At this point, Jimmy Garoppolo knows the questions are coming.
He’s grown accustomed over the years to addressing his time alongside Tom Brady, and this week, the frequency of those questions has perhaps reached its peak.
When the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, the former Patriot quarterback will have a chance to capture his third Super Bowl ring. That would put him halfway to Brady’s current mark, albeit under different circumstances.
Garoppolo is eager to win his first championship as a starter, and he’s repeatedly credited Brady for helping him reach this point in his career. Here are snippets of what the protégé has said about one of his mentors throughout the week.
Garoppolo spoke about the text Brady sent him last week.
In a 1-on-1 interview with NFL analyst Michael Irvin on Monday, Garoppolo said Brady reached out to him after the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl.
“Yeah, he shot me a text, just good luck and everything like that, just go handle business. It wasn’t too complicated or anything. Just go win,” Garoppolo said.
— NFL (@NFL) January 28, 2020
He said he’s curious where Brady will end up.
When asked Monday about Brady’s future, Garoppolo provided a simple yet thoughtful response.
“Do you have any curiosity as a fan, teammate, friend, about what happens in the next two months?” a reporter asked.
“Definitely, yeah,” Garoppolo replied. “I think everyone’s curious. Whenever he’s making the decision, whenever it happens, or whatever he decides, I’ll be happy for him, but I heard Danny (Amendola) say this the other day on SportsCenter or something. It’ll be hard to see him in anything but a Patriots uniform, so we’ll see.”
He denied that there was ever a rift between them.
Back when Garoppolo was with the Patriots, a rumor surfaced that he and Brady supposedly had a rift. Garoppolo, speaking on Wednesday, denied that was ever the case.
“Maybe he didn’t like me very much,” Garoppolo joked to reporters. “No, we always had a great relationship. Tom’s a great dude.”
He then reportedly elaborated by saying he tried to let Brady lead by example rather than bothering him in the locker room.
“Everything he did, I never tried to be too much of a pest and ask too many questions,” Garoppolo said. “But just watching him from afar, how he went about his business, how he handled off the field things on the field, whatever it was, he always did it the right way. He gave me a good example when I was young.”
QBs Jimmy Garoppolo (23-5) and Patrick Mahomes (27-8) have a combined 50-13 record in their careers, including playoffs.
That combined win percentage is the 2nd highest for a starting QB matchup in the Super Bowl, behind Tom Brady vs Kurt Warner in 2001 (.815). pic.twitter.com/aDxHtvqA1B
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 1, 2020
He said he admires how confident Brady was while playing in Super Bowls.
When asked what he learned from watching Brady in Super Bowls specifically, Garoppolo said one main takeaway was how calm Brady was. He said it was easy to tell through his body language and mannerisms how confident and prepared he felt, and Garoppolo is trying to ensure he feels the same way.
“Everyone says you’ve got to treat it like another game, just the way he actually he did it,” Garoppolo told reporters. “I was up close and personal, picking up everything I could, seeing how he went about his business and everything. And obviously it worked out the two times that I was there with him.”
Garoppolo said “probably close to 50 percent” of the questions he got this week were Brady-related.
The questions chosen above are merely a few of many directed Garoppolo’s way prior to the Super Bowl. When asked if he kept tabs on how many Brady-related questions he fielded throughout the week, Garoppolo once again had an answer.
“Probably close to 50 percent,” he replied.
Jimmy Garoppolo reports that about 50-percent of the questions directed towards him this week involved Tom Brady.
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) January 30, 2020
As the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick pointed out, that was another Brady question right there.
Garoppolo will have a chance to add to his steadily growing personal legacy Sunday night.