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.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
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Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
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Rob Bradford is joined by Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox pitcher who so many are wondering if he will be able to live up the value placed on him by the Red Sox when trading away top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza last July. Pomeranz goes into detail regarding his injury last season, the stem cell treatment he underwent in the offseason, and how he thinks things stand heading into the 2017 campaign.
Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.
Hour 4. Joe Sullivan didn’t want to appear on K&C. Instead, he appeared on Brand X. Drellich thinks working the beat is just as hard as when Gerry did it. Gerry likes Fences.
Hour 3. Drellich thinks Trump is a pathological liar while Gerry thinks Trump doesn’t lie as much as Obama. Kirk is sick of show promos and says K&C will no longer participate. Drellich says everyone did steroids just like everyone deflates balls.
Hour 2. Evan Drellich defends Michael Che, saying that it’s possible to say Boston is racist if you are black. Gerry and Kirk battle with Drellich, defending the city against Michael Che’s allegations. In headlines, the guys revisit the Maison family.
HOUR 4 - How many big-games does Tuukka Rask have to miss before guys like Bergeron and Marchand call him out for it? Also, Belichick skips the coach's breakfast, the Raiders are headed to Las Vegas, Kirk rips "The Baseball Show" and Dale, Holley and Keefe rip the Whiner Line.
HOUR 3 - LaVar Ball joined ESPN's "First Take" again on Monday, and brought his NBA-bound son, Lonzo, with him. Unlike his father, Lonzo says all the right things, and is good at basketball. The guys also discuss Lonzo Ball's poor performance against Kentucky, and wonder if that will affect his draft status or his general perception by fans. Also, Dino is selling that house we heard so much about, at Miromar Lakes.
HOUR 2 - The Celtics are tied with Cleveland for 1st place in the East (although Cleveland has 2 games in hand) and are poised for a top 3 pick in the draft. "FiveThirtyEight" says the Celtics have a better chance than the Cavs of winning a championship. Also, the guys discuss Devin Booker's 70 point game, and how some of the Celtics players were chirping him about it.
We finish the show with the best sound clips of the day.
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Hour 1. Evan Drellich makes his casting couch return. Over the weekend, Michael Che affirmed that he believes Boston is “the most racist city” he has ever been to.More from this show
Hour 2. Evan Drellich defends Michael Che, saying that it’s possible to say Boston is racist if you are black. Gerry and Kirk battle with Drellich, defending the city against Michael Che’s allegations. In headlines, the guys revisit the Maison family.More from this show
Hour 4. Joe Sullivan didn’t want to appear on K&C. Instead, he appeared on Brand X. Drellich thinks working the beat is just as hard as when Gerry did it. Gerry likes Fences.More from this show
Hour 3. Drellich thinks Trump is a pathological liar while Gerry thinks Trump doesn’t lie as much as Obama. Kirk is sick of show promos and says K&C will no longer participate. Drellich says everyone did steroids just like everyone deflates balls.More from this show
Hour 4. Rob Bradford had some great insight into the tornado at last night’s Red Sox game. The guys don’t understand what Riley Dennis is trying to argue for.More from this show