FOXBORO — The mood inside the Patriots locker room before Tuesday’s practice was all business.
Every player reiterated the essence of the motto “Ignore The Noise.” There would be no distraction based on the uncertainty of a pending decision from Richard Berman on the four-game suspension of Tom Brady.
No where was this focus more on display than from the man who will step in and fill Brady’s shoes, if for whatever reason, Brady is not ready for primetime Sept. 10 against the Steelers.
“We’re going about our business as usual,” Garoppolo said in his usual laid back style. “[We’re] just getting ready for the next game against the Giants, taking it day by day, and just going about our business.”
Garoppolo has taken 158 snaps in three preseason games, in addition to lots of first team reps, as was the case on Monday, when Brady was in New York City attending yet another settlement hearing in front of Judge Berman.
“It was good. Whenever you get the chance to get the added reps, or whatever it may be with the first team, it’s always a positive,” Garoppolo said.
Garoppolo was asked if he was ready to start the opener against the Steelers if needed. His answer redirected the focus to the here-and-now.
“We’ll approach that when we get there,” he said. “We’ve got a little ways to go still, so next Thursday we’ll figure it out.
“Going back to OTAs, everything, you’ve got to come into this, whether you’re a starter, backup, you’ve got to have the starter mentality. You never know when your number is going to get called.”
Garopppolo insisted Tuesday that he feels he’s had enough time with the first team, not just in game situations but in practice as well.
“Coach [Belichick] does a great job of mixing guys in ‘ first, second, third or whatever it may be ‘ so you play with a bunch of guys,” Garoppolo said. “You get used to all the different guys, their style and what not, and you’ve just got to make the best of it really.”
Here are more takeaways from Garoppolo on Tuesday:
Q: Have you been preparing for these [preseason] games like you would a regular season game?
JG: Every game we go into, we want to compete the best that we can, play to the best of our ability. We don’t want to overlook any one game. We go in with the same mindset that we always do.
Q: How long does it take to get the other guys’ styles and tendencies down?
JG: It’s a different circumstance for each guy. Every receiver is different, every back, getting used to the line, it’s all just different, so I guess it just depends on the guy really.
Q: How important was it for you to bounce back from a rough start early during Friday’s game?
JG: You just have to have mental toughness, really. It’s never going to be a perfect game. We all want it to be but, that’s football for you. As a quarterback you’ve got to stay levelheaded ‘ you can’t get too high, can’t get too low ‘ and just go about the business.
Q: Is that something that only comes with more reps?
JG: Yeah, that’s just part of the position, I guess. The mental toughness is something that we try to have a lot of here. It’s very important and we take pride in it.
Q: How have you dealt with the uncertainty of your role throughout the spring and summer?
JG: [I’m] just going about my business as always. Whether I’m the starter, backup, whatever it may be, I’m preparing like the starter and I’ve got to be ready for Week 1.
Q: How much preparation work have you done for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
JG: We don’t want to overlook the Giants. It’s the last preseason game, but we still want to go out there and compete to the best of our ability and have a good game Thursday.
Q: Is there a mix of preparation between the two upcoming opponents, or do you not turn ahead until this week is finished?
JG: When the coaches tell me, we’ll turn it.
Q: And they haven’t told you yet?
Q: Why is it such a big deal to keep your focus on the Giants?
JG: It’s kind of just a mentality thing. We’re all competitors at the end of the day. You don’t want to go out there and just not compete. That’s probably the biggest part of it.
Q: How tough can it be to ignore the noise?
JG: We’re here so long every day. I honestly don’t really get a chance to watch any TV or anything, so that definitely helps. I don’t know; it’s kind of just a mentality thing. You’ve just got to go about your business as you always do. You can’t control it anyways, so why worry about it?
Q: Is all the attention you’ve received thus far going to help you going forward?
JG: Yeah, no question. All this stuff ‘ I think I said it last week ‘ it comes with the job, so you’ve got to get used to it and have fun with it, really.
Q: Is the job fun?
JG: Oh yeah, playing quarterback in the NFL ‘ how could it not be?