Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Transcripts: Jimmy Garoppolo, DeMeco Ryans, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Rams Week 4 matchup

Sep 30, 2022 at 5:51 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster spoke with reporters after Thursday's practice as the team prepares for its Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

So there was the clip of you in the game and it appeared like you said, 'your plays suck, man.' Did you say that?

"I've heard about this clip. Actually yeah, we were talking about it yesterday. I don't know, I can't read lips. I'm sure I've said a lot worse things on the field than that, so I'm glad they caught that rather than something else, but I'm not sure exactly what I was saying, but it is what it is."

I guess the real question is, is there friction between you and head coach Kyle Shanahan, or is that just something that you say in the heat of battle?

"No, you say a lot of things in the heat of battle that I hope people don't hear, but no, me and Kyle are cool. We really are. We've been through a lot of different types of seasons, this being no different, but we're early on in the season still, so we have to, as a team, find our identity. Me and Kyle obviously, just keep working and getting on the same page more and more, but we've been through this before and it's a long process."

You mentioned after the game that you felt it in your arm. How do you feel this week as opposed to last week at this time?

"It's getting better. It's one of those things. It's tough in the season to replicate things that you would do in the off season, but I'm just trying to get better each and every day, get it stronger, more endurance to it. Just all the little things."

Is your arm how your arm would feel like in a May or June in a typical offseason?

"No, I think it's more just the surgery. Just kind of pushed things back, did get the normal, OTAs, training camp and I'm not trying to make excuses by any means. I have to get the job done, but it's one of those things you're dealing with."

Do you feel better prepared heading into Monday night than you did last week? Just in terms of, like you said, no OTAs, very limited practice.

"I think that's one of those things. It's just about getting on the same page with these guys. Different group, some new coaches this year. Just as an offense, we have to get on the same page. Everyone getting in rhythm. All be pulling in the same direction and that takes time, so it's one of those things that each day you could tell it's getting better, but we got aways to go."

Can you tell in practice if you've got rhythm or can only a game tell you that?

"No, you can feel it in practice. I'm a strong believer in however you practice, that's how you're going to play. And I think it's tough for young guys, myself included when I was young, just to learn that. It's tough to bring it every single day to the practice field, but the faster you get guys to do that, the better off you're going to be."

With that said, do you feel better this week about rhythm than maybe you did last week?

"It's getting there. I'm never fully happy. It's Thursday in our mind, but I'm never fully happy during the week. There're always things to improve, just coming off the field right now, we have things we could be better at."

There was a pretty scary incident last night with Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa. Did you happen to catch it? What was your reaction to it? I guess, what do you feel about the NFL's concussion protocol? Do you feel it's got your guys' best interests right now?

"I didn't see it actually. I saw a clip of it. I think it was earlier today, but yeah, scary situation. You always just hope the best for a guy like that. We've all been in those situations, but I don't know. I think with the protocol, you just have to trust the process. Trust that everyone's doing their job the correct way and let things fall as they may."

Have you ever been evaluated for concussion?

"I don't think so, actually, but yeah, they're not fun though. That's a scary thing."

Among the criticisms you took after the game, you rightly noted that you had a very funky offseason, quite weird and probably contributed to Sunday night's performance. When people say, 'Well, you're the quarterback, it sounds like you're not being accountable and you should just wear it, rightly or not let other people say that for you.' Do you see any merit in that?

"Well, I think it starts with the quarterback. It always does and always will. And I just try to call things as I see it, to keep it real. That's how I've always been and that's how I'll always be, but yeah, rightfully so, it starts with me no matter what, good, bad or indifferent, whatever happens out there, the quarterback and the center are the two guys touching the ball every play. So, whether it's good, better, and indifferent, it's on us and we just have to get better at it. It starts with me, obviously. Yeah, I would always take that. I always have, I always will."

Kyle was pretty straightforward with us, he said on the safety and on the interception, he made bad play calls. How does that dialogue between you two work? Do you guys sit down on Monday after the game? Does he hash that out with you?

"Yeah, even on the sidelines sometimes. I give Kyle a lot credit for being man enough to do that. But I do the same to him, too. If I mess something up, I'm willing to say it was on me. And I think that makes for a good relationship and leads to a good team. I think it starts with us two and carries its way down to the rest of the guys."

When you were reviewing film of that game, there were some throws you missed and then there was some other issues with the offense. So how tough was that film, especially just that safety play, re-watching it?

"That one was tough, but just the whole film. We had one good drive, honestly, other than that it really wasn't too pretty, so it was one of those things, you have to swallow your medicine and take it. We put that performance out there and we have to own that and I think we have the right guys in this locker room to do that and respond the right way."

