The big DT told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero that the Chiefswant to make Jimmy Garoppolo try to beat them in Super Bowl LIV. San Francisco 49ersplayers predictably responded by defending Jimmy G.'s skills.
Thursday brought more glowing assessments of Garoppolo from the K.C. media session.
"I respect the heck out of him," coach Andy Reid said. "I think Jimmy, they decided they've been running the ball here, but Jimmy if you really look at it his quarterback ratings, his percentages, all the statistical facts about him you see he's a heck of a quarterback throwing the football. When you come in to play the 49ers, you better be ready to play a complete game, the run and pass game. You better be ready to do it for four quarters so that's how we're preparing. We love the challenge so it not about being nervous, it's about loving the opportunity to play against a great team and a great setting -- that's why we do this and that's the exciting part of it."
The crux of the Garoppolo misperception is that Kyle Shanahan runs the ball because he doesn't trust the QB. Over the course of the season, the 49ers have proven that argument folly. When needed to throw, Jimmy G has kept pace with some of the most explosive NFL offenses. The 49ers didn't need to throw much in playoff blowouts. Would you add unnecessary sugar to your dinner recipe if you didn't need it?
It's clear the Chiefs' defense will key on trying to slow the run. It's the logical approach after Raheem Mostert has galloped all over during these playoffs. It's not a knock on Jimmy G. to say that K.C. must slow the run first to win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs' secondary still respects what Garoppolo brings to the game.
"First and foremost, they have a great system that they run over there," Tyrann Mathieu said Thursday. "I feel like Garoppolo has done a great job finding guys that can really take advantage of certain coverages in certain situations. He likes to get the ball out quick, which kind of goes into the kind of guys that they have on that side of the ball -- guys that can run after the catch. So, it will be important for us to disrupt the timing, slow those guys down. He does have a hard time throwing in tight coverage -- most quarterbacks do -- so, I think ultimately that will be the goal for us: To disrupt these guys at the line of scrimmage, play tight coverage, and then try and make a play on the ball."