Patriots Talk: Is Jimmy Garoppolo The Successor To Tom Brady?
After all the drama that was popping this off-season before the NFL Draft, there was speculation about teams like the Cleveland Browns willing to part with a first round pick for backup Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. This was dissolved after the draft was over but there are many desperate teams that still need a starting quarterback. While Garoppolo only had 2 games to showcase his talents, he was capable of handling the offense in the absence of star Tom Brady.
Many people felt something was odd with Bill Belichick not taking the trades that were likely offered for Jimmy G but based on recent reports, its possible Belichick wants to keep him for the foreseeable future. Several NFL scouts, a former player, and AFC front office were asked by CSNNE about what their thoughts were on: Why is Jimmy Garoppolo still here?
Here were the answers from them:
“I absolutely loved the kid coming out of college. When we interviewed him, [it was obvious] he’s got those qualities you want in a QB, as a leader. I begged our guys to take him at the end of the first round. That’s how good I thought he was then. He’s a hell of a lot better now. The job Bill and [offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels] have done with him, the work he clearly has put in, wrap all that up and it makes all the sense in the world to keep him. They can win with him. That’s all you need to know — in my opinion — as to why they kept him. The moment that Brady guy starts to show cracks, the next guy is in already there, already knows the locker room, the system, the environment. I think it’s genius.” – AFC Scout (#2)
The value of having a player sit and watch behind a Hall-of-fame Head Coach, and Quarterback (quite possibly one of the greatest the sport has ever seen) is the type of experience you can’t replace. Jimmy G has been a player that knows the Patriots organization and if he is the long term solution than keeping him will be a high priority. This experiment was done as well in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers playing behind Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre for 3 straight seasons before he was officially the starter in the 2008 NFL season after Favre was shipped to the New York Jets. Can Garoppolo become like Rodgers? Not likely but its still a thought as Jimmy is in the best support system in the NFL with the best coaches, environment and front office one would need.
“I played against him every day in practice. He’s all that.” Why? “He can make all the throws. He can process all the information. He is a gamer. He can slow it down. He can spin it. I’m going tell you this, if he had gotten traded to Cleveland, they’re a borderline playoff team. I really believe that.” – Former Patriots Player
Now this might be an over-exaggeration but any player who has close-up impressions of Jimmy G within the team knows what they are talking about. Garoppolo has showed that he can make the passes and be able to play at the NFL level even though the sample size is relatively small. The Cleveland Browns have a lot of issues across the board, but the quarterback position is the most critical one. Jimmy going to them would be able to bring a lot of what he already knows to the Browns but would it be enough to get them to the playoffs? Not likely, but the current roster they have now? Possible.
“Bill knows something we don’t. That’s the way I read it. Whether it’s Brady’s future, or what they didn’t see in Brissett, or something about the makeup of Garoppolo, he just couldn’t part company with him. I can’t say as I blame him. Finding one good QB in this league is hard enough. Two? Maybe only a handful of teams in the league can say they have that. Plus, with Bill, he’s not worried about coaching for his job. He can think big picture — two, three, four years down the line. That’s not something too many other coaches/front offices in this environment get. He can afford to pass on a handful of draft picks to keep a player he really likes.” – AFC Front Office
This is also very true. Bill Belichick has maintained his position as Head Coach of the Patriots for well over 17 years now and based on his current relationship with Robert Kraft, he isn’t going anywhere. If Belichick is looking further ahead to the future and wants Garoppolo around in case the absolute worst does happen and Brady can’t play (especially as he is 40 on August 3rd). It’s odd for Belichick to keep a player he really wants but he has been aggressive in free agency this year and its potential for the foreseeable future after Brady retires.