You're playing a really similar defense right after that one. Did you see enough in the Denver game that was close to being a big play to make you think that we don't have to do anything dramatic, we just need to kind of sharpen and we ought to be okay?

"Yeah, there's always opportunities that you wish you had back. As similar as this defense to last week, it is different in some ways, so you have to prepare accordingly for that. But it's just about guys making plays, the coaches are going to put us in position, we have to make the plays and take advantage of that."

Last year against the Rams, you guys moved to shotgun 96% of the time in that game. How much did that help you get back in rhythm? At that point you were 3-5 entering that game, how much did that gameplan do you feel, help you get into that flow?

"I think it helped a good amount. I think whenever you can get into a rhythm like that and win a big game like that, it always helps the team. Shotgun, obviously as a quarterback, I think all quarterbacks are probably more comfortable back there, but there's definitely some advantage to be under center. Kyle does a good job of this, keeping those guys guessing and keeping me moving around and things like that and that's what makes it hard on defenses."

Do those games against Rams seem like long, ancient history considering all the stuff you've gone through just this year?

"It does and then you watch the film and it all comes right back to you and you start replaying those things in your head and putting yourself in those situations again and it's like riding a bike, you're right back to it."

Speaking of the Rams, last year that win kind of turned the season around in terms of confidence in the offense. Does it help that you are playing a team you're so familiar with?

"It helped, yes and no. Some things are good about that. Other things, they know us inside and out. We know them inside and out and so at the end of the day, it's going to be man-on-man. You have to win on your one-on-one battles and let the rest take care of itself, but we got to come in with the right mindset and be ready to play."

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

No DL Javon Kinlaw or DL Arik Armstead again today in practice, correct?

"Yeah, those guys will be out there for us. They'll be fine. Yeah."

I'm sorry, you're saying that they'll play Monday?

"Well, I'm not talking about them playing. I'm just saying those guys will be fine for us."

How has DL Samson Ebukam come along? He got the first sack of the season three snaps into the season, and then none since, but you've gotten really good pressure out of that whole defensive front. So what are you seeing out of your edge rushers?

"I think the thing about our group is it's about them rushing together as a group. You know [DL Nick] Bosa gets a lot of attention as the edge rusher, which is rightfully so, because he's such a dynamic player. So it's just about all those guys, just whoever, it's opposite him or whoever's inside, it's all about those guys rushing together as one. So the more they can be coordinated, make sure they're communicating with their stunts and games the proper way, and rushing together like that, that's what makes our group go and that's what makes our group effective is all those guys working together."

DL Kevin Givens doesn't get talked about a lot, but it seems like he's been making an impact the last few games. What are you seeing from Kevin?

"Yeah, I think Kevin has picked up right where he left off last season. Kevin, he's always done a really good job for us inside, whether it's against the run and also being able to affect the passer. Kevin has been very consistent for us and he's showing up these first three games. He's showing up. He did a really good job our last game versus Denver. He made plays for us, so Kevin has been very consistent. He's an active guy inside, really an athletic guy for his size, who can really make plays be disruptive in the backfield. So I'm very pleased with where Kevin is for us."

DB Deommodore Lenoir was primarily an outside corner in college and he said he always saw himself that way, except for recently, and now he says he loves it. He feels like he's found a new home, basically. What enabled him to kind of make that transition?

"Yeah, I think it's just with all young players, it takes time, with different guys, it takes time. I think you've seen the mindset change over the past couple weeks and he's been doing a really good job in practices and he earned that right."

No Free Agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. for the Rams this year, where are they going in his absence? Who are they turning to?

"Yeah, I think with that, [Los Angeles Rams WR] Allen Robinson II, he's a really good player for them, but with them adding him, he's been a good add for them. And also, it's the [Los Angeles Rams WR] Cooper Kupp show, like no matter how you try to slice it up, whether the guys are doubling, whatever it is, the guy finds a way. I think the connection and chemistry with him and [Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew] Stafford is one of the best I've seen in the league in a long time. Those guys are always in sync and they're always on the same page, which makes it tough as a defense to defend those guys because they're so good, they're so precise at what they do that they make it a really tough challenge."

They've added that wrinkle with WR Ben Skowronek as like a fullback and they use that a little bit, but what kind of challenges does something as unique as that present for you?

