SANTA CLARA — Here’s the transcript of Jimmy Garoppolo’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.
How did you think the red zone went today?
“I thought it was pretty good. I think compared to where we were at in OTAs, I think we’ve made some good strides. Guys making plays and getting in the end zone, it’s hard down there, but I thought we had a pretty good day.”
When you think about the struggles this team’s had in that area, to you, what’s the key that needs to improve?
“I wouldn’t’ say there’s one specific key, but I think just honing in on the details and making those important to us. Everything’s so tight down there, coverage is tight, tight windows to throw, it’s just you’ve got to be on your “p’s” and “q’s”.
Were you trying to go at it with the quicker tempo or is that just depending on which snap whether you go no-huddle or not?
“Yeah, that’s [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and coaches game planning and everything. We just run it.”
You mentioned the details. One of those details, I would assume, would be WR Dante Pettis’ ability to get separation in those areas. How has he progressed?
“I think he’s done pretty well. He had a good one today, he had a slant return type route and got pretty open on it. I think all the skill guys, just camp is a grind right now. They’ve got to keep themselves fresh and keep doing what they do.”
How have you felt just being back at it for five days now?
“Pretty good. Body’s holding up well. I think we’ve made good strides. I think there’s more that we could work at and everything, but things are coming together.”
How would you assess your performance in camp so far? Do you feel any rust or anything?
“No, like I said, I think it’s been going pretty well. I think with the offense and defense battling, that’s always a good thing. You never want it to be one sided, because that’s not good for your football team. Having battles against them, it’s only going to make us better and make them better.”
When you watched the film on Tuesday’s practice, you went 5-14, what did you see from yourself and the offense?
“I’m trying to think, all these days are running together, I don’t know. I think overall the camp is progressing well. I think we’re making plays when we need to, guys are stepping up in certain spots and it’s making for good competition, which is going to make us a good football team.”
With what you’re going through, what you went through with the injury, does that make you more patient or less patient because you’re eager to get out there?
“I’m excited to get out there. I wouldn’t say it makes me impatient or anything, but just the excitement of football being back, kind of the little kid feeling when camp comes around and now we’re in it. It’s always exciting.”
Do you have to learn how to slide differently now with that on?
“Thankfully, I’ve always been a right-legged slider, so that should be easy.”
You’ve had a few moments where you were taking it up the middle, plays broke down in the backfield. Considering what you went through last season with the injury, does your mindset change at all, like questioning, “do I really need to run here?” How does that affect your mindset?
“You’re not really thinking in those situations, you’re kind of reacting. So, I think when that reaction happens, I think you just have to make the smart decision and know when the journey’s over, get down, don’t take the extra hit, situational dependency. I think for the most part, you’ve just got to be smart about it. When you get in those open spaces, get down, don’t take that extra hit.”
Where are you as far as just being able to see things develop, reading defenses? Do you feel on point and decisive in those areas?
“Yeah, I think we’ve made progress in that area. Especially our whole quarterback room, I think. Reading coverages, our defense has been giving us a ton of tough looks with rotation and holding their rotation late and things like that. It makes us better. I think all that stuff, during camp, you want it to be competitive like that. It’s good for us.”
What is robot mindset?
“What are you talking about? No, I don’t know, it’s just kind of a thing that I keep in my head just to stay locked in. You don’t want to be distracted by the fans or the music or anything like that. As a quarterback, that’s what you have to do. You have to have that robot mindset.”
Has that always been your mindset? When did you adopt that mindset?
“It’s been for a while now. Probably since I’ve been in the NFL, I would say.”
Is that something, that wasn’t a New England thing, that was a you thing?
“Yeah, it just kind of, I don’t know. It makes me lock in. It’s just a little reminder for me to look down every once in a while and read that. It helps me.”
How do you feel as quarterback knowing that you have a backfield that you could dump the pass off to three or four different guys?
“It’s awesome, it really is. Especially, [RB Jerick McKinnon] Jet’s not even back yet and he’ll be back soon. There’s just so much speed and talent back there and it’s kind of pick your poison. Each one of them does certain things better than the other, and it’s just the coaches do a great job putting them in position to be successful.”
Can you talk about what you’ve seen from the defensive line this camp?
“Yeah, there’s some monster up there. They really are. They’re impressive. They penetrate so quickly, they get up field on the pass rush. It makes it difficult on us. It’s putting us to the test every practice, it puts the O-Line through a test and I think we’ve been responding well to it.”
“A little bit of both. You have to have the players to make it go, but the coaches have to put you in the position to be successful. So, I think they play hand in hand with one another. We’ve got a good combo right now.”
You kind of came here on the fly last year. Do you feel like San Francisco and the Bay Area is home now? Have you had a chance to settle in?
“Oh yeah, definitely. It didn’t take very long, either. I love it around here. It’s awesome.”
Have you been taught not to say Frisco?
“Yeah, that was the first one, yeah.”
Is there any part of you that needs to go at a different pace or pace yourself because it was an ACL and you do need to take your time?
“No, the training staff, we’ve done a great job. I haven’t had any issues with the knee or anything like that. Those guys, they’ve been top notch this entire process getting me back as quickly as possible and in the best shape as possible. It’s all I could ask for.”
What do you do after practice? Do you have to go ice it, get in the cold tub with it, stretch it?
“Yeah, massage soft tissue, ice tub, you get it scraped. There’s a million different things. You’re just trying to decrease the inflammation in it that comes from practice.”
When LB NaVorro Bowman was coming back from his he said he had to stretch it for hours before practice.
“Really? We’ll, it’s a different position, though.”
His was more severe.
“Oh okay, well warming it up isn’t difficult, but just keeping the inflammation down and everything, that’s kind of the battle.”
Has anybody ever said that you’re going to tear one, the left one for a right-handed quarterback is better than the right knee?
“Yeah, I could see how that would be. I guess I’m thankful it’s my left. I’m not thankful, but you know what I mean. The right one would be difficult though, just planting and moving in the pocket and throwing and pushing off that leg, so yeah, the left one.”
Plus, that’s your slide leg too.
“That too. I’d have to learn how to slide again.”
You played with OL Najee Toran today at that right guard spot. Is it a little difficult trying to get used to guys that aren’t the traditional starters?
“No, I think Najee did a good job. The whole O-Line as a whole, they’ve been working well together. They plug and play everybody in all different positions with different groups. I think that’s good for us. O-Line, it’s a tough thing. You want the same five the whole time, but we all know throughout the season injuries happen.”
Do you remember a play in practice when you were going to your left and LB Fred Warner undercut the pass and knocked it down? What did you see on that play?
“Yeah, Fred made a good play. Just got to control him with my eyes a little more. Yeah, he made a good play on it. Those are the battles of camp. You want to have those. If offense was just dominating or defense was just dominating, you’d be worried. We’ve got good players on both sides and it leads to good competition.”