Josh Schrock

George Kittle knows why Jimmy Garoppolo threw five picks vs. 49ers defense

George Kittle knows why Jimmy Garoppolo threw five picks vs. 49ers defense

One thing has become very clear during the 49ers' 5-0 start: The defense is legit. 

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's unit put together another masterpiece Sunday when they held Jared Goff to 78 yards passing in a 20-7 win over their NFC West rivals.

Through five games, the 49ers defensive line has terrorized opposing quarterbacks, notching 17 sacks and holding opposing offenses to a 29.5 percent third-down conversion rate.

So, now let's think back to the preseason when Jimmy Garoppolo threw five straight interceptions during practice. It all makes sense now if you ask George Kittle.

“I was thinking in the third quarter while watching our defense play, ‘Huh, maybe this was the reason Jimmy threw those five interceptions in practice,'" the tight end said after the win in LA, via ESPN's Jeff Darlington.

Fair point.

While Garoppolo has been far from perfect this season, the internet panic button that was pressed after that horrid practice appears to have been premature.

Now 13-2 as an NFL starter, Garoppolo has thrown for 1,162 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions so far this season. Coach Kyle Shanahan undoubtedly would like Garoppolo to clean up some of his mistakes -- like the head-scratching pick he threw in LA on Sunday -- but Garoppolo has performed adequately in the early going.

[RELATED: Kittle jokes about Jimmy G's looks before throttling Rams]

Garoppolo still has some rust to knock off after missing most of last season with a torn ACL, but the defense has proven more than capable of carrying the load.

The combination of Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford has proven too much for opposing quarterbacks to handle. Something Garoppolo for sure knows all about.

Garoppolo and Kittle are just glad they are on their side on Sundays.

49ers' George Kittle, Joe Staley know how handsome Jimmy Garoppolo is

49ers' George Kittle, Joe Staley know how handsome Jimmy Garoppolo is

If you've got two working eyes, it's impossible not to see that Jimmy Garoppolo is what the dictionary would define as handsome.

Hey, if you don't want to take my word for it, just listen to George Kittle and Joe Staley.

The 49ers star tight end got caught by the NFL Films cameras joking around with the injured offensive tackle prior to San Francisco's 20-7 win over the Rams in Week 6. Kittle and Staley put on their best Canadian accents and gushed about Garoppolo's chin.

Oh, dontcha know the 49ers quarterback has the looks and the talent?

Kittle even kept the Canadian bit going on Twitter.

[RELATED: Sherman wants 49ers doubters to keep hating]

Kittle, Garoppolo's chin and the 49ers now are 5-0 after their dominating win over the Rams, and appear to be among the NFL's elite teams.

Dontcha know?

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Steve Kerr jabs Warriors over lack of rebounding during preseason play

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AP

Steve Kerr jabs Warriors over lack of rebounding during preseason play

The preseason is a time to get back in the flow of things. A time for new teammates to jell and for coaching staffs to iron the kinks in their unit before the games begin to count.

Through two preseason games so far, Steve Kerr's Warriors have had some good (Steph Curry's 40-point outburst vs. the T-Wolves) and some bad (giving up 66 points in the paint to the Lakers), and there a number of things the Dubs need to fix as the season approaches. 

Kerr is concerned with one thing in particular as the Warriors prepare to play their third preseason game Monday against the Lakers: Rebounding.

The Warriors have been getting abused on the glass so far in exhibition play, ranking 36 out of 37 teams who have played in the preseason (30 NBA teams, seven international teams) in opponents offensive rebounds. Kerr jabbed his team over their lack of rebounding prior to the Dubs' game at Staples Center on Monday night.

"We got to rebound better," Kerr said, via The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "There's been 37 teams that have played exhibition basketball in the NBA so far -- 30 NBA teams plus seven international teams -- we're 36th in opponents offensive rebounds. So I told the guys that I'm confident if we box out better we can maybe catch Haifa and pass Haifa and hopefully maybe even get passed the Shanghai Sharks if we put it together for a couple games."

Savage shot from coach Kerr.

[RELATED: Warriors' offseason gamble on Chriss appears it will pay off]

In all seriousness, the Warriors do have some frontcourt questions to answer. Those were put on full display in their first matchup with the Lakers when Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and LeBron James feasted in the paint.

Kevon Looney is expected to play big minutes at center when he gets healthy, but right now the Warriors are forced to play Omari Spellman (6-foot-9) and Marquese Chriss (6-foot-10) at center until Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein are ready to go. The Dubs are both thin and inexperienced up front and that will pose a problem when the games start to count.

Without a legitimate rim protector and board cleaner, the Warriors have been bullied inside early in the preseason.

Kerr knows that needs to change if the Dubs are to contend with both Haifa in the rebounding category and the Lakers and Clippers atop the Western Conference.