FOXBORO — If Tom Brady has been thinking about his impending suspension, Jimmy Garoppolo says he can’t tell.
The second-year quarterback, who has already had 126 snaps this preseason in taking the majority of game reps, said Wednesday Brady has been treating him and the rest of the team just like it’s business as usual. Asked if working with Brady has been any different this summer, Garoppolo said the only change he’s noticed is their familiarity with one another.
“Knowing him for a year, we’ve obviously become closer and everything, but he’s gone about his business the same way as always ‘ just getting prepared and attacking training camp like the rest of us,” Garoppolo said. “I’d say we’ve gotten to know each other better, so we’re more comfortable with one another, but other than that, nothing crazy.”
The one thing that has most certainly changed this preseason is the amount of media attention, in part because Brady hasn’t spoken to the media at all and Garoppolo will be the starting quarterback if Brady has to serve any type of suspension.
“At Eastern Illinois we had the same amount of media,” Garoppolo joked, referring to his alma mater. “No, I’m just kidding. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment. I’m getting more and more used to it as we go, but it comes with the job I guess. You’ve got to get used to it.”
Does it give Garoppolo a little bit more of an appreciation for Brady?
“Yeah, there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff that goes on that you don’t really know about until you’re in the spotlight I guess, but you can have fun with it, right?”
Garoppolo has completed 48-of-63 passes in those two preseason games replacing Tom Brady. He’s thrown one touchdown and two interceptions. Garoppolo was asked if the season opener started tomorrow, does he feel comfortable with how much work he’s had.
“It’s not here yet, so we’ve got 15 days to still get ready and prepare and all that stuff,” he said. “We’re working in the right direction. We’ll put it that way. It’s coming up, but we’ve got a long way to go still. We’ve still got two preseason games left. You can’t look past any of that. Like I said, just take it day by day and the rest will handle itself.”
Here were some other takeaways from Garoppolo’s Wednesday session with the media at Gillette Stadium:
Q: You didn’t get knocked down at all in the last game. How proud are you of your offensive line, especially the three young guys?
JG: Just the whole line altogether, backs ‘ they did a tremendous job blocking. That obviously makes my job so much easier, so huge credit to those guys up front. They just did a tremendous job.
Q: Does your offensive line performing like that raise your confidence?
JG: I think they always have my back, practice, game, whatever the circumstance may be. You have to have confidence in them. They have to have confidence in you. It’s a two-way street I guess.
Q: What do you carry into this week coming off of Saturday’s performance?
JG: It’s just like any other week ‘ going out there, going to practice, trying to get prepared for Carolina and just taking it day by day.
Q: How has this week been different for you guys as you prepare for the third preseason game?
JG: It’s a little shorter than usual, so we’re kind of cramming some things in, but other than that we’re just going about our business same as always.
Q: Does it have a little bit more of a regular season feel?
JG: Yeah, the whole game planning ‘ like I said, it’s a shorter week. It’s a little different, but for the most part, they’re trying to get us ready for Week 1.
Q: What’s been the biggest thing you’ve seen improve in the first couple of games as far as your play?
JG: There are a good amount of things I think have improved, but week to week everything changes ‘ just adjusting to the new game plan that we put in this week compared to last week and handling new information really.
Q: How important has it been for you just to play so much in the first two games?
JG: It’s definitely beneficial. Every rep counts. Practice, game, whatever it may be, you’ve got to go in there and take advantage of the opportunity that you get.
Q: How beneficial is it to work with different personnel?
JG: That’s kind of the way we do it. Practice, game, you’ve got to be ready to play with anyone just due to the nature of the sport ‘ injuries and all that stuff. It’s definitely helped.
Q: How would you assess yourself so far from the start of training camp?
JG: It’s coming along. Each day is a new task. You want to tackle things differently day by day. We’re kind of getting out of the training camp mode and into the regular season mode, so kind of adjusting to that now.
Q: How does it feel different to you maybe from a year ago?
JG: Which part? It’s a big switch from last year to this year, but that’s the nature of the beast I guess.
Q: What are your thoughts about adding a guy like Reggie Wayne to the offense?
JG: I’m excited about it. He’s only been here for 48 hours or so, so he’s been picking things up quickly. I’m excited to have him here.
Q: What are your impressions of him as a player from having watched him over the years?
JG: Tremendous player, tremendous career with the Colts and everything and I’m just excited to have him on the team now. He’s a nice guy to throw it to.
Q: Going back to the touchdown you threw off the scramble last week, how was that play different than some similar ones that ended up being picked off in practice?
JG: That’s kind of what practice is for. You see which throws you can make, which you can’t, and apply those to the game. In that situation, I got out of it. The receivers did a great job of getting open down the field after I extended it, and good things happened.
Q: Is there maybe added urgency because you can get sacked?
JG: That could’ve played a factor. The instinct part of it kicks in more in a game than during practice I guess, but you try to make practice as similar to the game as you can. The better you can do that, the better off you’ll be really.