Jimmy Garoppolo speaks Wednesday on the release of Bryan Stork. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)
FOXBORO — Wednesday was a harsh reminder to Jimmy Garoppolo of the business of football.
Center Bryan Stork was released by the Patriots. Stork, in his third season out of Florida State, came into the NFL the same year as the Patriots quarterback. Garoppolo was taken in the second round of the 2014 draft while Stork was taken two rounds later.
The two naturally developed a bond in and out of the Patriots locker room.
“It’s tough. It’s that time of year,” Garoppolo said. “There’s a lot of movement between teams and players and everything. It’s tough to see one of your guys go like that. That’s the business I guess.”
Garoppolo had a chance to play with Stork in the preseason, during the 41-14 loss to the Chiefs in Week 4 of 2014 and in the season finale against the Bills at Gillette in the ’14 season finale.
Now, Garoppolo must move onto the next part of his job, working with David Andrews.
“David, he’s been doing a great job this camp,” Garoppolo said. “The whole O-line, it’s a good group of guys. No one gets mixed and matched more than those guys do. So, to be able to able to work with different people next to you all the time and everything like that. You’re getting adjusted to them, they’re getting adjusted to you, it’s really a credit to those guys up front. They all just handle it very well.”
What makes Garoppolo appreciate the job of an NFL center?
“The calls are a big part of it,” Garoppolo said. “But all the way across the board, on the whole O-line, it’s tough to play any one of those positions. There’s a lot of communication that just an average fan sitting in the stands probably won’t see because the trenches down there is tight quarters. There’s a lot of communication between those guys. In the blink of an eye, the whole play could change for them. So, those guys are doing a tremendous job for us. Hopefully, they keep it going.”
Now, it’s Andrews, Josh Kline and rookie Ted Karras who figure to hold down the center position to start this season. All three can take charge.
“Yeah, but it’s not only the center, though. We have different leaders in all positions, and I think that’s a good thing about our team and our locker room,” Garoppolo said. “There’s leaders all over the place. People lead by example. There’s different ways to lead. Everyone has their own style of doing it.”