SANTA CLARA — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, had a valid point after Super Bowl XLVI: that it takes two players to complete a pass in football, and even her six-time champion husband can't do it all.
After several dropped passes in the 49ers' 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, San Francisco signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo echoed the same philosophy but instead, took much more of the onus on himself.
“Whenever there are drops, it takes the guy throwing the ball and [the guy] catching the ball,” Garoppolo said on Wednesday. “Obviously I could throw it better to make it easier for those guys.”
Garoppolo only completed 24 of his 46 attempts for 248 yards which is just over 52 percent, his lowest completion rate of the season. Even in Week 7 in rainy Washington, where he had a lower rating, he had a slightly higher completion percentage of 57 percent.
Jimmy G is consistent with every report from the 49ers' locker room over the past three seasons that there is no finger pointing. Rather, it’s a consensus that everyone needs to be better at their job collectively to improve as a team.
“Those guys work their ass off,” Garoppolo said of his receivers. “They really do. They come in every day with a good mindset and it’s just when your number gets called you have to take advantage of the opportunities because in the league, we all know, you don’t get too many of them, so when you do, you have to take advantage of it.”
Outside of Emmanuel Sanders, who left the game early with a rib injury, the receiving group in Santa Clara is young. Rookie Deebo Samuel was Garoppolo's top target on Monday night. Marquise Goodwin is the only member of the group that has at least three full seasons worth of experience under his belt. He was only on the field for 10 snaps against the Seahawks.
Because the group is young, Garoppolo has to find a balance between giving constructive criticism to players and pumping up their confidence after mistakes.
“There’s a fine line between it,” Garoppolo said. “You want to pick guys up especially after a tough drop or whatever it is but like I said before, it takes a guy to throw the ball and catch the ball to complete a pass. I just got to be more accurate. Make it easier for those guys and help them out.”
Garoppolo, who spent extra time with Sanders upon his arrival to work on their chemistry, is always willing to do the same with all of his receivers. He is not worried about the offense bouncing back as a group, wide receivers in particular.
“Obviously the more reps you get, the more practice, the better off you’ll be,” Garoppolo said. “But we’ve been pretty good up until this point. Had a little bit of a fluke in the last game with the drops and everything but you can’t overstress it. Let those guys go play, let them play ball. They are going to make plays, they are good players out there.”