Robbie Gould, Mr. Consistency, faces uncertain future with 49ers


Robbie Gould, Mr. Consistency, faces uncertain future with 49ers

SANTA CLARA – Kicker Robbie Gould has been nearly automatic since he signed with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.

The only thing about his time with the 49ers that seems a bit uncertain is whether he will be back in 2019.

“Obviously, my deal’s up at the end of the year,” said Gould, 36, on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I’m not really thinking about it. I’m not really worried about it. I’m just worried about playing football. My family is not living out there with me right now, so I have a countdown for when I can go home and kiss my three boys and my wife.”

Five weeks ago, Gould’s wife, Lauren, gave birth to the couple’s third child. The 49ers’ kicker was able to make two trips back to Chicago to spend time with his family. Because he was beginning the second year of a two-year contract he signed with the 49ers, the decision was made for Gould to live in a hotel close to 49ers headquarters while the rest of the family remained in their permanent home.

“My wife and I decided this year because my deal is up at the end of this year that we wanted them to have normalcy,” Gould said.

“At the end of the day, I just have to make kicks and do my job.”

Gould is certainly doing his job while also living up to a high standard off the field. He is the 49ers’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He routintely spends time volunteering in the community every Tuesday on his day off -- an aspect of his time with the 49ers that he said has produced lasting memories.

He has been equally consistent on the field.

Beginning last season and stretching into this year, Gould set the 49ers’ record for most consecutive field goals with 33. He has risen to No. 2 all-time in NFL history field-goal accuracy at 87.62 percent. Baltimore's Justin Tucker leads at 90.55 percent.

“That’s the highest I’ve ever been,” Gould said. “I’m not really excited for myself, because I want to be No. 1. But the guys I’m excited for are the (offensive) and (defensive) lines, the snapper, Bradley Pinion holding.

“I’m happy for them because they put so much time and effort into it and really take ownership in it. I’m the last piece of the puzzle. Those guys make my job a lot easier.”

In his two seasons since coming to the 49ers, Gould has made 68 of 71 field-goal attempts (95.8 percent). His 36-yard field goal in overtime Sunday helped the 49ers snap a 10-game head-to-head losing streak against the Seattle Seahawks.

On Sunday, Gould will kick against the Chicago Bears, the team for which he played his first 11 NFL seasons. Last year, Gould accounted for all the scoring in the 49ers’ 15-14 victory over his former team at Soldier Field. His 24-yard field goal with :04 remaining sealed the emotional victory.

That game was the first of a season-ending five-game win streak for the 49ers. Again, the 49ers are playing their best football at the end of the season with back-to-back victories over Denver and Seattle.

“It’s been a really, really awesome two years here,” Gould said. “Obviously, the records haven’t been what people might think they’d be. But as an older player, you can understand what they’re building. You can understand what it looks like, just because you’ve seen all types of situations in the last 14 years.

“I think these young guys getting playing time is something that we need for next year because if we didn’t have it this year, and it just so happens to start next year, some of those mistakes that could be made ... can cost you a football game.”

Kwon Alexander impressed with what he saw from Dre Greenlaw, stepping into his role


Kwon Alexander impressed with what he saw from Dre Greenlaw, stepping into his role

SANTA CLARA – In the locker room following the 49ers’ first loss of the season, veteran cornerback Richard Sherman preached to his teammates about using the 27-24 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks as a learning experience.

“Like Sherm said, it’s just what we needed,” 49ers rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

The 49ers entered Monday night as the only unbeaten team in the NFL. They come out of the game with an 8-1 record, and a half-game lead over the Seahawks (8-2) in the NFC West.

“In this league, you’re never going undefeated. But at the same time, it’s a wake-up call," Greenlaw said. "It lets you know you can be beat any night. You got to bring your 'A game' every time. I think from here on out, a lot of guys are going to bring forward their best foot and play and execute and finish out the season strong.”

Greenlaw started Monday’s game in place of Kwon Alexander, who is out for the season after undergoing surgery last week to repair a torn pectoral. Greenlaw recorded eight tackles and had an interception of a Russell Wilson pass in overtime.

The play, along with Greenlaw’s 47-yard interception return, put the 49ers’ offense in position to win the game. But the offense stalled after gaining a first down, and rookie fill-in kicker Chase McLaughlin shanked a 47-yard field goal attempt after making a kick of the same distance to force overtime on the final play of regulation.