"I don't see as much of a challenge for teams that, for us, like we've seen two back runs, going against our offense guys in the backfield, we've seen that before, so they put it on offense, so it's not anything surprising for us defensively, because we've seen two back runs. We've seen passes out of two back before, so it's something you have to be aware of, which we've seen on tape and they do a really good job. He's not only just a receiver, he gets back there and he does a really good job of blocking, whether it's linebackers, nickels, like he's a tough player who does a really good job for them in the run game, so we definitely respect what he's done and what he's put on tape. We're definitely not taking him lightly and the things he can do. When you have a player who can play outside and move into fullback, it definitely helps you as a play caller offensively with the multiple things you can do."

CB Emmanuel Moseley and WR Jauan Jennings have a past playing together back to college. When you see them go up against each other in practice, is there ever any extra juice or spice there?

"Yeah, both of those guys are very competitive, fiery guys and it's really cool to see where both of them started in the NFL, both of them started on the practice squad, like that's what the league is about. It doesn't matter where you get in, but it's about the attitude and the mentality that you bring, that it doesn't matter that I'm practice squad, undrafted, seventh-round. It's about that daily grind of continuing to get better and that's what you see from E-Man and Jauan. Those are two guys who have become really good players for us, guys we count on Sundays and they come through in the clutch. So it's a cool story with both of those guys being teammates in college and to be teammates here in the NFL and both guys still excelling at their craft and still not only thinking that they've made it and they've arrived, but I see two guys there who continue to push each other and continue to get better at practice."

You've faced the Rams so many times throughout the years, do they essentially do the same things on offense, the same principles or have they changed and evolved throughout the years?

"Offenses are always changing. They always have their wrinkles, but I think every offense has their staple. Staple in the run game, staple in the pass game and then you have wrinkles off of that, so I think [Los Angeles Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] and those guys have done a really good job of being really good at the things they do, but also throwing the wrinkles in to keep you off guard and keep you off balance as a defense, so those guys do a great job. Much respect to those guys and the way they operate."

According to PFF, you have two top 10 safeties. How does that change when DB Jimmie Ward comes back? How do you see that room evolving with Jimmie back?

"Whenever Jimmie gets back, we'll be happy to have Jimmy and whenever you can say we're getting a player like Jimmie Ward back, that's a great problem to have. So we'll figure that out once we cross that bridge, but I can't say enough about [S Tashaun] Gipson [Sr.] and [S] Talanoa [Hufanga] and what they've done back there and the instant chemistry that they've built in such a short time, you don't see that happen much. But I think with Gipson being a veteran and Huf just soaking in everything all the knowledge that Gip has to offer him, it's been cool to see."

Why do you think that happened?

"In this league, I always talk about it, for Gipson, it's just what the veterans do in this league. The league has always been about giving back so the younger players now are standing on the shoulders of the guys who came before us, whether there were guys fighting for free agency to get guys to the point where they're getting the contracts they're getting now. Like older players always pave the path for the younger guys. And so it's a respect factor, as what are you leaving the game? What are you leaving guys in the locker room? As you're an older veteran, that are you giving back to the game? Because we've all received something from players who come before us, so that's what the league is all about. That's what true locker room is about when you have older guys who can, not worry about themselves, but it's all about giving back to the younger players."

Last night there was pretty scary scene with Miami and Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa. I'm curious what your reaction was to it and what concerns you have about the concussion protocol?

"Yeah, it was it was tough to watch. Watching Tua go down, I was just praying that he's okay. For me, I hate to see any player go through that and we know he had it on Sunday and, for it to happen to him again on Thursday, it's just something you don't want to see happen to anybody. And we just have to trust that the concussion protocols that we have in place, we have to trust that those things are set up to be at the best interest of our players and the best interest of our game because our game is nothing without the players and them being healthy. That's the most important thing. Health and safety is the first and foremost. That's the most important thing about the game and that's what allows the game to grow is our guys being healthy and being able to push through, so we're hoping that Tua is okay and everything is fine and just trusting that those protocols are good for us."

Some of Talanoa's past coaches have talked about how many questions he used to ask, almost to the point of like, 'stop.' Does he still have that or did he have that as a rookie?

"Yeah, he asks questions and I'm like, bring them on, so I don't know what's wrong with those other coaches, but I'm always like bring it on. When the player is asking questions, I think as a coach, like you want guys who are, man, they want to know the why. Like why are we doing this? Or coach, how exactly do you want me, where you want me to be on this? I love that in Huff. I love that in all of players. If you're asking those questions that lets me know as a coach that you're into it and you want to know the why. You want to know why. Not just, oh, I'm just doing something just because the coach told me to do it. And that's what separates Huf and that's why he's sticking out amongst everybody is because he asks those questions, he's processing everything throughout the week so when you see him on Sunday, he can cut it loose and that's what everybody's seen and that's why he's been exciting to watch these first three weeks just because of those questions."

Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster

How does it feel to have former running backs coach Bobby Turner in the building?

"Oh, it's great to see Bobby. He swung by the hotel in Denver. We got to see him there. It was nice to see him. And I had no idea he was coming back, so it was nice to see him."

Were you surprised because he was supposed to be out for a season?

"I'd have to check with Bobby on that. I don't know the exact details of what happened. And I don't know, the surgeries he had things he needed to physically take care of, and that's a personal matter for him, but I'm sure he'd be happy to talk to you."

With his experience and your familiarity with each other, what does that do for your offense?

"Oh, it always helps. I mean, any voice in the building. I was here in 2019 as a consultant and really just had a back office. I wasn't even on the field and was able to just contribute here and there. It's another set of eyes that has familiarity with the system, familiar with [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan], the players to a degree. And it's always helpful for that reason."

You said a couple of weeks ago that you'd love to have the same five guys up front, but that's probably not going to happen or doesn't happen that often. Here we are without T Trent Williams, how do you feel about OL Colton McKivitz playing for him and, how does that change the run game going forward or the pass blocking going forward?

"It's almost impossible to say you can replace Trent Williams. Trent is, I don't want to say once in a lifetime, but I've been fortunate enough to coach a couple guys that are of his nature. But, it's hard to replace a guy like Trent. We know that. I tell you what, I'm glad you asked that question because there's two things about Colton that I want to say that really impressed me. The first one is that after last training camp a year ago, we released him and then signed him back to our practice squad and I think that really put a sense of urgency in Colton that I'd never seen in him before. An urgency to really improve, take every day seriously, really take the reps at it. At college, it's sometimes hard for the college kids to grow up and to really feel the urgency of, oh my gosh, my lifetime dream is getting ready to end his urgency in the way he played throughout the year, prepared him for when we needed him at the end of last season where he played really well. That really showed me the kind of guy he has in character, that was step one. Step two was when he played in that last game of the season, the 17th game against the Rams, he got beat for a sack with two minutes left in the game. [Buffalo Bills OLB] Von Miller sacked him and that it should have ended. If they would've gotten a first down in the four-minute drive, it would've ended the season for us and it didn't. We punted the ball, our defense stopped, we got the ball back and then we proceeded to have, I think it was like 14 more plays to tie it in regulation and then in overtime and Colton, that was the last time anybody got near the quarterback on him. So, it's not easy in the game of that magnitude to step in, make your block, get beat at the most critical time of the game – we're getting ready to go on a two-minute drive and we get a sack and we have to punt with 2:02 left or whatever the time on the clock was. So those two things with Colton, you feel really good about and he continues to be very professional, hardworking, does all the right things. He's the right kind of guy and has really worked hard for us and did a great job this camp. It's just hard to replace Trent and that's going to be his charge and he'll have to come in and do the best he can."

How much can you go back and look at that tape from Week 18 last season and just pick some stuff up and apply it this week?

"Well, it's all over. I mean, yes, you can apply everything. You just don't know what pieces they'll use against us. What going to change, what are going to be the little tweaks or little differences so yeah, we use it all. You can go back as long as they've been running this style of defense when, when [Los Angeles Chargers head coach] Brandon Staley was there and then [Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator] Raheem [Morris] took it over. Those players on defense that they have are outstanding. The job that Raheem and [Los Angeles Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] have done with that defense and the rest defensive coaches is really outstanding. There's always just a little wrinkle, something, in what they do. But this defense is becoming really a staple across the league. A lot of teams are employing it. And so you just don't know what you're going to get on a given Sunday or Monday in this case, we'll see."

How does Los Angeles Rams LB Bobby Wagner kind of change the equation for them at the second level?

"I think the few games is the best way to say it. It's hard to feel yet, especially the Arizona game. They're just such a different style of offense and how they play Arizona is different. So you're looking at the first two games and why you see Bobby is still an outstanding player and does a great job. To feel that fit in that system is really hard to make a solid evaluation. But that's not saying he's not impacting the game. He is. It's just hard to really make a true evaluation after two games, three games."

As far as WR Deebo Samuel's modest rushing numbers from Sunday, Kyle was saying that he thought that there were some opportunities in there as a matter of execution here and there. Did you see the same thing and what was the difference with him not really getting going in that game?

