Jimmy Garoppolo Ready to Sit Behind Tom Brady and Learn

Jimmy Garoppolo said he’s ready to sit behind Tom Brady and learn. Jason DeCrow / AP photo

FOXBOROUGH — New Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo probably won’t see any real game action for quite awhile.

Like, years.

With Tom Brady under contract through 2017 and Ryan Mallett under contract through the 2014 season, Garoppolo will be playing the role of understudy as a New England Patriot in the immediate future. Coming to New England, knowing he won’t likely have any playing time of significance any time soon, Garoppolo said he’s ready to pack the clipboard and become a student of the game.

“I feel good about it. It’s one of those things, whether I was coming in as a starter or as a backup, I’m gonna go in and approach it the same way either way,” Garoppolo said on a teleconference with reporters from New York City. “My mindset is the same as it would be as if I was going in as a starter. I’m going to go out there and try and get better each and every day. That’s what good football players do.”


Garoppolo, drafted 62nd overall out of Eastern Illinois, is perceived as the heir apparent to Brady, who turns 37 in August, while Mallett has reportedly been on the trade block for some time. Brady is someone Garoppolo has modeled his game after, noting Brady’s poise in the pocket and command of the offense.

“Being able to go to Boston, learn from Tom, learn from coach [Bill] Belichick, and all the coaches and all the players,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for a guy like me, a young player. I have a lot to learn and I know that and I’m excited about it.”

In the sense of being an understudy, Garoppolo was asked if he recalled Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay behind Brett Favre.

“Yeah, I remember when that happened, him sitting in the draft room and everything – he waited a little while,” Garoppolo said. “It’s a very similar scenario and it worked out very well for Aaron, so hopefully it will work out the same way for me.”

Going from Eastern Illinois to the NFL will be a huge adjustment as well.

“There’s going to be a learning curve but I know that going into it,” he said. “I’m excited about it. It’s a great opportunity to grow as a quarterback and as a football player. That’s what I’m going there to do.”


Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

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