Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Transcripts: Jimmy Garoppolo, DeForest Buckner, George Kittle, Richard Sherman, and Fred Warner preview 49ers-Packers NFC Championship Game

Jan 16, 2020 at 4:34 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, tight end George Kittle, cornerback Richard Sherman, and linebacker Fred Warner spoke with reporters on Thursday as the team prepares for its NFC Championship Game matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcripts provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

How was practice today with respect to the weather, the grip, the ball?

"It was good. It went really well out there. I thought the guys were really locked in. We got some good reps in. So, if you can play in the rain, you can play in anything."

When you talk about the Packers defense, what do you think about when you hear Green Bay Packers LB Za'Darius Smith and Green Bay Packers LB Preston Smith's names? What do you think about them?

"They're very talented. It's really the whole front, not just those two, but they're a big part of it. They do a lot of different things. They give them an opportunity to rush the passer. Sometimes they're dropping, and just it makes it tough on us."

You have guys like DL Arik Armstead out there, he had a great performance earlier in the season, but just to have this defense performing at this level, how easy does that make your job?

"Yeah, it definitely helps, just the style of football we play, the complementary football. It's just whenever you can have a defense playing like that and getting you the ball back quickly, it always makes it easy."

Do you ever feel that kind of reception like you did on Saturday here at the stadium?

"With the crowd?"


"Man, I don't know. That was pretty loud. They were rocking. It was a fun atmosphere to be a part of. Looking forward to Sunday. Should be very similar."

When you face a team a second time, whether it's a divisional game or a playoff game, do you find it easier the second time having prepared for them once or harder because they know what you do as well?

"Yeah, whenever you have to do that, it's always different the second time. It's a lot of the cat and mouse, we think they're going to do this, they think we're going to do that type of thing, and just the back and forth with it. At the end of the day, you've got to go out there and play and react to what's happening on the field."

You've had a lot of experience in previous Championship games with New England as a backup. How is that helping now?

"I think just the preparation standpoint, seeing things from afar in New England and just what it takes to win those type of games I think will help us with this one."

Do you call head coach Kyle Shanahan "Kyle" or do you call him "coach" to his face?

"Just Kyle."

I ask that because I hear a lot of guys because it's not coach this or Mr. Lynch that or anything like that, it's Kyle and John. Does that speak to just the atmosphere here?

"Yeah, I never really even put much thought into it, but I guess so. Everyone, we're all on the same playing field. We're all in this together. Everyone acts the same and you treat everyone the same, I think it's a good atmosphere."

How would you describe just the ride of this season with this team? I know you still have more work to do, but taking in a moment for all that you've accomplished.

"Yeah, it's crazy to look back on it. Just watching tape and things like that, you see clips from October or whatever, it seems like a lifetime ago. Yeah, it's been a whirlwind of a season, especially just personally coming back from the ACL and everything. But, it's a great group of guys to go to battle with, and I wouldn't ask for anyone else."

At what point in the season did you feel like it was going to be a special team?

"I think you always kind of have that feeling before the season. I wouldn't say there was a real exact point during the season that it clicked, but just the tightness of this group, how the offense, defense and special teams all interact with each other, it makes for a good group to be around."

Kyle seemed to think that I guess it was the Los Angeles Rams game was where it kind of hit him, like man, we've got something special here. Are you buying that?

"First one or second one?"

First one.

"Yeah, that was a big game for us. I mean, we've had a lot of big games, but just division opponent at their place and everything and the way everyone played and the way the defense dominated made for a really fun afternoon."

Seemed like the last couple of seasons you guys were so close and on the wrong side of those two-minute finishes. This year you guys are on the winning side. What changed?

"I wouldn't say there was anything that drastically changed. I think it just comes down to execution. The coaches are always going to put us in a good position to be successful, and the players, it's our job to go out there and execute it. Late in games, the last couple years it didn't really work out, but this year it's just guys are locked in and taking it seriously."

