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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Jimmy Garoppolo, DeMeco Ryans, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Dolphins Week 13 matchup

Dec 1, 2022 at 6:09 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. The team is preparing for its Week 13 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo


I know you want to score as many points as possible every game, but sometimes you have games where bigger numbers are needed. 2019 in New Orleans for example, is that the type of game that you're kind of anticipating this week and how much do you talk about it?

"It's really not talked about a whole ton. I think as an offense, you always want it to be that type of week. You always want it to be high scoring. You want to make all the completions and everything, but it just doesn't work out that way every time. But yeah, I think we have to have our mind right this week for a game like that."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan talked about how he's evolved as a playcaller. I think he was more of a riverboat gambler in his younger years and now that he has a defense like you guys have had through the years, you just call a game to win the game, if that makes sense. Have you noticed that and the way he's been? I don't know if people would call it conservative, but just the way his style has changed a little.

"Yeah, I think that kind of just comes with being a head coach for a while. I don't know what you'd call it, maturity or whatever, but just you're growing as a head coach, as we all do as players. I think you're always trying to get better and when you have a defense playing like we've got and we've had in the past here, I think that's probably the smart thing to do sometimes, but it's one of those things, you just have to feel a situation, feel the game and whatever it takes to win. I think that's the smart thing to do."

In the offseason when your future was up in the air and for a while there it seemed like Miami didn't know what they were going to do with their quarterback. And you know Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa have a good relationship obviously, and things have worked out well for you back here. Was there a point where you though that could be a reasonable spot with your relationship with Mike?

"Yeah. I mean, they were in the conversation. Not much came from it, but they were definitely one of the teams in the conversation. It seemed like a good spot. As an offense, that's tremendous skillplayers, everything they got going over there. Mike being a great coach, I had been with him in the past here and it was discussed, but I'm glad the way things worked out."

It worked out win-win for everybody.

"No doubt. I think things have a way of working out. That's just how it is."

Last week you said now there's no doubt you were coming back in, but Kyle said at first he wasn't sure and then QB Brock Purdy was told by one those guys to get a ball and he started warming up. You've been the number two guy before and you have to be ready every week. What have you seen out of Brock? How much better is he now than he was at the beginning of the year, even though he only gets scout team reps usually?

"Brock's come a long way, as a lot of these rookies have, but Brock takes it very seriously. Give him a tip of the hat for that. It's tough to come in as a rookie and be number two. I did that in New England and it's just tough because you're trying to find your way as a rookie, you're trying to learn as much as possible and in a split second you might be out there. I thought Brock's done a great job. He's helped me a little bit on the sidelines during games, and when you're number two like that, it's the little things that go a long way. And I think he's earning the respect of the locker room, just as the number two should."

How does your knee feel?

"Feels great. Feels great, baby. It's coming along. I feel pretty good with it."

A little off topic, you see players talking about artificial turf, wanting to see grass or at least a commonality in artificial turf. Do you feel like players are talking about this and would you support a push maybe from the union to try to get all grass fields?

"Hell yeah. Yeah. I always just go back to, you look at Premier League Soccer in Europe, they all play on grass. There's a reason why they play on grass and it's just better for the players, it's healthier for the players. It keeps the good players out there, no one wants to see injuries and get a tough situation like that, but I think it'll take a big effort. Players, coaches, owners, it's going to take everybody to get that moving in the right direction. I think we'll get there eventually. It's just how quickly can we get there?"

Do you see players, even yourself making decisions based on trying to stay on grass fields?

"I could see it happening. I haven't seen it personally, but I could definitely see that happening. I think maybe when a free agent or something doesn't want to go to a team because they play eight games on turf at home, that might raise some red flags and put ownership on notice, but I don't know I think we're blessed here to practice on grass, play on grass. [CEO] Jed [York] does an awesome job of providing us with that, but I think eventually we'll get there. It's just how quickly will we do it?"

It's My Cause My Cleats this weekend and you're working with TAPS. Why did you choose them and is this something you look forward to and be able to support a cause in a different way?

"Yeah. It's a new one for me this year. I've seen [TE] George [Kittle] do it in the past and I just thought it was a cool opportunity. TAPS is people who have lost someone through the military and any bit of light we could shine on their situation and just bring a little bit of joy to them, I think goes a long way, so that's what we were trying to do."

There's a 70% chance of rain for Sunday, how do you think that affects the game and how do you like playing in the rain?

