49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo admits he's a bad texter with George Kittle

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo admits he's a bad texter with George Kittle

Scandal rocked the 49ers' locker room Wednesday in the lead-up to Super Bowl LIV, as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo admitted to reporters that he is, indeed, "the worst texter of all time."

That's an over-sell, as are all pitches you'll see and hear from sports-adjacent spokespeople at Super Bowl Radio Row in Miami this week. But Garoppolo didn't exactly make a strong case for himself when For The Win's Andy Nesbitt asked the QB to defend himself from tight end George Kittle's allegations. 

"That's very true," Garoppolo admitted, folding under less pressure than he'll see from the Kansas City Chiefs' improving defense in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. 

"There's a little asterisk around there because I will get back to him most of the time, it just happens three hours later than [when] he texted me. Yeah, I don't know, I'm just bad at it, man. I'll look at my phone, say, 'Alright, I'll text you in two minutes,' put it down. And then the next day comes and I'm like, 'Damn.' But yeah, he keeps me honest about it."

Franchise quarterbacks: They're just like you and me. 

Kittle chirped Garoppolo's texting abilities -- or, more appropriately, his lack thereof -- Monday at Super Bowl Opening Night, telling reporters that Garoppolo routinely sins by leaving his "read" receipts when he doesn't respond to the tight end's messages. 

Though the two can't quite click in their text messages, they have on the field since Garoppolo joined the 49ers on Halloween 2017. Garoppolo has targeted Kittle 146 times in the QB's 24 regular-season starts with the 49ers, which is far more than any other San Francisco receiver during that time.

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Their connection has been quiet this postseason, however, with Kittle catching just four combined passes for 35 yards in the divisional round and NFC Championship Game. The 49ers ran the ball 89 times in two playoff games en route to the Super Bowl, but the Chiefs aren't expecting that to continue at Hard Rock Stadium. 

If the 49ers leave Miami with their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, perhaps Garoppolo will start to promptly respond to Kittle's texts. Of course, if a ring doesn't change things, then nothing will. 

How Jalen Hurd's physicality has stood out to 49ers' Raheem Mostert

How Jalen Hurd's physicality has stood out to 49ers' Raheem Mostert

Jalen Hurd only played in the preseason last year before a back injury ultimately cut short his rookie season, but the 49ers wide receiver nonetheless flashed intriguing potential with a two-touchdown performance against the Dallas Cowboys.

But Hurd's potential as a blocker is what most excites 49ers running back Raheem Mostert.

"[He's] gonna go out there and he's gonna put his all, especially with what I've seen these past couple years when he's been healthy," Mostert said of Hurd on Wednesday when he was asked about the 49ers' big receivers and their blocking ability. "Going out there, and trying to de-cleat somebody. That's inspiring in itself as a running back because you know that he's gonna do his job to the best of his ability, and he's gonna put his body out there on the line. Why not do the same as a runner?"

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

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Hurd certainly has the measurables to be an effective run blocker. He also played running back at Tennessee before transitioning to wide receiver when he transferred to Baylor, checking the important "positional versatility" box for coach Kyle Shanahan.

The 49ers spoke openly of how much they value blocking contributions from skill-position players all along the way to Super Bowl LIV, and the role their wide receivers and tight ends played in San Francisco rushing for more yards (2,305) than any team but the Baltimore Ravens in the regular season. Shanahan said George Kittle set the tone in that regard.

“I mean, he had more yards in the pass game as a tight end in the history of the NFL [in 2018],” Shanahan said of the tight end in January. “So, any time you have a guy like that who's one of the best players on your team who's always just talking about running the ball and playing the physicality in the game and giving everything you can, it helps you hold everyone else a lot more accountable, and rarely do you have to."

[RELATED: Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers 'no matter what']

Can Hurd provide similar value during his first full NFL season in 2020? He has the size, and Mostert believes Hurd definitely has the skills.

"It's nice to see those guys out there coming back, especially Jalen, because he is a bigger receiver and he's more physical," Mostert continued. "He's one of -- probably the most physical receiver I've seen, tape-wise and even going out there practicing. It's nice to see him back."

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."

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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.