How big is the confidence factor?

"I think confidence always plays a role. You can't overdo it, I guess. You've got to be confident, but at the same time you've got to put in the work. This is a good football team coming in here, and we know that."

When did you feel this team could go a long way in this season?

"I never really, I don't know. I never really put too much thought into it. We're so wrapped up with the season and everything that you're just trying to get on to the next game plan, things like that, and get ready for the next opponent."

What's it like being in the spotlight right now?

"I don't know. You know, it's part of the gig. Comes with the job, I guess."

You talk about being part of the spotlight and going against a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. What does that feel like for you? Obviously, they bring up the tweets that you tweeted in 2012, comparing yourself to him. What is it like to be playing for a chance at the Super Bowl against him?

"It's really cool. It's a great opportunity, especially Aaron I've said it before, but he's one of the best to ever do it, tremendous competitor, fun to watch, all that stuff. So, we've got a good opportunity here Sunday, so it'll be fun."

T Mike McGlinchey was just saying that it pisses him off to hear what he thinks the media and everybody are saying, Aaron Rodgers is the greatest, he's a Hall of Famer, Jimmy is just not in his league. Does it bother you to hear people compare you to Rodgers unfavorably?

"No, you've got to listen to who's saying it and everything like that, and just take it for what it is.

Do you like that it pisses off McGlinchey when he hears that?

"Whenever my O-Linemen are pissed off, it's always a good thing. For me at least."

People say this is a big game. How do you think about that?

"Yeah, like I just said, you kind of have to listen to who's saying the stuff. Not all of it carries a lot of weight, and you've got to go out here and treat it like any other game, go do what we do and take care of our business."

DL DeForest Buckner

When you guys had DL Dee Ford and DL Nick Bosa lining up next to each other, what does that do for you guys on the other side?

"Yeah, having two guys that can rush the passer on each side, I mean, it's pretty much the interior guys' dream. Those offensive tackles got to really kick out. Offensive coordinators, they can't really pick really who to double. You've got to pick and choose your battles, and if one guy is getting doubled or getting a lot more attention than the other, then the other guys are going to be able to reap the benefits, and being able to have [DL] Dee [Ford] back kind of opened a lot of that up this past week when we played the Vikings."

Having Ford and Bosa line up next to each other a couple times?

"Yeah, like the change-up and everything with having them on one side of the line, just to mess around with offensive linemen. I like to think offensive linemen, they're creatures of habit, so when they see the same guy over and over and over again, they can really get comfortable in knowing how to set against a certain person. But when you change it up and you put somebody different standing up, somebody like Dee, over a guard, they kind of freeze up, and they're like, 'Oh, I haven't seen this guy all day.' Dee is so fast that he can get on the edge real quick in that tiny space. Just being able to change it up, change up the looks against all the offensive linemen, being able to move guys around is really effective."

Who's the next fastest guy off the ball outside of Ford?

"The next fastest guy off the ball? Honestly I would like to say [DL] Solomon [Thomas]. Yeah, you see clips, we always watch it throughout practice and everything, and he's almost the No. 1 guy off the ball almost every time, know what I mean, just getting off the rock. I'd say second to Dee would be Solly."

On a play last game where Solomon Thomas got in there quick?

"Yeah, I mean, Solomon is a very explosive player. 3rd down, he can rush the passer, and also in the run game, especially going against guards, getting on them quick, and he's a strong dude. So, when he has leverage, he's scary to see inside."

Was there a particular moment with regard to Nick Bosa early on that you realized how special he's going to be?

"Yeah, I mean, him coming out, I kind of watched some of his film, and also really throughout training camp, seeing him just get better each and every day, obviously he was a little rusty when he first came in, OTAs and everything because he didn't play in, what, about a year and a half maybe. Seeing him progress throughout training camp and then coming out, starting off the season hot, he's just been a special player to watch."

In this division, in the NFC West, you've faced some mobile quarterbacks. In what ways is Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers different?