"I think it'll affect the game very little. I think elements are what they are. Wind, rain, snow, whatever it is we've played in just about everything this year in practice, so I think we're ready for the game. We practiced out there in it today. It didn't seem too crazy, but we'll deal with whatever's dealt to us."

Tua was telling Miami media Wednesday that he's been watching the film of you because of the offense that you run and this system is the system that he's running now. Have you ever had any kind of interaction with him at all? Have you even met him?

"No, I haven't. I've watched a good amount of his film too. He plays very well on this offense. He's smooth in it."

Kyle said that when RB Jordan Mason came in at the end of the game, he didn't want to put all that pressure on him to have to try and get first downs at the end, but he handled it well. What was he like in the huddle?

"He was awesome. The one glove man. I didn't know he wore one glove until he was in the huddle with us and it kind of caught me off guard a little bit, but I didn't want to say it at the time, so I saved it for after the game. But yeah, J.P. did a great job. He came in, was real calm. For a rookie to come in that situation and run the clock out like that, getting a couple crucial first downs that was some big stuff."

What's the story on the glove?

"You've have to ask him about that one, but I noticed it on the field I was like I don't want to ask him right now."

What makes WR Jauan Jennings so special on third down?

"A lot of things. I think it starts with his competitiveness. What he shows in practice every day, he wants the ball. I think as a quarterback you could see that in a receiver if he wants the ball or if he doesn't. If a guy has a clear out route and he's just running it to clear out, there's a difference between that and a guy who's running it to get the ball and Jauan always wants the ball and that's the type of guy I want to throw it to. I think he's done a great job on third down. A lot of our guys have done a good job getting open verse man-to-man and finding the soft spots versus zone, but Jauan's really done great for this."

We haven't seen a back as big as Jordan Mason, I think he's 224lbs, in this offense. You have a closer look at it when he's kind of knocking the soul out of a defense to salt the game away. What does that feel like from your vantage point and what kind of boost do you guys get in the huddle after he has one of those kind of stampeding runs?

"Big Boost. It's starting to become pretty regular for him too. He's just so strong. He's explosive, has a low center of gravity and his cuts are just aggressive. It's everything you want in a running back, honestly. He makes it tough on defenses and I think those are body blows that wear on you in the fourth quarter, so it'll be interesting to see a full game with him."

Fake 16 stutters Z Oak Left has been highly effective. When you call that, do you feel like this is probably going to be a big play?

"Yes, sometimes. I feel that way about just about every play or at least I try to get this confidence going in the huddle, but yeah, that play gets me pretty fired up. I've always been a big fan of it, going back even a couple years, it's always been good for us."

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans


DL Nick Bosa, player of the month. I'm sure you're not surprised, but aside from the numbers, what does he bring to the defense?

"I think Nick, most of all, he brings a confidence and a true playmaker that every defense needs. Every defense, if you're going to be a great defense, you need that guy on the edge who can rush the passer, who can get at the quarterback at very critical moments, at all times throughout the game. And that's what Nick provides for us, he can go close out games like he did in our last game versus the Saints and that's what Nick provides. He's a big-time playmaker in his league, no matter who he goes against, he always has a chance to win, so that's what he brings to our team."

The sacks are noticeable and all that, but how about the run defense? You guys have the top run defense in the league and how much a part does he play in that?

"Yeah, for all of our defensive lineman, like you can't rush a passer unless you stop the run, so the run game is always our first priority and Nick is one of our better guys at setting the edge, resetting the line of scrimmage and being able to make plays as well. Nick is your all-around player, when it comes to the run game, pass game, he can do it all and that's what makes him a special player."

I'm sure you've seen all the some of the mic'd up things that are done with Nick and some of the things that he says out there. Has he ever said anything during the course of the game that made you smile or laugh or are you too intense for that?

"No, we always keep it light, keep it fun. Nick is the same person. That's what's cool about him. Like the game, the moment is not too big and he doesn't have to try to be someone that he's not. So he's himself just like he is at practice. He's the same, has a little humor about himself and he keeps it fun. I think that allows him to play the way he plays because he's just loose. He understands his opponent, understands who he's going against and he knows how to beat that guy. And he has fun winning, so it's always fun to see Nick making plays because I'm always trying to put him in positions to make even more plays. I'm always talking to him about, Hey, what can we do now? Change things up to get him in a different position to be able to make plays."

The Dolphins seem to have an ability to not only push the ball down the field, but get the ball out quick, which would seem to kind of run counter on each other. I realize a lot of that's intermediate stuff, but how are they able to kind of walk that line?

