San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is using the criticism regarding his lesser workload to motivate him as he, and his team, prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
Critics point to the numbers, where it shows that Garoppolo attempted the fourth-fewest passes ever in an NFL postseason game, when he did so during the 49ers’ victory in the NFC Conference Championship game.
Garoppolo has heard the detractors, and is using that as motivation.
“Everyone has different ways to get motivated, and very similar to Sherm, I do the same thing,” Garoppolo said, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “I hear all the stuff and everything, but you can’t put that all out there all the time. You have to do with it what you will and take it for what it is. Just at the end of the day, you’ve got to go out there and play football.”
The 49ers going with a heavy run approach is part of the gameplan, and many of Garoppolo’s teammates are shocked about the criticism he has been receiving for simply following the gameplan.
“That’s wild that he takes criticism for that,” 49ers’ left tackle Joe Staley said. “We won the game. We were doing what we needed to do to win the game, and that’s the main point of an NFL football game. I think he would be pretty sad if he threw 450 and we lost, so it doesn’t really matter.”
“We’ve had plenty of games this season where we’ve really had to lean on him heavily to win the games for us, and he’s come through every single time,” Staley said. “I think that’s a storyline because we didn’t throw the ball obviously the last game, but we didn’t need to. I think that’s also a strength of Kyle, is that he’s going to do whatever it takes to win the game. And whatever he feels is working the best, is what we’re going to do.
“That doesn’t fall on Jim’s shoulders at all. It’s a complete team effort. And I think that’s another example of this team being very selfless in what we’re doing, is that you have the quarterback could care less if he throws 500 yards or if he throws for 10. He just wants to win the game, and the whole entire team is like that.”
Garoppolo is leaning on his experience in preparing for the Super Bowl as he preps for a Super Bowl he will actually play in. Garoppolo won two rings as Tom Brady’s backup during his time with the New England Patriots.
“Just having been through that, and obviously being a starter, it’s a little different with time management and everything,” Garoppolo said. “But just having seen all that, being up close and personal with it, I think all that will help me.”
He may even reach out to Brady for some advice.
“It’s not a bad idea,” Garoppolo said. “The more information that you could get about it and having been through it, it’s a little different as a starter than a backup, so any information I could get would be great.”