"Yeah, he still can extend plays. Obviously getting outside the pocket. He's really good in the pocket with knowing where the rush is at, and trying to -- getting out of the way and everything. So, he can make guys miss and also get outside the pocket and make you pay, kind of like [Seattle Seahawks QB] Russell Wilson does. We just need to kind of really go- really take it one play at a time and go with the same mindset we had the last time we played them and also last week. I felt like the guys took it personal, telling themselves that they weren't going to be blocked. We have to have that same mindset going into this game."

Do you have any particular memories of watching Rodgers play?

"No, I mean, really just a couple years ago, I think when they were playing- it might have been Detroit or someone, when he threw that Hail Mary for a touchdown to seal the game, just little things like that. It's funny because we used to call it, my coach from last year would call it the wrist flick from hell. He would get that little -- kind of like avoiding rushers and everything and just- you see that wrist flick, and you're like, 'Oh, Lord, know what I mean? You know somebody is going to come down with it.' Yeah, he's just a special player."

Who coined that phrase?

"It was [former defensive line coach Jeff] Zgonina last year. He would say that when we were watching film."

TE George Kittle

How would you describe the way your ankle feels?

"I feel fabulous. Thanks for asking."

What about your ankle?

"I feel fabulous. Thanks for asking."

How was the weather today? Did it hamper anything?

"No. Definitely don't expect that in California. It was cold and rainy, but it was fun. We made the most of it, and we had an official practice. We did what we needed to do. We got our reps in and ultimately had a good practice."

You didn't get as many targets as usual against the Vikings, statistically not one of your big days. Can you usually tell going into a game what sort of opportunities will be available to you?

"Oh, yes and no. Based on the game plan, with the plays that [head] coach [Kyle] Shanahan draws up, but there's been games where I didn't think I was going to have a lot and I had 210 yards in a half. It really just depends on how the game goes. I'm not really worried about it. It takes care of itself. It's football."

The linebackers against the pass might be a weakness of this team. How is the feeling of going for perhaps a big game in your career because you might have a lot of stats and receiving yards, et cetera?

"I mean, stats will take care of themselves. I'm not really worried about anything. I'm just going to go out there and try to play my best football."

I don't know when the last time you've gone against DB Jimmie Ward in practice, probably training camp, but what makes him good at taking away explosive plays?

"I mean, Jimmie is I think one of the greatest athletes I've ever been on a team with. He's a complete freak of nature. He's incredibly fast. He's incredibly strong. He's smart, and he's incredibly physical, too. He's really an all-around player, and I think we missed a lot the last few years with him being injured. It really hurt our defense. And just the way he plays the game, too, he has so much fun doing it. He's just such a great football player, and having him out there makes our defense a lot better, and the last time we did go one-on-one, I did beat him, so it's okay."

If you think about it, you guys essentially created a year of QB Jimmy Garoppolo's experience for DL Nick Bosa, who just popped up at the No. 2 overall pick. What kind of trade did that turn out to be for the franchise?

"Nick's not bad. I think he's done a pretty good so far that he's been here. He's probably going to just give the NFC West fits for the next 10 years, and I'm really happy that he's on my team and I don't have to go against him every Sunday."

Kyle has talked about his natural inclination as a play caller, check it around, but obviously he's very committed to the run game, especially Saturday when you just kind of pounded the defense into submission. I assume you enjoy that, but how much as an offense do you appreciate his ability to do it both ways?

"I mean, coach Shanahan does such a great job. Every pass play we have gets set up by our run game. Luckily, this past week we didn't have to set up the pass game at all because our run game was so efficient. But we definitely had plays out there that we just didn't call because we didn't need to call them. When you're running for four yards a carry and you rush it 47 times, you don't really need to throw the ball. So what Coach Shanahan does, the balance is always there, but he's never afraid to run power on back-to-back plays to score a touchdown. We ran on 3rd and 2 for a 10-yard gain and then we scored on the exact same play, just flipped it the next play. I mean, it's just fun to be part of an offense like that where, yeah, we have all the fun stuff like we did versus the Saints, the passes, [WR] Emmanuel's [Sanders] pass to [RB] Raheem [Mostert], but we'll run power down your throat if we want to."

