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.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Sunday's Patriots-Lions game and discuss what the Pats offense needs to do against Detroit's front seven, as well as what the Pats defense can do against Calvin Johnson.
Detroit Lions TE Joseph Fauria is the nephew of the our own Christian Fauria. He joined the show today to talk about being a Pats fan as a kid, being a better athlete than his uncle, and before all was said and done, things got personal.
We check in with SI's Peter King for the latest on the Adrian Peterson case, as well as analysis on the Patriots latest win and the rest of the NFL.
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston
The Hot Stove guys are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester's contract offers from the Red Sox. They then por one out for the Giancarlo Stanton rumors being put to bed.
The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b
WEEI.com's Rob Bradford checks in with the show to give us some updates on what's happening in Phoenix. The Sox are rumored to be interested in Pablo Sandoval, Cole Hammels would have to approve a trade to Boston, and Gordon Edes says that Jon Lester re-signing with club is still a possibility.
Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.
Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!
Bradford joined the show with the latest on the Red Sox off-season moves.
The guys discuss the Golf Digest parody piece on Tiger.
Christine Brennan of USA Today discussed Tiger's response to Golf Digest.
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station WDFN's Shep in the Morning Show. Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.
The Patriots have resigned Legarrette Blount. The guys debate whether or not it was good signing.
Ryan Howard gets sued by everyone in his family and Columbus Blue Jacket Jack Johnson gets royally screwed by his parents.
Michael and Dale discuss the return of LGB, and how the move really wasn't that surprising to begin with.
We discuss the Jack Johnson story... the NHL player who bankrupted by his own PARENTS.
We welcome back LeGarrette Blount by looking at the best returns to Boston in recent memory.
Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.
Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.
Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.
Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.
Joining the show today Mut the all-purpose back of WEEI. We talk about players we have hated over the years as well as Rajon Rondo and what is ailing the Celtics.
Ben and Russ talk about the Revs, MLS Playoffs, and much much more.
Dale and Michael do an in-depth interview with one of the people that saved NFL football in New England. Bill Parcells, co-author of Parcells: A Football Life.More from this show
Peter Gammons joined the show to discuss the latest MLB hot stove news.More from this show
We check in with the head coach as the Patriots moved to 8-2 with a win in Indy. Bill has high praise for RB Jonas Gray, Gronk, the defense, the fast start for the offense in both halves, and Bill even says hello to our new addition Jerry Thornton.More from this show
We talk with Tedy Bruschi on a Patriots Monday after the Pats moved to 8-2 with a decisive win over the Colts in Indy. Tedy compares Jonas Gray with another Patriot back of the past, and breaks down how physical the Patriots were.More from this show