SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t need to hear the outside criticism of his play in Super Bowl LIV, because he is his own toughest critic.
The even-keeled 49ers quarterback gave everyone a small glimpse of his mentality regarding the fourth-quarter collapse that kept the 49ers from winning their sixth Lombardi trophy in a 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It sucked,” Garoppolo said. “I mean I wouldn’t want to put anyone in my head that Monday morning just going through all that stuff.”
Just one year ago Garoppolo was at the 49ers facility learning how to run again, focusing on rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee. No one could have predicted the Cinderella story that would follow, nearly finishing with a storybook ending in Miami.
Garoppolo himself had a statistically impressive season, throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in the regular season, but skepticism still swirled. Could he carry the team on his back in the biggest game of his career? Not this time.
But Garoppolo won't shy away from the lights now. The message was clear that he will take ownership of the mistakes he made, while also not forgetting the journey that was the 49ers 2019 season.
“You got to own it,” Garoppolo said. “You got to be a man and attack it right down the middle, right in the face. And just look at the season, I mean there’s a lot of good memories from this year, this team, the players the coaches. It’s a great group to be around. I enjoyed every minute of it. Terrible ending but you got to take the good with the bad.”
Garoppolo remains positive about the team’s future knowing that a high percentage of players will be returning to Santa Clara for the offseason program. He knows that the feeling they all had in the pit of their stomachs as the clock wound down on Sunday night will serve as motivation during the offseason.
“I keep telling myself you got to keep remembering that feeling,” Garoppolo said. “When all the confetti is coming down, just remember that moment and just got to let it fuel you for the offseason. Just come back stronger, more ready for next year.”