but in the past, you’ve got to rely on the guys that you can trust. They earn that in practice. You earn that vice versa, but I think it’s really just about getting the guys out there you feel confident in, who you know what they’re going to do, and who will do it on Sunday.”
When the Sanu rumors all started, I put in some Falcons 2016 film and you just mentioned that you guys watch a lot of that. How closely, since that was Kyle’s, I guess, most productive season as an offensive coordinator, how much do you guys watch of that year? Do you watch it closely enough to realize that they had a bad Week One offensively, as well, that season before they turned it on?
“We used to watch a ton of it in the past, especially when I first got here that first year, just not having a ton of film, 49ers film with this offense. So, we saw basically that whole season. Yeah, I heard the stories of they started off with a rough Week One and bounced back after that. So, I think like any offense, you’ve got to move on week to week. Each defense you’re going against is different, each defensive coordinator and just attack each week differently. So, I think our coaching staff puts us in a great situation every week of just putting us in good plays to be successful.”
In the past, you’ve done extra kind of passing and catching drills with your receivers when things maybe have not gone well. Have you done that yet this season? Are you doing any little extra credit work?
“Yeah, we always do that. The little meetings that we do without the coaches, routes after practice, little things like that, that I think go a long way. So, yeah, we’ve been doing that like normal. Just need to do more of it.”
Obviously, you won’t be able to see Mohamed until Friday. Have you had an opportunity to talk to him on the phone or communicate with him in any way? What can you do, because you won’t have a full speed practice with him, what can you do to kind of get yourself in the best position to have some kind of chemistry with him in case he has to play on Sunday?
“Mohamed is watching all the meetings and doing everything he can do to stay engaged with the game plan, with the offense and pick up the little nuances that are different from when he was in Atlanta with Kyle. It’s really just about watching film, learning his body language. It’s going to be weird not getting a live rep with him, but you we’ll make it work somehow. I think it’s just the more film you could watch on a guy and see how he runs routes for certain defenses, I think, it’ll make you more comfortable with him.”
If TE George Kittle can’t play, I figured TE Jordan Reed might have a bigger role. So, how have you kind of developed that trust with Jordan on the practice field and what did you feel from him in the game Sunday in his limited reps?
“The chemistry with Jordan is growing day after day, it really is. Just staying after with him, seeing the things that he could do in route running and what he sees from a defense, it’s been impressive. The tight end group as a whole, they’re a bunch of freaks, man. They really are, but it’s a fun group to be around. They’re always doing their job and always putting in the extra work and you’ve got to appreciate that.”
We’ve seen you now both with and without the knee brace throughout training camp and I think you put it back on for the game. I’m wondering what the difference is, mobility-wise for you when you have it on versus when you don’t and what’s going to drive that decision moving forward this season?
“Really no decision to be made. I’m going to wear it every game. I already knew that going into the season. The mobility really doesn’t change. They do a great job with these knee braces, the training staff. I think it’s made of titanium or something like that. It’s real lightweight. So, it really doesn’t affect anything with mobility, but it’s just more of a kind of safety blanket for me.”