Is this Jimmy G’s last season with the Niners?
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo discusses the Niners drafting top rookie QB Trey Lance, overcoming injuries, training camp, and what he expects from a crucial 2021 NFL season for his career as a starter.
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Full Transcript Courtesy of 49ers:
How’s this camp been?
“I’ve been pleased with it. It’s been competitive out there. It’s been good. Since I’ve been here, it’s been probably the most competitive camp we’ve had offense versus defense, I think, but I’m pretty pleased with where we’re at. I think there’s obviously some things we’ve got to shore up, cadence, too many penalties. Having the refs out here has been good just to shine a light on it. But there’s things for us to clean up.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned the defensive line was teeing off on you guys, creating false starts. What do you guys have to do to change that?
“I think it’s more about us, to be honest. The D-Line’s been playing great. They really have, but we’ve been mixing it up a decent amount. I think just honing in and everyone getting on the same page. I think once we could do that, it will really take us to the next level.”
When you say that this is the most competitive camp? I mean, where is that kind of showing up?
“Just offense versus defense, honestly. I think you know, they’ll get a turnover, we’ll hit a couple of big plays, just the back and forth. Since I’ve been here, it really hasn’t been much of that. It’s one day the offense will dominate the next day the defense will dominate. And here it’s been literally, I mean, one play’s them one play’s us. I don’t know, I’ve been on some good teams and that’s a good early mark of a good team. And I’m not saying we’re there yet, but it’s just, it’s a good mark of where we are right now.”
There was at least one time that DL Dee Ford was lining up to your right. What’s it like seeing him back in the practice and in your grill?
“It’s been fun. It’s exciting to get him back out there. Just the energy he brings, the speed he brings. I mean, you have to be aware of where he’s at and they’ve been moving him around a little bit trying to get the overloaded fronts and things like that. But no, it’s always a pleasure to have him out there. Waiting to get [DL Nick] Bosa back. Can’t wait for those two to be together again.”
Last week you talked about the outspoken body language, rapport that you have with WR Brandon Aiyuk. WR Trent Sherfield, it looks like you developed a connection there with him. Is there some of that natural connection there as well?
“Yeah, Trent’s been very reliable. He really has. He’s one of those guys that just you know, we have so much offense in right now, so much of the playbook is installed. We’ve only got a couple more days of install I think that some guys will get lost in all of it mentally. He’s been out there sharp every day. He’s on his stuff. And as a quarterback, that’s the main thing you could ask for from a receiver. You’ve got to be on his stuff and in the spot you expect him to be.”
So this is your fourth install. What is it? I mean, can you just wake up and you know this stuff? What’s it like when you’ve already been through it four times?
“Well, with the Kyle Shanahan offense and [offensive coordinator] Mike McDaniel, you know, taking over as OC, it’s always changing, I would say. So even when you think you know everything and you might have most of it down, there’s new stuff every year that we install. We had OTAs to get most of that going, but even out here, I mean, we’ll do something and maybe they want to try something the next day and it’s something we’ve never done before. So they always keep you on your toes. And these coaches do a great job just keeping you guessing, but that’s what you want in training camp.”
Do you find yourself lobbying for some quarterback power?
“I think they’re saving that one in the back pocket for the season.”
How has RB Tre Sermon adapted to playing in the offense?
“He’s been smooth so far. He really has. That whole running back room, it’s kind of pick your poison. They all bring a little bit of a different flavor to it, but Trey’s been impressive. You know, the guy, even just in the facility, the time he puts in after everything when everyone’s gone, he’s one of those last guys in and you know, you appreciate that in a young guy.”
I have a question about QB Trey Lance. He’s always falling down, throwing horrible passes. I mean, he looks pretty good for a rookie. Do you look at this and say, hey, this guy, obviously he’s picked number three for a reason, but do you look at it and say hey he’s coming pretty strong at me?
“No, no training camp, you worry about a lot of things and you can’t start worrying about that stuff. I think offensively we’ve been playing well, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at. You know, Trey’s been, he’s been making some plays, like all of it, we’ve all got a long way to go. And so it’s just, we’re just getting started here in camp and we’ll keep this thing rolling.”
How much has he improved the mental side of the game since he first got here?
“I don’t know. You’d probably have to ask him about that, but I think I know just the play calling and things like that, it’s definitely gotten smoother. It’s probably, I would guess from OTAs to now, it’s easier for him. But that’s, you’d have to ask him that.”
What do you see from him that stands out?
“I think that, you know, the athleticism he brings and things like that. Me, [QB] Josh [Rosen] and [QB] Nate [Sudfeld] were kind of joking about it. He just pushes us to be better athletes in a way. It’s a different style. And so it’s kind of pick your flavor that you want to, but yeah, it’s training camp. You’ve got a lot of things to worry about. You can’t really worry about that stuff.”
Another guy along the defensive line getting love is DT Javon Kinlaw. He’s been around since February. Can you tell he’s been putting in work?
“Yeah. He hit a couple of plays today. I was just talking to him in the weight room where, I mean, he just pushes two people out of the way and he’s in the backfield. It’s impressive, man. It really is. And when he gets angry, it’s a different type of player out there. So I’m glad he’s on our side right now. He’s a tough one to go against.
How does the install work? We see when Trey’s out there, they’re doing a ton of running plays with him. Are they kind of parallel paths or the receivers have to adapt to different plays being installed when obviously you’re in and then when he takes over?
“The install, we’re all in there together for the same install. But I think just yeah, it’s more stuff for the receivers to learn, the O-Line, different blocking schemes, things like that. But just, I don’t know that’s kind of just the college game coming into the NFL now. It’s a little different.”
How do you feel about just where you’re going with the ball, the right decisions, how do you feel about your decision-making through six practices?
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. You know, obviously you want to keep improving. You want to be 100-percent every day, but we’ve had some good days out here. We really have, and that’s kind of what I was saying with the competitiveness. Just, you know, if the defense wasn’t picking me off or we weren’t hitting big plays, you’d be concerned one way or the other, but we’ve got a little bit of both right now and that’s what honestly it makes for a good team. And so we’ve just got to keep that thing going.”
So you’ll occasionally give the defense a gift just to keep them happy?
“I mean, [LB] Fred [Warner] got 95 million, you’ve got to keep him happy somehow, you know?
Kyle was talking about how the zone read was hidden in the playbook. He mentioned 2017 against the Texans, he said you pulled it.
“Did he explain the play?”
He said it might have been the wrong decision.
“I mean, he was pretty confident. He was like pull it, you know, we’re going to get the edge on them. And as soon as I lined up and saw it was [Cleveland Browns DL Jadeveon] Clowney, I was like, all right, well, I hope we really get the edge on them. And yeah, thankfully we pulled that one out, but that yeah, that ain’t my strong suit. It was a team decision, we’ll say that.”
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