Going all the way back to college, how did you develop as a blocker, and when did you realize that you kind of liked it, and two, you were pretty good at it?

"Well, I mean, at Iowa you don't play tight end there unless you can run block, and that was something I was told as a freshman. So, I was like, 'Well, I want to play, so I might as well take some pride in this.' Every single day we'd do blocks and nine-on-seven for periods on end. If you don't enjoy it, then you're just going to be miserable, and so I just enjoyed it, and now I'm very prideful in it."

The variance from the same divisional games when you face a team for the second time, do you find it easier because you've seen film on that team and you've played that team, or is it harder now that they know what you bring to the table, as well?

"I mean, yes and no. It's kind of- what's nice about it is you're used to the guys you're going against. You kind of get their moves and stuff. But defenses change, they prepare for you a lot differently. Our whole scheme from the Arizona game the first game to the second game was completely different. Most of our players were all different and stuff like that. But you know what you're going to go up against, you know the players a little bit better, so it made man-to-man coverage like, 'Hey, I know how he's going to cover me on this one because I just went against it two weeks ago.' But other than that, I mean, you've got to still show up and play 60 minutes."

The regular season game against the Packers, it looked like a couple of your bigger catches came against zone coverage. I'm wondering for a tight end, what's the key, if there is one, to getting open against the zone? Is that something you've gotten better at over the last couple years?

"Yeah, I mean, getting open, I think you get better at once you start playing a lot. But yeah, I mean, zones are just kind of a feel thing. I actually got better at zone, like finding spots in zones watching [WR] Trent Taylor because I think he's absolutely incredible at it and definitely a guy that we've been missing. I would love to have him back. But yeah, it's just something you get better at just watching tape. You see where guys drop, but mostly just a feel thing. You've just got to find a soft spot, and what's awesome about Jimmy is he's got such a quick release, he's going to hit you, and you've just got to drop set and get vertical."

You said last week you expected a short story from your dad in his weekly letter. Did you get it?

"Oh, yeah, I got like 10 pages. It was awesome. I was fired up and ready to roll."

Any highlights that you can share?

"No, actually I can't. Those are mine."

What do you expect this week?

"A little bit longer probably. Yeah, he was on one last week. It was pretty fun. It was a great one. Maybe he'll share it with you guys at some point."

How does it keep it fresh?

"I mean, every week is different. It's awesome. Whether he's telling a new story, he's bringing in a new like a movie or a book that he read to me as a kid. But I mean, he just always has a different story line for every single letter, and he builds it up, and he always just crushes it. I always just get pretty fired up reading those things."

We were looking at where the tight ends are mostly a receiver, a big receiver. Do you take pride in your run blocking abilities because you are one of the best in that matter, the 49ers when you're on the field have one yard per carry more than when you're not on the field. What's your take on that?

"I mean, I take pride in my run game. That's how I grade myself in games. Passing yards and receiving yards take care of themselves. So yeah, I mean, I take pride in it. I mean, if we do better with me on the field or not, it's whatever, I'm just going to go out there every single play and try my best. We did a pretty good job of that last week."

Is it safe to say your dad, as a former offensive lineman, focuses more on your block pass catching?

"He doesn't give me too many tips on how to run routes, yeah, he does not. He doesn't focus on that. But he always gives me, 'Make sure your leverage is good, get your hands inside.' He's definitely a coach still."

CB Richard Sherman

Talk about playing in front of fans from the Bay Area. You were a star at Stanford where they loved you, you went to Seattle where maybe they didn't love you so much, and now you're back here in San Francisco where they love you again. What's it like as a player going through that kind of a journey?

