How Jimmy Garoppolo thrived under pressure in 49ers' win vs. Steelers

How Jimmy Garoppolo thrived under pressure in 49ers' win vs. Steelers

SANTA CLARA — One week after 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suggested that it might be good for him to get hit, he got exactly that in the team’s 24-20 win over the Steelers. 

“Yeah, it’s good to get hit, I guess,” Garoppolo said after the team’s Week 2 victory in Cincinnati. “It sounds weird to say, but yeah.”

The Steelers defense got through the Joe Staley-less offensive line Sunday to hit Garoppolo eight times and sack him once for nine yards. Garoppolo might have had his most impressive show of pocket presence in his career. He even made several completions as he was being hit, or with defenders in his face. 

Garoppolo finished the day completing 23 of his 32 pass attempts for 277 yards. He threw one touchdown pass and two interceptions, giving him a 82.4 rating. 

After the game cornerback Richard Sherman joked about Garoppolo’s affinity for getting hit. 

“He loves it,” Sherman said with a laugh. “He loves it. He was strong. He was persevering. He likes getting hit, I don’t know why. You know, not every quarterback likes it. It kind of wakes him up and I think it didn’t bother him throughout the game. 

“Obviously he stayed poised especially on the game-winning drive, game-winning touchdown.”

When asked if Sheman’s statement actually rang true, Garoppolo confirmed with a little chuckle it that did.

“I’ve been told that before,” Garoppolo said. “Yeah, I don’t know. I’m just a football player and it’s part of the game. Take it as you go I guess.” 

Garoppolo’s perfomance under pressure from the Steelers defense shows a marked improvement from his first preseason outing where he seemed to be avoiding contact at all costs. Garoppolo admitted that his surgically repaired knee affected his play at the time. 

“I think back in OTAs and everything it was effecting me but now, I haven’t had any issues with it,” Garoppolo said.  

Coach Kyle Shananan was pleased with his quarterback’s performance noting that Garoppolo played under pressure much of the game. Shanahan also was impressed with Garoppolo’s ability to move forward from the turnovers. 

“I thought Jimmy played well,” Shanahan said. “He was put in some tough situations with all the turnovers. I think he had two picks, but they seemed like pretty good throws. Just went off those guys hands a little bit. He hung in there, took some big hits, made some big throws and when we did give him the time, he didn’t miss much.”

Like Sherman, Shahanan thinks a little bit of physicality has done Garoppolo some good. The past two games have really boosted the quarterback’s confidence.

“I think it’s huge, always for a quarterback and anyone,” Shanahan said. “With him coming off the ACL, it’s been longer. You don’t hit guys in practice, so you’re going to get in the games, and I think sometimes the more Jimmy gets hit, the better he does. He responded to it well and played very tough.”

[RELATED: Pettis redeems himself in 49ers' win]

After all of the take downs, Garoppolo reports that he is still feeling healthy. There might, however, be one variable in play for how he feels. 

“Feeling awesome, we got the win man,” Garoppolo said. “Whenever you get the win, you feel good.”

George Kittle returns to practice, expected to play vs. Washington

George Kittle returns to practice, expected to play vs. Washington

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers tight end George Kittle showed up on the injury report with a groin strain last Friday. Two days later, he looked completely healthy going up against the Los Angeles Rams.

Kittle was held out of practice on Wednesday, but he returned to limited work during the 49ers’ padded work on Thursday at their team facility. Kittle downplayed the team’s report of his physical condition and is expected to play Sunday against Washington.

Kittle caught eight passes for 103 yards in the 49ers’ 20-7 victory over the Rams on Sunday.

However, the 49ers had seven players who did not participate in Thursday's practice. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon remain out of action.

[RELATED: McGlinchey had tough time watching 49ers' win from home]

Running back Raheem Mostert (knee), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and nose tackle D.J. Jones (hamstring) sustained injuries in the 49ers’ win over the Rams that have kept them from practicing thus far this week.

49ers practice report

Did not practice
DT D.J. Jones (hamstring)
FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee)
T Mike McGlinchey (knee)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)
WR Deebo Samuel (groin)
T Joe Staley (fibula)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot)

DE Dee Ford (quadricep)
TE George Kittle (groin)
CB K'Waun Williams (hand)

Washington practice report

Did not practice
S Deshazor Everett (ankle)
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring)
G Wes Martin (chest)  
CB Josh Norman (thigh, hand)
RB Chris Thompson (toe)

TE Vernon Davis (concussion)

Full participation
QB Case Keenum (right shoulder, foot)
RB Adrian Peterson (quadricep)

NFL trade deadline: Position-by-position look at 49ers' plan of attack


NFL trade deadline: Position-by-position look at 49ers' plan of attack

The NFL trade deadline is set for Tuesday, Oct. 29. But some teams, such as the Los Angeles Rams, did not wait until the last minute. There were a flurry of trades Tuesday – a full two weeks before the deadline.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have not made a trade since a couple of deals on the third day of the NFL draft in late-April.

Still, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan are looking forward to adding multiple starting players to their lineup in the coming weeks.

No, the 49ers are not expecting to acquire a player or two from outside the organization at any cost. Instead, they expect to shore up some areas of their team with the return of key players from injuries.

The 49ers expect to fortify their lineup with the returns of offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and slot receiver Trent Taylor.

Lynch and Shanahan said the club is always looking to improve, but they always will weigh the short-term benefit and the long-term advantage of any trade.

Here's a position-by-position look at the 49ers’ prospects for making a trade