Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels did his best to try and explain the learning curve facing rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo Friday.
Garoppolo, we know, will not get any significant playing time or opportunities during the Tom Brady era, but he is certainly seen as the next step for the team. And with those kind of expectations set upon him, it's going to be too easy to judge and nitpick any missteps the young quarterback may have. The Patriots coaches obviously want to guard against that. Not just for Garoppolo, but for any rookie. There has to be a level of comfortability and an extensive amount of practice time before any real evaluation of the player can take place.
"It’s pretty similar to most every other rookie quarterback I’ve had a chance to work with," McDaniels said. "It takes awhile before you can truly see them feel comfortable because their mind is going so fast. They have so many things to think about and there are so many things that they are not 100 percent on top of yet that sometimes, if you’re too quick to judge a younger player like that, you could make a mistake in terms of saying, 'I thought he was this or he couldn’t do that.'
"You gotta give him some time, you gotta give him an opportunity to really get his feet on the ground and then once he’s done that you’ll get an opportunity, you know in training camp, but as training camp goes on to see what he really looks like in your system. And that really applies to all the rookies, not just the quarterback position."
There is going to be extraordinary attention on Garoppolo now as he gains exposure in New England as Brady's heir. But there should be no reason or expecation that he should be held to Brady's standard of excellence. At least not at this juncture.