"Honestly, it's all the same for me. You know, there are certain people in your corner that love you regardless, and those are the only people's opinions that matter to me. I go out there every day and try to execute my job and play hard, and regardless, the chips are going to fall, people are going to like you, hate you, et cetera, et cetera. Neither one of those opinions matter. The opinions that matter to me are people who are in my corner regardless, and those people have been happy either way."

With regard to DL Nick Bosa, early on was there a moment that opened your eyes and you realized how special he was going to be?

"I can't think of an individual moment. He's been so consistent since he got here, especially in training camp, and obviously throughout the season. But I think just his mannerisms, the way he carries himself, the way he practices, his effectiveness play-in and play-out have really been eye-opening for a rookie because you find yourself forgetting that he's a rookie most of the time, until you really think about it, because he doesn't play like a rookie, he doesn't carry himself like a rookie and he doesn't move, he doesn't act like a rookie in any way. It's really a testament to him, his family, everybody who's helped him get to this point and developed this mentality."

A lot of the guys on this team have said how close a group this is and how unusual it is at least for the veterans. You're one of the veterans. Do you find the cohesiveness, the chemistry on this team different than what you've experienced maybe in the past?

"I've been on some pretty tight teams, but this is right up there with them. This is a family atmosphere, and guys care about one another. Guys go out there and fight for one another. Guys care about each other on and off the field, so that is really cool, and it's really special to be a part of."

Aside from winning, how do you create that?

"Well, we had it before we were winning, so I guess you'd have to talk to [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and [general manager] John [Lynch] about that, getting the right guys, that's a big part of it, guys who care about football, guys who want to do everything they can to win, guys that are selfless, guys that are compassionate, guys that show humility to one another. You know, it's a lot of factors that they study on an individual level that make for a great team."

Is the person you are in the locker room and the person you are at home the same as the person you are on the field, or do you have a persona that you get into when you play football?

"I don't really know how to explain that. I don't know how to answer that because I'm the same person regardless- I'm in the same body no matter what. But I think you treat people and carry yourself differently in all three phases. One of them you're on the battle field. You're there to do a job. In the locker room you're a different person because you're around your teammates, you're there for a purpose. And at home, again, the circumstances change. That's like me asking a person, hey, as a lawyer are you the same way in the courtroom as you are with your wife? Know what I mean? It's going to be a different kind of approach for him. It's going to be a different preparation, a different seriousness, a different tone, so it's difficult for me to say, I'm the same as I am in the locker room at home and on the field because there's three different fields of life."

Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh definitely compete in practice, offense versus defense. I've heard sometimes Kyle challenges them in the meeting rooms. What's that dynamic like with those two?

"Honestly on the practice field it's not much to see. They both kind of just do their jobs. There's a few conversations here and there early on in practice, but for the most part Kyle is running the offense, Sal is running the defense. Kyle comes over for a few throws during our install period on Thursdays and Fridays, and usually that's it for them on the field, honestly."

What makes Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers the quarterback he is, and how tough is he to prepare for?

"Well, he throws an incredible football. He has a quick release. He's very accurate. He throws a great deep ball. He's mobile. He's great at creating. He's great at diagnosing defense. He has all the tools that you look for in an elite quarterback, and he's done it for a number of years."

When you look at yourself, you're a very competitive person. Aaron is known as being competitive, as well. How would you characterize your competitions against him over the years?

"I'd say it's been intense. It's been very competitive, I guess, for lack of better words. We've played quite a few times, and the games are always good. There's rarely any blowouts one way or another. But it's always a chess match with him, and you've got to pick your spots carefully."

The only receivers that have been targeted more than Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams are New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas and Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones. Do you get up for a guy like that? Do you want him on your side? What goes into that?

"I don't care either way. I'm trying to win the football game. I'm not trying to win the individual match-up. Individual match-ups, I don't really care about them. At the end of the day it's about winning football games. He's a great player. He's somebody that we've obviously got to account where he is on the field at all times. But in terms of individual match-ups, it means nothing to me."

