NFC Notes: Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


49ers LB Fred Warner had high praise of WR Brandon Aiyuk‘s performance in their Wild Card win over the Seahawks and thinks the receiver does “all the little things” to make him a great teammate. 

“I think he’s well-quipped,” said Warner, via Eric Williams of Fox Sports. “He’s doing a great job. Seriously, I know Brandon doesn’t get a lot of the accolades and probably doesn’t get talked about a lot. But when I watched him block down the field for Deebo when he caught that over route to score a touchdown, like people don’t do that. Receivers don’t do that. That’s a big-time, huge play by him in that moment that people probably aren’t talking a lot about. Receivers that do that, and then can ice guys off the line and do all that stuff that people really notice, that’s why I know he’ll be a big-time player in this league for a long time. He does all the little things required to play at a big-time level.”

49ers QB Brock Purdy reflected on Aiyuk staying with him on a broken play against the Seahawks which resulted in the receiver dropping a potential touchdown reception. Aside from the obvious miscue, the quarterback believes Aiyuk did everything right on the play.

“I was excited that we had a scramble drill on, and he kept it alive,” Purdy said. “He saw me scramble — I went left, then came back right, and then he ran all the way left and then went right. I was happy that he kept it alive. I was like, ‘Dude, that’s good.’ And then he was obviously hard on himself, like, ‘Man, I should have caught it. It hit my hands.’ But it’s all good. I love the dude. He works hard.”

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said Aiyuk is proving himself as a blocker at the receiver position. 

“It always helps when you have length and size,” Shanahan said. “It’s the mindset of all our guys, though. We do have a lot of good players. What I like to say separates us from other teams with good players is our good players really block, too. Whichever one of our five guys has the ball, the other four are blocking. And Brandon does that as good as anyone.”


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer points out Steelers LB coach Brian Flores was close to getting the Cardinals head coaching job in 2018 that ultimately went to Steve Wilks, and his success in the interview process paved the way for him to get the head coaching job with the Dolphins. 
  • It doesn’t hurt that new GM Monti Ossenfort worked with Flores in New England, though Breer points out Ossenfort will likely want to talk to Bengals OC Brian Callahan and Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon once interviews for them are allowed in the gap between the conference championships and Super Bowl. 


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the Rams have conducted interviews for their opening at offensive coordinator with former Jets OC Mike LaFleur, former Colts OC Marcus Brady and Eagles QB coach Brian Johnson
  • He adds the frontrunner for the job still seems to be LaFleur. 
  • Breer also mentions Rams QB coach Zac Robinson seems to be the frontrunner for the Chargers offensive coordinator job. 

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