“I knew Greenlaw was going to step in,” Alexander said. “I had no doubt about him. I saw it on his face when he first walked through the door.

“He’s been a tremendous rookie, doing everything right, working hard. He put a lot of extra film in this week and it all paid off. He got an interception. I’m proud of him. I’m happy for him. He’s a great young man.”

Greenlaw said he played with a lot of confidence because of the support he received on the field from middle linebacker Fred Warner, along with the encouragement Alexander gave him on the sideline.

“I made some mistakes, but I made some plays,” Greenlaw said. “I felt confident. I knew Fred was going to play his heart out, and he had my back. Having Kwon out there on the sideline, he brought us confidence. I felt good running around.”

Warner said Greenlaw stepped in and did as well as could be expected in taking over for Alexander.

“He honestly stepped in and did a great job,” Warner said of Greenlaw, a fifth-round pick from Arkansas. “I can’t say anything bad. Kwon is a seasoned vet, but Dre came out and played as such. He was communicating great. He got aligned.”

Warner had an exceptional game, as he recorded 10 tackles, including his first two NFL sacks. He forced a fumble that DeForest Buckner returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

What can the 49ers take from this loss?

“Just learn from our mistakes, look at yourself in the mirror and see what you could’ve done and keep moving,” Warner said.

Why Jimmy Garoppolo sees 49ers' loss to Seahawks as 'reality check'

Why Jimmy Garoppolo sees 49ers' loss to Seahawks as 'reality check'

SANTA CLARA -- After the 49ers' heartbreaking 27-24 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was confident the offense didn't need a major overhaul to bounce back in Week 11.

Monday's loss at Levi's Stadium was Garoppolo's second-worst game of the season statistically. He completed just 24 of his 46 attempts for 248 yards, throwing one touchdown, one interception and posting a 66.2 passer rating. 

“I think I could throw the ball better, we could catch it better,” Garoppolo said Monday. “It’s a little bit of everything it’s not one specific thing that sticks out. It’s a bit of a reality check for us. We’ll go back and respond this week.”  

Players will never make injuries an excuse but Garoppolo lacked his top options Monday night. George Kittle, his No. 1 target, was inactive. Emmanuel Sanders, who had quickly become Garoppolo's second favorite pass-catcher, left the game in the first half with a rib injury.  

Coach Kyle Shanahan needed to make personnel adjustments during the game and had mixed results. While Deebo Samuel finished the night as the top receiver, catching eight of his 11 targets for 112 yards, Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis each failed to record a catch on three targets. 

“The receivers were battling,” Garoppolo said. “We had some injuries happen and people were being mixed and matched in different spots. But I thought overall those guys played well. We’ve just got to make plays when your number’s called.”

Shanahan credited the offense and his QB for making some good plays, but he said they were largely inconsistent. The 49ers trailed by 11 points headed into the fourth quarter, but Shanahan liked that his QB was not rattled facing his largest deficit of the season. 

“Jimmy doesn’t really change,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy is always the same, so there’s no difference there. I think like the whole offense, I thought he battled. I thought he battled very hard. Hung in the pocket for a while. I thought he made some big plays, but I know he made a number of plays he’d like to have back.”

Garoppolo already is looking forward to the week ahead to reduce the offense's mistakes going forward. The 49ers have a short turnaround, playing the Arizona Cardinals for the second time in three weeks Sunday. 

“It’s just about execution at the end of the day,” Garoppolo said. “It’s nothing crazy, just got to go do your job, execute and move on play after play and just do that throughout the entire game. We’ve been good at that, it just, we had a couple hiccups tonight. Just got to correct them and move on.”

[RELATED: McLaughlin tries to make sense of missed FG in 49ers' loss]

One thing that Garoppolo has no doubt about is that the 49ers will bounce back from their first loss of the season seamlessly. Most of the locker room has lived through two losing seasons under Shanahan, and the QB is confident his teammates will quickly shake off their disappointment.

“You go back and you watch the tape,” Garoppolo said. “You got to be critical on yourself. ‘What could we have done better? What caused this to happen?’ You’ve got to be hard on yourselves. I think we have a good group of guys in there with the right mindset who are going to come into work tomorrow and fight."