"I think the Dolphins, their offense is very efficient because of the quarterback. [Miami Dolphins QB] Tua [Tagovailoa] is very efficient at not only getting the ball out quick, but the accuracy and the way he delivers the ball that allows the offense to be as efficient as they are. And you add the playmakers in that he has with 10 [Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill], 17 [Miami Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle], 31 [Miami Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert], those guys all have elite speed and big-time playmaking ability where they can take an intermediate throw and they can make a guy miss and go to the house. Not all offenses have that, I think that's where this offense really lights it up because each throw, it doesn't have to be a 50-yard bomb down the field, it can be a screen behind the line of scrimmage, and these guys have the speed and the playmaking ability to make guys miss and go to the house."

When you watch their offense on film, do you say that's our offensive scheme or does it look different?

"Yeah, I mean it is. It's our offensive scheme and [Miami Dolphins Head Coach Mike] McDaniel does a really good job of mixing things up. Not too many plays are the same. He finds a way to get different players in different positions, a lot of different looks, a lot of different motions to get defenses confused and looking at all these things that are going on, so he does a good job of creating space. By moving guys around, making guys have to communicate and he hits you with any type of play, whether it's run game, pass game, he makes the play action marry up with the run game, which makes it even more difficult, so just shout out to McDaniel. He's doing a really good job there."

What's the challenge there in knowing that as you prepare your guys, the stuff that they put on film could be stuff that they're using to set up something completely different?

"Yeah, there's a lot of things that he probably can do that we haven't seen, so a lot of things you can't worry about. For us, it always goes back, you probably hear me say this every week, but it goes back to us and just playing our fundamentals, our technique and being exactly where we're supposed to be. Like that doesn't change for us each week and I want to keep it consistent with our guys to make sure we're playing as fast as we can play, so really, it doesn't matter what they do or what they present. It doesn't matter, it's about us and how we handle those things."

I know he's the fastest receiver in the league, but what is it about Tyreek and his speed that just makes him such a threat?

"His speed is just different from anybody you've seen in the NFL. There are fast guys in the NFL, but then there's Tyreek's speed and it's just on another level. Nobody runs as fast as him. The routes that he's able to run, like he's behind the line of scrimmage and he's able to run deep routes from there and it's impressive. It's impressive and it's a special talent that he has. No one else in the league has that ability that Tyreek has, his ability to separate and not only is it just his speed, but he is very strong. When he gets the ball in his hands, he is a very strong runner and he can bounce off of tackles and make guys miss."

You've had DL Arik Armstead back for three practices now. How does he look, first of all, and how important can it be to have him for the stretch run?

"It's good to have Armstead back out at practice. It's just good to see him, what he's battled through to get back. It's been a long road for him, so it's just good to have him back out there and if we can have him on Sunday, of course that's a plus for us. If we get an all-pro player who can help our defense that would be a huge lift for us, so I'm excited for Armstead and just him working his way back in."

The only criticism of your defense recently will be that when you played the Chiefs, one of the best offenses in the NFL, they scored 44. This is another high-powered offense, what did you guys learn or take away from that Chiefs experience that you can apply on Sunday?

"From the Chiefs game, guys just have to do their job and tackle. I'd give you more detail, but it's simple as that. In the Chiefs game, what we didn't do, we didn't get off the field on third down because we didn't make plays, we busted coverages. We weren't where we supposed to be. We didn't do our job and when you don't do your job consistently, you'll get embarrassed as we did in that Chiefs game. And it's nothing that they did that surprised us, it's guys just being on it each and every snap."

The way you've played since then though, would indicate that that game, I don't if it had a positive effect, but you guys took the right things out of it.

"Yeah, each week is different for me. Each week is different. We had a bad week. It happens in the NFL. It happens, you have bad weeks and that's what I look at the Chiefs game was it was a bad week and we did not play up to our standard, so it's about our guys holding up our standard each and every week. And if we do that, we make it tough on offenses to go against us because we're just doing what we're supposed to do, not anybody playing hero ball or doing anything special, it's just guys just being where they're supposed to be. Playing together, playing for each other, when we do that, we're a special unit."

What's the key on those intermediate crossers? Is it LB Fred Warner and LB Dre Greenlaw getting back deep enough to kind of disrupt things in the middle there?

"I think with those, it's not only the linebackers, it's safeties, it's corners, it's all the back seven guys being exactly where they're supposed to be. Playing with the proper depth, and just being exactly where they're supposed to be, whichever coverage we play, just being detailed and being where you're supposed to be in coverage and nobody has to do more than they're asked to do and I think that's how you handle all the intermediate stuff."