"It's like every time you don't have success, you can say, Okay, whatever you were on, third down, whatever you were rushing, whatever you were in protection, you can always pick those three or four plays where you're like, Gosh, if Trent just would've done this, if the running back, if the blocker would've just, if the receiver just would've got that push crack, that's going to be the play that went for 25 against Chicago. It goes for two. We don't quite execute a block in this one instance and we do something on the third down when we don't quite get a guy. It was going to be another explosive run, similar play to what we ran against Chicago before half where Deebo broke out. We ran one in a similar situation, backed up, and we were off by just a step on blocking the inside linebacker or he's going to beat to the unblocked corner. And we all know what happens when Deebo can get in the secondary with not many players to tackle him. Those are all just excuses. We didn't get it done and the numbers are down cause we didn't execute properly."

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that you're playing a team that plays essentially the same defense two weeks in a row? Are you worried that one team is kind of learning off of the other, or are you able to sort of learn from your mistakes?

"Well it's a two-edged sword, but it is for us, because we do have a, for me personally, we do have a younger group. So their experience getting to see it again and then see it again for [OL] Jake [Brendel], for those young guys, I remember last week we screwed that up. Let's get this one right. So there is a benefit to that. But you're right, the other side of that sword is that they've seen how we attack them and there's only so many ways to attack this style of defense, so how can we dress this up again? They're going to be preparing for this, so what are the wrinkles can we have and what did we not do against this team that maybe we can use this week? That's always the juggling act that you have, especially when you play a team in division, like last year we played them three times. It's hard for both sides to decide how you want to attack it.

PFF has OL Aaron Banks as the sixth best guard league after three games. I know it's a short sample size, but what has he done really good throughout three weeks? What can he improve?

"Aaron, we always liked Aaron in the running game. So his number one area of improvement is pass protection. I don't know how they grade him and what they do. I mean, I'm not questioning how they grade him at all. They have a different set of grading system. What I see in here, I look at his fundamentals. I look at his body. I look at how he's handling himself in protection. I can see things that maybe while it's productive, it may not be good in four weeks when he starts developing a library of plays that people can study. You're like, Dude, if you don't fix this stuff now it's going to be a problem. And there are those things. Everybody has them. You're constantly picking at the guy. Trent, it's like, Trent if you don't fix this, you know this is going to become a problem. Is it going to become a problem against most guys? No, but when you get against that elite guy on the road with a silent count, that's going to be a problem. Same thing here with Aaron. Same thing with every guy. They all have their little things or I could probably punch list three things for every guy that says, work on these three things in practice every single day and you'll be a lot happier with our production going forward."

How difficult is it to run zone blocking schemes against defenses that put five on the line and create all those one-on-one matchups?

"Yeah, you can still do it. There's a lot of different things you can do without talking in too much detail. You have to work harder to create, where are we going to get double teams in combination blocks and how are we going to do it? Everybody's beginning to see, there are different ways to do it. Even when they put six guys on the line of scrimmage, there's still a way to create a combination block somewhere or cut the defense in a way that even though that's six one-on-one blocks, there's still a place where we can create some space. It can make it harder, but then penetrating four down fronts can make it hard. Eight-man boxes can make it hard. I mean, there's always a challenge to every single defense. They have a way they want to stop the zone running game. There's a thought that those five or six on the line of scrimmage, they're just trying to keep it from having too many combination blocks. But still, if you can find one, you can run off that one and then you have a chance."

Is RB Tevin Coleman in a place where he's ready to play?

"I think Tev's ready to roll, man. I can't say whether he's going to be up or down. I don't know any of that. I just know that he's been practicing and working his tail off, like I say every week with those backs. They all run hard, work hard. And it is nice to see Tev out there. I mean, Tev has that explosiveness to him that he can really hit it and go and really enjoy the way he can do that, so it's good to have him back that way."

He still has that at his advanced age for a running back in the NFL?

"You still see it, man. He hit a play up the sideline the other day and you just saw the acceleration. It was nice to watch him accelerate up the side. He's still got it."

Last week we asked about RB Jordan Mason. You said you still need to see if the game's too big for him, the bright lights. He had one carry.

"Lights are still bright, man. Yeah, they're still bright. Like I said, he continues to work and it's all a process. You're out there, you get on the field, you warm up, you do the whole process and still it's going to have to be the banging away and all of a sudden, [Rams DT] Aaron Donald jumps on your back and throws you to the ground and talks smack or whatever happens, and you have to live through that. Or somebody pulls the ball out the pile and you're trying to hang on, he has to go through all that and, but there's nothing that says he's not ready and he is been working hard and deserves the opportunities he's getting."


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