Jimmy Garoppolo knows he has to 'be better' as regular season approaches

Jimmy Garoppolo knows he has to 'be better' as regular season approaches

DENVER — The 49ers' offensive line was without starting guard Mike Person and center Weston Richburg which may have made Jimmy Garoppolo’s preseason debut a little more challenging.

When asked if he had any hesitation putting Garoppolo behind a line without those key pieces coach Kyle Shanahan replied very succinctly.

“No. Not at all," Shanahan said after the 49ers' 24-15 win over the Broncos on Monday night at Mile High Stadium.

Both Broncos defensive ends Von Miller and Bradley Chubb showed their ability to disrupt the opposing offense. Shanahan explained the challenge of facing the two talented pass rushers but refused to criticize his offensive line on the small sample size.

“I think that’s how everyone looks when you go against [Bradley] Chubb and Von Miller,” Shanahan said. “We had some third downs and they got us in a couple tees and we had one long developing play that you take a risk for a double move on the back coming and they got us.

“The next time, they blocked and got rid of it. We had two tipped passes. I think that’s like 10 plays, so I’m not going to sit and judge each individual for just 10 plays. I’d like to let them play longer but I can’t."

Garoppolo had a rough night, completing just one of his six attempts for no yards and one interception, but he put the onus on himself for the lack of production.

“I think those guys did a pretty good job up front,” Garoppolo said. “For the most part, it was a clean pocket. I only got hit like once maybe. For the most part it was pretty good up front. I just personally have to be better.”

Garoppolo explained that his surgically repaired knee did not have an effect on his confidence in the pocket. He is not concerned about taking that first hit.

“I think those will just come naturally,” Garoppolo said. “It’s football, and you know what you sign up for and everything, so I think there's value here in wanting that. I think I’ll build that in due time.”

[RELATED: 49ers' Mostert showing he's more than special teams ace]

Despite the bad night, Garoppolo found the positive in knocking the rust off and getting those first few snaps back under the bright lights out of the way. He and the offense will have another chance to get a rhythm together in a few days when they play their third exhibition game in Kansas City on Saturday.

“Just playing positive,” Garoppolo said. “We’ll go back and watch the film and everything, but I think like I said up front, I think those guys did a pretty good job of holding up. I really didn't get hit very much, so I appreciate them for that.”

Daniel Brunskill's breakout shines spotlight on 49ers' practice squad

Daniel Brunskill's breakout shines spotlight on 49ers' practice squad

San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill spent the past two seasons on the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons.

Brunskill, 25, knows what that's like. It is generally a thankless job. You’re in the NFL, but not really. That’s why Brunskill is officially known as a first-year player, even though he has been in an NFL building non-stop since May of 2017, when he signed with the Falcons as an undrafted rookie.

Players on the practice squad earn $8,000 for every week in that role during the regular season. The rookie minimum salary for players on the 53-man roster is $29,000 a week.

“Those guys work just as hard,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “They do just as much. Sometimes they have to do more, except on Sunday. They don’t make nearly the amount of money, but they are expected to do all the same stuff.”

Brunskill made his first NFL start on Sunday, lining up every snap for the 49ers at right tackle in place of Mike McGlinchey, who is expected to miss four to six games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his knee.

Brunskill’s first start was a success. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just one quarterback hurry in his 36 snaps as a pass blocker.

In the tunnel outside the 49ers’ locker room at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Brunskill called the experience “pretty surreal.”

Then, he remembered from whence he came and devoted much of his time in the spotlight to bring attention to those on the 49ers’ 10-player practice squad, especially the guy who wore No. 99 and practiced as if he were Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

“I want to give a shout-out to all the P-squad guys because they stepped up big this week,” Brunskill said. “Kevin Givens and Jeremiah Valoaga really stepped up on the scout team defense to give us that D-line look.'

“Givens was No. 99. So he was getting after us and he did a great job of it. That was pretty awesome just to get us ready for that type of look. He did a tremendous job, no doubt.”

In addition to Givens and Valoaga, the two defensive linemen on the 49ers’ practice squad, Brunskill went on to name each of the other members of the unit: linebackers Elijah Lee and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, cornerback Teez Tabor, wide receiver Malik Henry, tight end Daniel Helm, offensive linemen Ross Reynolds, Will Holden and Jaryd Jones-Smith.

“This team is amazing and one of the best things about it is it’s a family,” Brunskill said. “Every guy is supportive. Every guy is there for you. Every guy has your back.”

Brunskill attended San Diego State as a walk-on tight end. He finally earned a scholarship after moving to offensive tackle before his redshirt junior season. On Sunday, he found himself lining up on occasion across from Donald, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time first-team All-Pro.

“It was pretty awesome to say I’d be able to go against one of the guys who’s going to be coveted as one of the best players to ever play this game,” Brunskill said. “That’s pretty awesome to say that I blocked that guy before and to go against him. And he is a tremendous player, no doubt.”

[RELATED: 49ers' improved pass defense evident throughout 5-0 start]

Donald registered two sacks against the 49ers, but neither came during his head-to-head matchups against Brunskill.

Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks


Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks

The 49ers really messed with the Rams' heads.

In the wake of Los Angeles' 20-7 loss to San Francisco in Week 6, the Rams first traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, and then made an even bigger move.

The Jaguars traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams in exchange for two first-round and one fourth-round draft pick.

[RELATED: Why gap between 49ers, Rams won't close after Ramsey trade]

Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the game, and has widely been rumored to be on the trade block ever since getting into a sideline confrontation with Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone in Week 2.

The All-Pro cornerback got his wish and got out of Jacksonville. The 49ers will see him in Week 16 when the Rams visit Levi's Stadium.