SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo is facing the outpouring of criticism head on after 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan called the quarterback's performance against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday his "worst game."
Mike McDaniel, like his quarterback, understands that when the team plays poorly, its critics will be vocal. The offensive coordinator complimented Garoppolo for handling the fall out from the team’s loss to the Colts like a professional.
“He does a very good job handling that stuff because he understands, like we all do and coach Shanahan makes make sure we do, that this is a bottom line business," McDaniel said. "And this just in, the fans of the 49ers want the 49ers to win.”
The expectations for the 49ers are sky high with its talented roster that is only a season and a half removed from a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Add in trading up to the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft to select Trey Lance, the quarterback of the future, and you have a recipe for a very impatient fan base.
McDaniel is aware that when the team is losing, the fanbase will want to see a change and he knows Garoppolo doesn’t take it personally. McDaniel explained that players and coached alike have to give praise the same amount of importance as criticism.
“I know he understands that, guess what, if we lose football games, we're going to get more criticism,” McDaniel said. “That’s what we get paid to do and you don't take it personal. If we don't win football games, there's going to be consequences.
“I think he's done an outstanding job not worrying about any of that this week, specifically, and worrying about how to execute this game plan for the Chicago Bears.”
Garoppolo came into training camp with what many of his coaches and teammates said was the best command of the offense in his five seasons with the 49ers. After a calf injury sidelined him in Week 4, his return a few weeks later occurred in the middle of an atmospheric river that drenched Northern California.
While McDaniel explained that the weather is not an excuse, it was no walk in the park for the offense. Also more than anyone else on the field, the quarterback is praised the most just as he is criticized beyond all other players.
“When you handle the ball every single time, you're going to have games that aren't your best," McDaniel said. "His job is to make sure that that game is the apparition. That game is the exception. It's not the rule, which this week in practice it's felt like that was the case.” The 49ers will try to right the ship with win in Chicago over a Bears team that is facing its own offensive struggles.