Jimmy Garoppolo Raves About 49ers Teammate Who ‘Played His A** Off’

Jimmy Garoppolo

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 10) energizes the crowd before the 49ers vs. Rams Monday Night Football game on November 15.

Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked just once when facing a Los Angeles Rams defense that entered Levi’s Stadium on Monday Night Football averaging 3.1 sacks per game.

That quarterback take down on the San Francisco 49ers starter was by safety Taylor Rapp…not from the newcomer outside linebacker Von Miller, nor the Rams’ top pass rusher and most tenacious trench defender Aaron Donald.

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Jimmy G left Levi’s with a uniform that didn’t have many grass stains or have any contact from Donald. How? By a stout offensive line performance including one teammate who, as the quarterback put it to the Bay Area media on Wednesday, “played his a** off” against the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Daniel Brunskill Gets Praise From Garoppolo

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound right guard from San Diego State pass blocked on 21 plays according to Pro Football Focus. When Donald kicked inside to the “B” gap, Brunskill was responsible for Donald, sometimes with little help from an extra blocking back against the Rams’ menacing bull.

But Brunskill has this claim: One of the few linemen who didn’t surrender a sack when lined up over “A.D.” Especially in solo battles.

Garoppolo sounded hesitant at first for raving about the play of the 27-year-old, for fear of provoking Donald.

“Yeah, we’ve got to be careful giving Dan too much here,” Garoppolo said.

But then came this next blunt sentence from Jimmy G.

“No, Dan played his a** off, man,” Garoppolo said. “He really did.”

Garoppolo was able to quickly get rid of the football through the 49ers’ offensive plan, which according to The Athletic’s David Lombardi saw Jimmy G fire the ball out in less than three seconds.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for the upper body physicality and blocking discipline of Brunskill on Donald. Garoppolo says they expect Brunskill to play at a high level regardless of the defender.

“That’s the Dan we expect, man. He’s done it in the past,” Garoppolo said. “When you get put in a one-on-one like that, it’s a tough situation for anybody and for him to step up like he did, I mean, there was the fourth-down play, he was one-on-one with him (a play the 49ers converted). Just crucial situations. That’s what I was trying to say on third downs. When those moments come up and your number’s called, can you answer the bell? And you know, O-Line doesn’t always get that much credit, but those guys are answering the bell every single play.”

Garoppolo saw a teammate keeping the league’s best trench defender in check. But one other expert in lineman play raved about Brunskill’s performance: Brian Baldinger.

The former guard/center who is now with the NFL Network highlighted one clip in his “Baldy’s Breakdowns” that shows how dexterous Brunskill is when engaged in hand combat with “A.D.”

“Donald’s got his hands inside, but watch Brunskill redirect. Watch his hands. It’s all a game of hands. Donald wins initially, but Brunskill redirects. You can’t ask for anything more than what Brunskill just did. That’s authentic football by Daniel Brunskill,” Baldinger says in the video below:

Head Coach Also Watched How Guard ‘Rose to the Occasion’

Of Donald’s 12.5 sacks versus the 49ers according to Pro Football Reference, 10.5 of them have come against Kyle Shanahan-led 49er teams.

However, Monday became only the second time in eight meetings that Donald got the goose egg underneath the sack category. Shanahan joined his QB in raving about Brunskill.

“I thought he played great. No one’s going to play perfect, especially versus Aaron who is probably the best defensive player I’ve ever seen, without a doubt,” Shanahan said. “He’s a tough deal and anyone who gets him one-on-one struggles.”

But along with keeping Donald away from Garoppolo in the passing game, Shanahan drew up a scheme that allowed Brunskill and company to push around “A.D” and the Ram trenches — with 44 of S.F’s 64 offensive plays focused on the running game. The end result: The ‘Niners burying the Rams with 156 rushing yards…and with Brunskill rising to the occasion as his head coach put it.

“It was good to get him to play in the run a lot, which helps. We always try to avoid being in the one-on-one, but they make it tough with their fronts,” Shanahan said. “And when Brunskill had to do it, he rose to the occasion, did a hell of a job and the fourth-and-six touchdown I thought was the biggest one. No one matches up well versus Aaron Donald. That’s why we like Brunskill.”

Although it’s not the first time Brunskill claimed the trench upset of the six-time First Team All-Pro:

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