When is the last time you shadowed somebody on the right side?

"I don't know, you'd have to go back and look at tape. I've done it a few times. Probably Julio in 2016 in the playoffs probably.

You have never lost a conference championship game, I believe that's correct. Is there anything different about preparing for this game, this level of the season as opposed to any other game?

"Not for me. There's nothing different. You've got to get to your preparation. Like I said before, you've got to go out there and execute. It sounds boring and rudimentary, but honestly that's what it comes down to. Either you're going to execute or you're not. The people who treat this game as more than what it is, those are usually the people that lose."

You moved to the right side with Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen the last game?

"Probably if they were in the triples or something."

It wasn't a scheme thing?

"No, it wasn't a scheme thing. It was just we were in man coverage, there were two receivers on the field, he was one of the receivers, I had to guard the receiver. He just happened to be on that side."

Did you mirror former 49ers WR Anquan Bolden when you played the Niners like five, six years ago?

"Yeah, a couple years ago. That was in like '14 or something like that, '13. Yeah, I mirrored him. I've mirrored [Cincinnati Bengals WR] A.J. Green, Julio a few times. Like I said, we don't draw up the defense. I don't call the defense. Coach tells me what to do; I do it. For me to say, oh, man, I want this guy, I want this guy. I don't really care. Does it help us win the game? Is it going to help the defense? Is it going to help us limit their explosives? Then I'll do it. If it's not, if it doesn't make a difference, if it's better for me to be on a side, then that's what I'm going to do. I love it how people are like, 'Oh, my God, these guys need to do this.' Well, I'm going to let you know something: You go to your job and tell your boss what you're going to do and what you're not going to do and see how long you last. At the end of the day, Saleh and Kyle, Saleh calls the defense. If Saleh comes up to me and says, 'Hey, you follow this guy everywhere he goes,' then that's what I'm going to do. If he doesn't, guess what? I'm going to do what he's told me to do. That's how coaching and player relationships work. And it just so happens we have the No. 1 pass defense in the league. Whoa, oh, my God, it's crazy. It's crazy that you're not following anybody but somehow you have the No. 1 pass defense in the league, almost like our strategy works. It's almost like you're an idiot for doing it any other way. It's almost like you're dumb if you do it another way. It's almost like people have been saying, 'Do it this way' for so long, but they don't have the No. 1 defense, but whatever, I'm crazy."

So you don't just go, 'Guys, I have a feeling'-

"Right, right, I don't just go rogue, like hey, this is their guy, I'm going to do it this week. It doesn't make a difference to me; know what I mean? Like I said, we've had the No. 1 pass defense in this league, and we haven't done it. Until you start telling me that a great left tackle is following pass rushers wherever they go, oh, my God, Griffin is lined up over the guard, tell Joe to go in there and block him. Oh, my God, he's lined up over the right; tell Joe to go to the right. Until that starts happening, miss me with it."

LB Fred Warner

What strikes out about going up against Packers RB Aaron Jones again and what kind of runner he is?

"Yeah, Aaron has been fantastic all season, very explosive runner. I feel like he's very dynamic. They use him a lot of ways, so I think they're for sure going to want to get the ball in his hands come Sunday."

Jones has been racking up a lot of touchdowns. Is there something you see in Jones as he gets close to the goal line?

"Yeah, I mean, he's just determined, honestly. The dude is extremely fast. He's elusive. So yeah, he's going to take more than just one guy to bring him down."

Thinking back on that game against Jones, what did you think you guys did especially well?

"I think we were just assignment sound. In the run game I felt like everybody was assignment sound in their gaps. For me it was just a matter of going into an open A-gap. They were doubling our big guys up front, especially guys like [DT] DJ Jones, he didn't get talked about a lot that game, but he was a huge factor. And so, I just had to run up and make tackles in the inside gaps."

