EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jimmy Garoppolo had all week to prepare himself for his first NFL start at quarterback.
Yes, it was just preseason but Bill Belichick wanted to give the rookie a simulation of what the work load is like getting ready to take all the snaps in practice and then take of them in a game.
“I’m sure it was. I think it was a good experience for him, just helping his development,” Belichick said. “He obviously has a long way to go but I think he learned a lot from the week.”
The result? A bit of a bumpy start but a productive night and in the end, invaluable experience commanding an offense that is regarded as one of the most complex in the game.
He had a couple of underthrows and incompletions that resulted in punts on the first two series. He threw a first half interception when Josh Boyce appeared to turn the wrong way on an in-cut pass. And he took a bad sack in the fourth quarter.
But through it all, he finished 22-of-42 for 284 yards, a 71.9 rating, and a beauty of a touchdown toss to Aaron Dobson in the first half. He also directed the Patriots down the field in a two-minute drill before halftime with a pair of sideline passes, showing poise and skill.
How did Garoppolo feel overall?
“You know, it could have gone better,” Garoppolo said. “There was definitely some things that, you know, we messed up on, fixable things and things to learn from when you watch the film.
“I’m not sure. I don’t know. It’s one of the things that we’ll see on the film, whatever it was, that we weren’t clicking like we should’ve been. We’ll fix it.”
“We’ll look at the film,” added Belichick. “I’m sure there are some good things and I’m sure there are some other things that need to be corrected.”
Garoppolo definitely appeared to find his groove late in the first quarter and into the second, when he led the Patriots to 10 points and a halftime tie.
“I felt pretty comfortable from the beginning, but you know, just gradually, I mean that’s how every game is,” Garoppolo said. “You start to pick up what they’re trying to do and how they’re trying to do it, so just gradually got more comfortable.”
Bill Belichick would not commit to whether Garoppolo had done enough to beat out Ryan Mallett and win the No. 2 quarterback job behind Tom Brady. Garoppolo said that competitive dynamic didn’t create any stress in the quarterback room.
“You know, me and Ryan, and Tom [Brady] as well, we all have good relationships with one another, help each other out, and those two guys have helped me more than anyone probably. It’s the same as it always was.”
Does Garoppolo feel ready to assume the No. 2 spot behind No. 12?
“Yeah, ready to do whatever they ask me to do,” he said. “Whenever an opportunity comes, whether it’s first, second, third, whatever it is, you have to be ready for it and I think this preseason, going into the games with the mindset that I was the starter and just preparing like that, it really helped me get ready for that.”
Here’s are more highlights from Garoppolo’s postgame press conference Thursday night at MetLife Stadium:
Q: Were you impressed with Tim Wright and the fact that he just got here?
A: Very intelligent player. He picks it up very quickly and he’s pretty athletic, too. He had a heck of the game along with all the other tight ends and receivers and running backs. They all played well tonight.
Q: Has it been a good week for you as far as you’re the guy, your ability to work through things, just get the experience on and off the bus, playing in a stadium where they just played the Super Bowl past year, just the whole week experience? Pretty good experience for you?
A: Yeah, very good. It’s one of those things that hopefully I look back on it in a couple of years and I really learned a lot from it and just take it and try to take the next step now. Now I know what a normal week is like for preparing to start and everything like that and it will only help me going forward.
Q: On the long touchdown pass to Aaron [Dobson] on the left side, can you go back through sort of what you saw on that?
A: Yeah, he had a go route and went up and made a tremendous play for me. It’s nice having receivers like that on the outside, big body guys who could go up and make a play for you and that’s what he did. It was a nice catch.
Q: Was that your first read on the play [the touchdown to Dobson], or were you going through your progressions there?
A: Going through it, yeah. I mean he beat the guy and just got to lay a ball up there for him to go get and he did that.
Q: On the flipside, what do you remember about the interception? What happened on that play?
A: The ball got away from me a little bit, sailed a little high and you know you can’t sail one high with defenders behind the receivers. That’s what happens when you do that. It’s a learning experience, wish it wouldn’t have happened, but you got to learn from it and keep it down next time.
Q: Has this been a whirlwind when you look at it? Preseason’s over, that’s done, and training camp’s over. I mean, has it moved really quickly?
A: It was slow in the beginning, but now that I look back on it, it flew by. I’m sure that’s just part of being a rookie, but it was a good first training camp, first preseason, learned a ton and hopefully it will benefit me later on in my career.
Q: Jimmy, in announcing that you would start this week, I think Coach [Bill] Belichick had mentioned he wanted you to experience everything that went into being a starting quarterback, including this aspect of it, the media aspect of the game. How would you describe the experience he wanted you to have through your eyes?
A: I think it was very beneficial. Coming from a small school, we didn’t have media like this. It’s good to experience the outside the locker room stuff, what goes on, the production meetings, you know, all that stuff. Like I said, I think it will only benefit me in the long run and I’m happy with what happened this week.
Q: How difficult is it for you to understand the offense? What I mean by that is, did you even have a playbook your senior year of college? You go from your senior year and not having a playbook to the Patriots playbook. Explain how difficult that has been.
A: It was an adjustment, it definitely was, but you know, that’s the NFL for you. I mean everyone has a playbook, it’s like learning a different language, and it’s just something that you have to adapt to and adapt quickly.
Tom joined the show after the close win over Oakland.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots' 16-9 win over the Raiders and debate how big the Patriots' issues are.
Tom E. calls the boys to give his take on the week 3 home opener in which it should end in a Patriots victory.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.
As the season winds down, We check in Sox skipper John Farrell as we await the Boston debut of Rusney Castillo.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Tom joined the show after the close win over Oakland.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to discuss week 3 in the NFL.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The defense was forced to make a stop in the last minute of the game to preserve the 16-9 victory on Sunday. The offense had no rhythm again and struggled in the red zone. The offensive line looked poor again. Lou, Christian and Tim talk about the win that looked like a loss, and what this team needs to do to improve.
Jerod Mayo gives Christian karaoke advice and previews the Patriots home opener.
Christian chooses his song for Karaoke tonight.
We check in with the great 88, the playmaker Michael Irvin joins Dale and Holley.
Michael, Dale and Tom E. Curran break down, react and take your calls about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's first public press conference this regular season.
For our final segment we take a look back at the infamous Snow Bowl and the Tuck Rule play, this time via Raiders radio and more.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Jerry Thornton joins Dino and Kirk for the second edition of Breaking Balls. They dive into a variety of topics including their feelings about polarizing Boston sports media members.
Your beloved hosts are joined by WEEI.com Bruins reporter DJ Bean as well as producer of the Dennis & Callahan Show, Craig "Sausage" Sawisch. Support America: Support Your Local Post Office
Dennis, Callahan and Minihane make their podcast debut. This week's topics include Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jenny Dell and some discussion on people we've encountered with the worst breath.
Rodney Harrison addressed his non comments earlier in the week with MFB.More from this show
Dino, Kirk and Thornton opened the show discussing an ugly win by the Patriots.More from this show
Michael, Dale and Tom E. Curran break down, react and take your calls about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's first public press conference this regular season.More from this show