SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Jimmy Garoppolo’s Week 10 Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.
What do you see from Seattle’s defense?
“A fast group. They fly around, get around the ball. Yeah, they do a good job with everything. Up front they get after the quarterback, in the secondary they make it tough to get easy throws in there and they challenge everything.”
This is your first start against them. Is this something you’ve been craving for? What do you remember from your first little cameo against them?
“Yeah, it seems like a lifetime ago. Yeah, it’s a great group year in and year out. They’re always one of the top teams and it’ll be a great challenge for us. It’ll be a good atmosphere for us on Monday night.”
I know you’re not thinking about going up against opposing quarterbacks, but do you embrace the opportunity to be on the same field as an MVP candidate like Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and then maybe down the line when you look at New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers?
“Yeah, Russ, he’s a phenomenal quarterback, athlete, everything. He does everything for that team and puts them in a good spot to win every week. It’ll be a great challenge, but I’ve said it before, I’m not playing against the other quarterback. I’m going against the defense, but it’ll be a good challenge for our defense.”
You’ve been getting the ball out quicker this year. Is that a concerted effort on your part or how the natural flow of the game goes?
“No, just whatever the timing of the play is. I think having a better understanding of the offense and everything, having an extra year just makes me more comfortable with that stuff.”
What has WR Emmanuel Sanders brought to this offense?
“He’s a savvy guy, he feels space in the defense, he’ll cut his route short if he needs to, he’ll take it a little deeper if he has to. As a quarterback, I love that. Just guys that feel the same thing that I’m seeing and it’s nice having that.”
How impactful will it be to have T Joe Staley, FB Kyle Juszczyk and possibly T Mike McGlinchey back?
“It’s always good to get guys back from injury. I thought those guys who stepped up in their places played phenomenal, and it’s football, you never know who’s going to get hurt or whatever. The mixing and matching, I think we did a great job of it while we were in this situation.”
You’ve been around TE George Kittle for a few years now. How have you seen his game grow? Obviously, he put up huge number last year, but do you see him getting better year to year just in terms of his all-around game?
“He does a great job in the offseason of checking out whatever his weakness is or whatever he thinks it is and kind of making that better in the offseason. I thought his route running, how he comes out of breaks and things like that, just compared to last year and even the year before that is night and day different. It’s the time that he puts in that it shows on the field.”
How indispensable is a guy like that who can do so much blocking also and what would it be like if you don’t have him?
“Yeah, he brings a lot to the team. Even just his mindset, playing through what he played through in Arizona with the knee and ankle and all that stuff, he’s a tough dude. You’ve got to tip your hat to him. You love having a teammate like that. I’d have him in my fox hole any day.”
Kind of following up on that, what has George been like over the last few days? Obviously, he’s shown his resiliency, toughness, but for these pair of injuries to kind of keep him off the practice field right now, what’s his resolve been like so far?
“Still George. Playing pranks on people, still the same old guy. He’s a high-energy guy, and you love to have that in the locker room. I don’t think he would ever change.”
What’s the hallmark in the Seahawks defense schematically? Do they blitz much or are they still basically playing coverage?
“They start with coverage. The blitz has shown up more this year and everything, but they’re always a coverage-first team it seems like. It’s similar to what they’ve done in the past. They’ve had a couple change ups this year with new personnel and everything, but same old same old.”
How does it add to the excitement of playing this game on Monday Night Football and everyone’s watching you guys?
“Yeah, it’ll be fun. It’ll be a good atmosphere. Levi’s was rocking last time when we played Carolina and I wouldn’t expect anything less for Monday night. The Faithful will be loud.”
Your post-game interview got a lot of attention with Erin Andrews and what you said. Were you surprised it took off the way it did?
“I thought you were talking about the one in here with you guys, we had a little back and forth, me and you. No, but yeah, I didn’t expect it to blow up like that. It is what it is type of thing. Yeah, I was excited. 8-0, baby.”
ME: That wasn’t a dare was it?
“No, I say baby like 500 times throughout a game just to my teammates and stuff. It wasn’t like that.”