What do you think of Panthers LB Luke Kuechly retiring?

"Yeah, sure. Luke is one of the best to ever do it. It was a pretty big shock to me, but I mean, I understand. I know there's- probably a lot of reasons why he made the decision he made. That's a guy that I've studied closely, just the way he's studied the game and played at such a high level with the amount of passion that he's played with. My hat's off to him."

Can you describe what it's been like this week because I see players dancing, singing, you're still enjoying it as if it was the very first game of the season and there doesn't seem to be much pressure.

"Yeah, I think the pressure comes from if you make the situation bigger than it is. You know, it's funny, we were all talking about it just the other day, how last game it kind of just felt like another week even though there was- the stakes are high and there's a lot on the line. We don't treat it as such. We treat it like it's another week. The routine doesn't change. Our preparation doesn't change. I think the same could be said this week. We're just going about our business, but we're having fun doing it."

What areas of your game do you think you've improved the most over the course of the season so far?

"I mean, I feel like kind of just with experience, just feeling more confident in my role in the system. I feel like I don't want to talk about what I've improved upon, but I always think about what I can do better. I'm pretty hard on myself. But as I continue to get more experience, I feel like that's when I make more plays and I play a lot faster."

The last Green Bay game, when you look back at that game, what did you learn from it?

"That we did well or- I mean, yeah, we stopped the run, obviously, which we try to do every week. It's easier said than done. But I think they kind of went away from the run early on, so it turned into a matter of our guys up front trying to get home and them trying to complete passes down the field. And so I think it was a full team win, though. Our offense did an outstanding job throughout the game. Special teams made plays, too. We're looking to have a complete game this time around."

Back to Kuechly real quick, he and former 49ers LB Patrick Willis both retired after eight seasons. You're two years into an ascending career. How do you see your career playing out? What do you want to get out of it?

"Yeah, I think when you're young, you think you're going to play forever, right. That's the dream is to play in the NFL and you think you're going to play 20 years. But when you're in it, you know, it's a violent game at the end of the day, and so you take a lot of- your body takes a lot of toll on it. But I always try and just play one day at a time, take it one day at a time. I don't try and think too far ahead because your career could be over in a matter of seconds. Yeah, I just take it one day at a time."

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By David Bonilla
Jun 25, 2020

Several San Francisco 49ers players took part in this week's State of the Franchise event. The team came just short of achieving its goal last season and hopes to finish the job during the 2020 season. Players were asked about the goal for the upcoming season. While he understands the journey will be difficult, head coach Kyle Shanahan has already stated that his expectations are to get back to the point where the team stumbled, and right that wrong. "We've got to get right back to that fourth quarter, and get to have a lead, and we've got to finish the job," Shanahan said this week. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk

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No Huddle Podcast: George Kittle, Jamal Adams, and the unfair criticism of Jimmy Garoppolo

By Site Staff
Jul 1, 2020

Zain, Levin, and Stats are back to discuss recent San Francisco 49ers news during the strange offseason, and what it means for the upcoming season ... if there is a season. 1:15 - Two preseason games eliminated, and what that means for the 49ers' younger players. 6:30 - Cam Newton signs with the New England Patriots. 9:35 - The offseason challenges and how they

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49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo, Mike McGlinchey, George Kittle explain why a Super Bowl hangover is 'not a possibility'

By David Bonilla
Jun 25, 2020

Several San Francisco 49ers players took part in this week's State of the Franchise event. One of the topics of conversation surrounded the possibility of a Super Bowl hangover. As tough as it is for a Super Bowl champion to claw its way back to the mountaintop, it is even tougher for the runner-up. All too often, that second-place team will regress the next season, but 49ers players don't see that happening with this squad. Why is that? What makes this 49ers team so different from past Super Bowl runner-ups? What makes its players think that they can get back and win it all, this time? "I think it's the guys in our building and the leadership that we have," responded offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey during the conversation with Keiana Martin and Greg Papa. "It's

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