Getting all the practice you get against that in training camp, do you kind of feel that your defense is well versed in that sort of attack?

"When you look at our defense, I think we're ready for whatever may come our way. I know the Dolphins are a really good offense, but it's things that we've seen before. And the way they're being effective, I said they are being efficient with timing, with placement of the ball, with accuracy. They are on it. As well as they're on it, defensively, we have to be on it 10 times better as they are on it and if we do that we'll like the results of the game."

Does your familiarity with the players and the scheme make it easier to prepare or make it even more challenging?

"It doesn't really cross my mind. Once we step out there, it's not about those guys, it doesn't matter. Guys got on Dolphins jerseys and we have to be what we're supposed to be. Play physical, play fast, play together and relentless. Everything else will take care of itself. It really doesn't matter who's under the helmet across from us. We're just excited to play another football game. We're excited to go out here in front of our fans and put out a good performance for them."

Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster


When you face those teams that put six men on the line of scrimmage, it's pretty obvious, I guess what the challenges are to run against it, but is it possible to sustain success when you're outnumbered like that? Or what are you trying to do? What's your approach?

"Yeah, there are six on the line, but it's still an eight-man box or seven-man box depending on what they decide to play coverage-wise, so you just attack it like you attack any other defense with the techniques, what they present, how they do it. We had it with the Chargers, we had it against Arizona. We've had it in numerous games, even the Saints did it to a degree, sort of five on the line of scrimmage, different than they've done, but every defense presents challenges. You're looking at how you attack the front, how you attack the coverages, how you're going to block support, how it ties in with your passing game, all those things, so it's a little different, but we've still managed to find a way and as more teams do it to you, you see more teams trying different things. Everybody's doing different things, so you find, oh, that's a good idea and along those lines. Over the course of time, every front presents challenges. It could be just a straight four-down line, a five-down line, six-down, whatever it is, pressures, movements. There's just always something that's a challenge every week and so this week, the style of defense that they play, they play it very well and what you mentioned is a challenge."

How close are you with Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and how proud are you of the success he's had so far?

"Yeah, Mike, I was very fortunate. Mike and I worked together in 2010 without going through the whole history, but I was in his wedding actually when he got married. And I was one of his groomsmen. I was the oldest groomsmen for sure, but I was in the wedding and I think I acted the youngest at the time. It was fun, but yeah, Mike and I grew very close. It was a great to get to know him because he's instrumental in [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I's relationship, because I think that in 2011 when he got there, he gravitated to the offensive line room, the story he's been told before and so he listened and learned whatever he had to. He had some background in offense line play and run game, but he and I just learned together and we worked together closely, but what happened on gameplan days is that I would sit in my office and I'd be doing the game planning and doing the things for the offensive line, and Kyle would be in his office doing the thing for the passing game, and Mike would take the run list down to Kyle, so Mike was like a ping pong ball between me and Kyle. And half the time, if Kyle didn't like the ideas I was going down there with, he'd yell at Mike for it. Then Mike would come back and say, 'well, Kyle didn't like it,' so he kind of saved mine and Kyle's relationship because we didn't have to argue. I'd yell at him, 'well, you go back and tell him,' and back and forth like that. It wasn't that bad, but that's what Mike's role was for us and he was able to work between the two of us and he learned in the process. I loved what Mike did too also in Washington, going back there, was that he would come in on Monday all fired up because he'd been working ahead. He'd been taking off all of the runs of the upcoming week's team and going into non-breakdown games and games that we had talked about researching and he'd come in with 20 ideas. And I hadn't even graded the tape from the previous game. I said, Mike, just shut up, man, just give me a minute to rest. And he said, 'oh, you have to look at this. You have to try this. This is a really cool idea,' and so on and so forth. We forged a really good relationship at that point. It was professional and it was personal as well and we've remained good friends."

I take it you're not surprised with how well he's doing in Miami.

"I'm not surprised with what he's done. No, Mike is, is a very talented guy and it's only a matter of time before guys like that, with that much talent get an opportunity."

How pleasing was it to when you went back and looked at it on the film the last 6:18? You didn't give the ball back, they knew you were going to run, you ran it anyway. For an offensive line coach, that has to be Nirvana?

