Jimmy Garoppolo on playing QB: “You don’t want to be distracted by the fans or the music or anything like that.”

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gestures at the team’s NFL football headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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.”

This article has 46 Comments

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    1. Friday, 8/2:

      Jimmy G. is really beginning to separate himself from the pack. Another terrific practice session, including a – wait for it – TD reception. Unfortunately, neither Mullens nor Beathard were quite as sharp, as both QB’s tossed INT’s.

      Kendrick Bourne continues to impress. Dante Pettis with another nice practice, even making contested catches across the middle, and that’s a very good sign. I’ll say it again – it’s going to be tough to narrow this group down as we get closer to final cuts. Perhaps the preseason will add clarity, and it should be a fun competition to watch.

      Jason Verrett making plays, which is good news as Witherspoon appears to be dinged up again. Marcell Harris with a nice pick – encouraging to see because the safeties have been very quiet through the first 4 days of camp.

      Breida and Coleman are both looking like breakaway threats, but the interior of the OL is looking average at best.

        1. What an epic failure Garnett is turning out to be. I rarely say it, but I am not sure his heart is into it at this point.

          1. Thing is, Tomlinson is just as smart and will one day be a neurologist. I think you’re right. Garnett doesn’t love football enough, and I feel like he’s just gone through the motions up to this point in his career….

    1. Doubt it. JG is a part time QB until he proves he can mostly play through a full season. CJ’s reads are as slow as Kaepernick’s. Mullen’s value will only increase when JG goes down again – why on earth would they trade him?

      1. Mullens would be traded because it’s a business first, entertainment second. Teams do not have the luxury of stashing a starting calibur QB behind a starter. NE was the exception, because JG was largely unknown and nearing the end of his contract. I suspect the agent will not allow his cash cow to sit behind another young QB when he can cash in on a contract now.
        I think the trade will happen towards the trade deadline when JG has shown he can maintain his health. CJ becoming the backup would make the move to draft him look less like a stretch.

        1. They actually do have the luxury when said QB is a UFDA in only his 3rd year. Personally, I think he’s more valuable backing up Garoppolo this season, than any return the 49ers are likely to get for him in a trade. If they can get a 4th rounder for him then sure, but a 4th round pick seems a little overly optimistic at this point, after all, he’s an undrafted QB with a 3-5 record as a starter, with nearly as many INT’s as he has TD passes.

  1. Not sure when the “never say Frisco” thing started, but it was championed by Herb Caen. I’m fine with Frisco.

  2. “Through ten games in 2017, the 49ers’ offense scored 181 points before quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took over behind center. The 49ers’ offense closed 2017 winning five straight and scoring 150 points. Last season, the team scored 342 points, with 37 percent of the offense’s drives ending with a score. However, the 49ers’ offense also had 17.1 percent of its possessions end in a turnover, ranking it second to last in the NFL.”

    by Brett Rumbeck

  3. IF, Jimmy is healthy enough to start and finish all 16 regular season games I predict for the season he’ll throw

    21 TD’s
    16 INT’s

      1. Does it count if he catches a TD?

        David Lombardi

        Breaking: Jimmy Garoppolo just caught a touchdown pass.

  4. I want JG to be comfortable running the team, but right now, his health is more important.
    The Niners should sit him down the entire preseason, and not risk him to injury in meaningless games. Let Mullens and CJB compete, showcasing their talents.
    The benefits from playing him pale in comparison to the specter of injury. Holding him under wraps will also hamper the opposition from getting film on him, so they will not be as well prepared for him.
    To me, JG has nothing to prove in the preseason, His value during the season is immense. I sure hope the Niners take the conservative approach, which is smart for a player who suffered an ACL less than a year ago. Generally, it takes a year and a half before a player can say he is fully recovered from an ACL. Sometimes it takes a couple seasons before an ACL player is playing at a level he did before the injury.
    I know JG is anxious to return, but the Niners should be smart, and emulate Sean McVay. He held out his star players during the preseason, and they made it to the SB last season.

  5. Sounds like the offense was able to stack good days. Very encouraging. And great to hear Verrett got some 1st team reps and had himself a nice moment with sticky coverage on Goodwin.

      1. Does Tampa, Cincinnati or Pittsburgh have a Buckner and a Ford? If not, maybe it helps a tad. We could loan them out, and we’d still have Armstead and Bosa. We’re like Rome of defensive lines….

  6. Be still my heart. The Niners ran a flea flicker? First, this interview with JL. Now, JG catching a TD pass.
    My cup runneth over.
    GO NINERS !!!!!!

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