49ers

49ers' George Kittle uses old Jimmy Garoppolo photos as Zoom background

49ers' George Kittle uses old Jimmy Garoppolo photos as Zoom background

Hey George Kittle, what was Jimmy Garoppolo's chin line like back in middle school? Asking for a friend.

Why are we talking about Jimmy G, the middle school student?

Because, according to 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, the All-Pro tight end has been busting out old images of his quarterback during team Zoom meetings.

"Recently, we've been doing offensive skill meetings together where [49ers coach] Kyle [Shanahan] has been running the meetings himself," Juszczyk said Tuesday during a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "And we usually start the day with some banter. Jimmy, he's always involved. We have a very close-knit group and we can all poke fun at each other. People love throwing up old pictures as their background. Kittle is the king of it, as you would imagine, of always keeping things light and putting up pictures of Jimmy from middle school or high school prom or whoever it is. So, we have a good time with it, but then we always buckle down and we get a lot of really good work in."

That's amazing. We want to know where Kittle got the images. And we need screenshots from these Zoom meetings.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Aside from Kittle embarrassing Garoppolo, Juszczyk went into great detail about the 49ers' Zoom meeting during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"We've done a number of different things," Juszczyk said. "We've had position meetings where I've been with the running backs and it's just us. Kyle loves to come in and interrupt and crack some jokes and just kind of keep things loose, and really just check in with us on a personal level, just see how everyone's doing, what's going on at home, kind of get away from the football for a second. Other than that, we're football all the way in our running back meetings."

Zoom meetings can never replace on-field work, but Juszczyk is enjoying the change of pace.

"It's been super refreshing, to be totally honest with you, how much work we have been getting done in these Zoom meetings and how much I've been able to learn going into my eighth year and playing in this offense for quite a while now," Juszczyk said. "We've really been able to dive into the nitty gritty and the details of this offense because we don't have anything that we're really preparing for that ... we don't have practice where we have to get ready for a certain script and we have to run these plays this week, so we have to install them quickly and we can't really go over them to thoroughly.

"That's not the case right now. We can really go through everything thoroughly and learn as an entire group, where wide receivers are learning exactly what the tight ends are being coached when we're in these offensive skill meetings with Kyle. And across the board, everybody is learning what everyone else is learning. So it has been refreshing and I think it has been really productive."

[RELATED: Juszczyk expects Garoppolo to be better]

No one knows when the 49ers players will be able to return to the training facility in Santa Clara, but for the time being, they are still learning the playbook and getting to look at embarrassing photos of Jimmy G.

So, at least the quarantine hasn't been boring for the 49ers.

Raheem Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers despite trade request

Raheem Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers despite trade request

After bursting onto the scene with a tremendous stretch during the latter portion of the 49ers' 2019 season, Raheem Mostert didn't have the offseason he expected coming off the field after San Francisco's loss in Super Bowl LIV.

The coronavirus pandemic put a wrench into everyone's plans, and Mostert had to think long and hard about whether he would play this coming season -- which, he will. But beyond that, he sought a salary increase commensurate with his level of production as compared to the other running backs on the roster. Mostert lacked leverage in contract negotiations with the team, though, and ultimately requested a trade.

That request wasn't received kindly by general manager John Lynch, but eventually was rescinded after the 49ers re-worked his contract with incentives that could significantly increase his 2020 salary. Mostert spoke with reporters Wednesday, and in addition to expressing his desire to prove last season was not a flash in the pan, he provided some additional context behind the contract negotiations (h/t 49ers Web Zone).

"It was long, and (there were) difficulties," Mostert explained. "But in the end, we were able to sit down and have communication, and it's a blessing to be here. It's one of those things where I knew it was going to be right regardless of how it played out. I knew that, in the end, it was going to be all right, and I was still going to be a Niner no matter what."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

From that, it would appear Mostert knew the reality of the situation, and despite issuing a formal trade request, he never actually believed it would amount to him being moved. In relating the disagreement, Mostert compared the back-and-forth to brotherly love.

"This is a family, and we all understand that," he continued. "As you can see, what we've been through these past three, four years with the organization, going 6-10, then the following year, 4-12, and then the Super Bowl run last year, it just tells you that this is a family-based organization.

"We all really pride ourselves on being family. What family doesn't have those problems? I argue with my little brother. It's one of those things where I argue with him, but I also love him at the same time. That's what's going on here.

"We eventually got it fixed, and like I said, it's a blessing, and I'm glad to be here."

[RELATED: McKinnon gives Jimmy G another option in 49ers' offense]

Though the odds were always in favor of Mostert remaining with San Francisco, there's no question both he and the 49ers are better off having worked things out. If all goes as they hope, both sides will be more than happy with the result.

49ers' Raheem Mostert sets goal to prove he's 'a bad mo-fo' this season

49ers' Raheem Mostert sets goal to prove he's 'a bad mo-fo' this season

Raheem Mostert, a player who has zero starts in his 50-game NFL career, has no problem referring to himself as a starting running back.

Actually, he proved to be more of a finisher last season.

Mostert finished the regular season as the 49ers' leading rusher. And as he enters his third training camp with the 49ers, he said he has one simple goal.

“When I step onto that field,” Mostert said, “I want everybody to say, ‘That’s a bad mo-fo.’”

Everybody was saying that in January, when Mostert produced the mother of all games in the NFC Championship Game. He had the biggest day from a running back in franchise history when he gained 220 yards with four touchdowns in the 49ers’ victory over the Green Bay Packers to send the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Mostert saw NFL regular-season action with four different teams before finishing the 2016 season with the 49ers. In his first three years, he had a total of eight rushing attempts. He finally earned a chance in 2018 and gained 261 yards on 34 attempts.

Last season, he broke out from being considered solely a special-teams ace. Mostert gained a team-leading 772 yards and eight touchdowns on 137 attempts.

In the offseason, he worked on getting his body prepared for the rigors of an increased workload by improving his strength and body mass. Mostert figures to be the headliner of a group of running backs that includes Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson.

“I've got to prepare myself because I am the starting running back,” said Mostert, who agreed to a reworked contract that added incentives to his deal to pay him accordingly if he again leads the team in rushing.

Mostert later clarified that he projects himself as a starter just as 49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner believes the team’s depth chart at running back is full of starting-caliber players.

[RELATEDMostert explains tough decision to play 2020 NFL season]

But, actually, Mostert’s next starting assignment will be his first. He said he is not too concerned whether he is on the field for the first snap of the game.

“Truthfully, it doesn’t make any difference,” Mostert said. “I got to have that mindset that I am the starter, but when it comes down to it, we have five, six different starters in our room.

“I do feel I’m the starter. (That’s) no dig to anyone in the room. We’re all brothers and that’s our approach.”