49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo using outside criticism as Super Bowl 54 fuel


SANTA CLARA — Richard Sherman is known for calling out critics on social media, his recent “discussion” with Darrelle Revis on Twitter being a perfect case in point. 

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, on the other hand, seems unfazed by critics but claims he does have similarities to the way the veteran cornerback finds his drive. 

“Yeah, Sherm, everyone has different ways to get motivated, and very similar to Sherm I do the same thing,” Garoppolo said. “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.”

There might be outside noise about Garoppolo’s ability to rack up numbers on the stat sheet but he actually had a very productive regular season, throwing for 3,978 yards. That number ranks him fourth in passing yards for a single season in franchise history behind Jeff Garcia (2000: 4,278 yards) and Steve Young (1998: 4,170 and 1993: 4,023) 

Veteran left tackle Joe Staley was a little surprised that Garoppolo even pays attention to the criticism. 

“If he says he sees it, he doesn't show it,” Staley said. “He’s been the same exact person since he's been in here. He prepares the exact same way. We have the utmost confidence in him to do whatever needs to be done. 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.” 

“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.”

In the 49ers' two postseason wins, Garoppolo has only thrown 27 pass attempts, completing 17 for 208 yards and one touchdown. His eight pass attempts in the NFC Championship Game was his lowest total of the season. In contrast, the run game has been highly productive with 47 attempts for 186 yards in the divisional win over the Vikings and 42 attempts for 285 yards in the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. 

Garoppolo has been productive when his number has been called this season. He completed 34 of his 45 attempts for 424 yards and four touchdowns in Week 11 during San Francisco's 36-26 win over the Cardinals. 

Jimmy G's most memorable performance of 2019 might be the team’s 48-46 Week 14 win over the Saints in New Orleans. He connected on 26 of his 35 attempts for 349 yards and four touchdowns in the hostile environment that is the New Orleans Superdome.  

Staley doesn’t understand the criticism of his quarterback and in fact appreciates his attitude, remarking that it’s a reflection of the locker room. The whole team knows that if the run game is working, they are going to stick with it. 

“That doesn't fall on Jim's shoulders at all,” Staley said. “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.”

[RELATED: Juszczyk's versatility brings juice to 49ers' run game]

Garoppolo claims his reaction to hearing the outside criticism has been the same since he was young. 

“I don't know,” Garoppolo said. “I think maybe having two older brothers, you say too much, you keep your mouth shut a little bit. Just, I don't know. I think it just comes for me naturally, how I am.”

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