"We didn't give up the sacks, but [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] got hit too much on Sunday, so there was a lot of reasons to be upset, but that last 6:18 wiped it all away from me. You just take that ball and they kind of know what's coming. It's not bragging, I don't ever want to come across as that guy saying, 'oh, hooray for us', but it is nice to be able to accomplish something like that. You just don't want your defense to have to go back on the field. You want to be able to ice a game, we call it four-minute offense. You like to get that ball with four minutes left, get a couple first downs, get it to the two-minute warning, and if they've used their timeouts, you can kneel it out, so the four-minute offense is a big part of it. To do it with six minutes left is really good. I always laughed when I coached in Tampa and those great defenses in the years in Tampa with [HOF NFL head coach] Tony Dungy and [former NFL coach] Monte Kiffin running the Defense, and obviously [Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike] Tomlin and all those guys were there. The classic was that we always would say we started four-minute offense if we had a three-point lead, so it might be the middle of the third quarter, we'd be running the ball every single down, just running it out, because we knew they weren't going to score on the defense. [Former NFL head coach] Brian Billick did that when he was in Baltimore when he had that great defense the year they won the Super Bowl. Man, they'd get a three-point lead, you're grinding it out, it's always fun to be able to do that. It's a lot of satisfaction in a game where we really hadn't run the ball very well, hadn't protected, it was a battle, it was a grind. It was a tough, hard-fought game between two really physical football teams and so to be able to do that at the end was pretty cool."

We've asked you about RB Jordan Mason in the past and you said we have to make sure he's ready for the bright lights and the big moment. Did he answer some of those questions at the end?

"He did a great job. I think Kyle mentioned it, the only worry is you put him in there and hold onto the football. You've been sitting on the sideline all day and then all of a sudden, you're out there, but they practice ball security all the time, Coach [Bobby] Turner, [assistant head coach/running backs] coach [Anthony] Lynn do a great job with that and I said it before, these guys have worked really hard. The one about thing about Mace is, man, he's busted his butt all year long, done a great job, been prepared for an opportunity. When he gets the opportunities, he's making the most of it, so I'm really excited for him and he did a nice job in that moment. It was nice to be able to get [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] out, have a guy in there that was able to handle it and do the running and pound it out in those last six minutes."

I'm sure both him and RB Ty Davis-Price are in the mix this week to get some carries. How does that decision-making process go among you and Anthony and Bobby and Kyle about which young guy gets the most opportunities on offense?

"Well, that's a decision that we all.. we were in there talking today and we're watching the tape and you see him make a run and you ask a question, how's this guy doing? How does he seem in the meeting room this week? How's he doing with the gameplan? And it kind of levels itself off. You say this guy's running better, it really is kind of a collaborative effort. We just talk it out and then during the game it's like, Hey, somebody seems to have a hot hand or somebody doesn't. He's missed a hole or he tweaked something on special teams, you just don't know. There's a lot of variables, so we'll just see how it goes, how it plays out."

The block that TE Tyler Kroft had on WR Deebo Samuel's touchdown run against the Cardinals where he moves around and has the skate technique. How long have you coached that or how long has that kind of been around as far you know?

"I don't know. I hesitate to ever say somebody, especially if I'm around it, invented anything because it was probably done before for sure, but that technique and whatever was done, I've seen it in various forms and shapes and that play, I remember seeing it back. I think it's when [former NFL head coach Gary] Kubiak was in Houston, I don't know how long they've been doing it and I don't know if they originated it, but yeah, it's a cool technique. It's a nice way teams have done it before where you start one way, come back the other way, setting up a play. It's a play off of a play and you're trying to give a little fake like you're doing one thing and get them to play it, then you come back and do something else, so it's a cool technique. It's a cool play when it works."

It's worked quite a bit.

"Yeah, it's been a good play for us and so much of some plays in football are predicated on the look and sometimes you wait, I remember we a similar play against the Rams a couple year ago. We must have called three plays, trying to get that play run, but we could only run it against a certain look and so we kept running these other plays, chasing, trying to get that play run. And we never did get it run because the look never presented. You're like, wait, we can't keep calling these other plays. We're trying to get that play called, but we need this look and we're not getting it, so we have to get away from it, so a lot goes into it, it's a cool play, it's a cool technique when it works. It's a good deal."

How would you describe everyone's energy out in the rain today?

"Oh, it was great. Sometimes the little change, the cold weather, rain, as long as you're not doing it every day. It's kind of a little adversity, the guys were great. It was a very energetic practice today. Luckily for us, the fields were in really good shape, so even though it'd been raining, that's always the concern. The rain is one thing in dealing with a wet ball and sloppy, but it's the field and if the field gets unmanageable, then you start worrying about injury and things like that. Fortunately, we came out of it in pretty good shape and it was great energy today. Really good energy."



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