Based on what we saw in the preseason opener, it’s hard to know if Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is ready.
But based on what he’s seen during and after practice, deposed-for-four-games starter Tom Brady offered his endorsement of his backup.
“He works his tail off to prepare and I know he has the respect of everybody,” Brady said, via Phil Perry of CSNNE.com. “That’s what you try to do, you try to come out here and prepare, earn the respect of your teammates and your coaches, and you’ve got to put the work in. You’ve got to show that you’re willing to show up every day and do whatever it takes to get the job done.
“It’s been fun to see his development. We got off to a good start the other night and hopefully we keep it going. We have three days of practice coming up against the Bears that will be good preparation for our team. We’ve got to use them really well and hopefully we can come out of Thursday night, after these practices and the game, a stronger team than we are now.”
Garoppolo and Brady work together by virtue of their position, but they’ve apparently gotten closer this year, and often compete against each other after practice, by trying to chunk passes into barrels 30 yards away.
“I think it’s just, it’s really good,” Brady said. “You’re always trying to work on different aspects of the game, and it’s hard to get the receivers out here after practice and run. We probably throw 20-25 of those balls, and it’s hard to have a receiver, after a two-and-a-half hour practice in 90-degree weather, go run a bunch of 30-40-yard routes.
“You just put the bucket out there, and that little sucker is tough to hit, man. It doesn’t move, it’s got no arms, it can’t adjust to anything. That’s why I’m glad we always have guys that have great hands and really attract the ball. It’s just good practice.”
Brady earned his respect through his level of preparedness, so the fact he’s willing to vouch for Garoppolo’s is a good sign for the first quarter of the season.