Jim Tomsula to Blaine Gabbert before comeback win: “Enjoy this”
Given their 4-8 record and the front-office flux that saw the team president re-assigned this weekend, it’s hard to look at many parts of the 49ers and think of a bright and promising future.
So coach-for-now Jim Tomsula told quarterback-for-now Blaine Gabbert to just appreciate the present.
“Enjoy this,” Tomsula told Gabbert, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “Enjoy it.”
Prior to those last few minutes, it was a lot like a lot of other Blaine Gabbert games, and 49ers games for that matter. Six of their first 10 possessions were three-and-outs, and there was only one scoring drive among them. So there was no reason to expect the kind of heroics Gabbert uncorked next.
Gabbert tied the game in the last two minutes with a 44-yard touchdown run, and won it in overtime with a 71-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith, the most unlikely walk-off win of the year.
“Blaine Gabbert has been playing quarterback his entire life. You get opportunities like this and you need to enjoy them,” Tomsula said. “That’s why they play the game. All these players in the NFL are amazing athletes and amazing individuals, and you get into a moment like that, enjoy it. Savor it.”
Gabbert was a washout in Jacksonville, something that wasn’t entirely his fault. And it’s unlikely that he’ll have many more chances to start in San Francisco beyond this year, since benching a Colin Kaepernick is not the kind of move a team makes if it thinks it only needs a fine-tune like promoting the backup quarterback.
So there might not be many more of these moments.
“Those are the times that make playing this game so special,” Gabbert said. “You put in so much work throughout the week to have the ball in your hand last, coming down to the wire with two minutes at the end of the game. And in overtime, it’s even more magnified.
“I just tried to lead the team to the best of my ability and get a touchdown by any means possible.”
And for a week, it worked. And they all get to enjoy it.