BOSTON (CBS) — When it comes to the quarterback position, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knows just how important it is to the success of any franchise.

He’s had one of, if not the best quarterback in the NFL under center for the majority of his tenure in New England in Tom Brady. But he knows that at some point, those good times will come to and end.

Though he’s still playing at an elite level, and will probably do so for at least a few more years, father time is not on the side of the soon-to-be-37-year-old Brady. That’s why Belichick hosted a slew of quarterbacks leading up to the draft, and chose one with a second-round pick on Friday night.

That quarterback was Jimmy Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois, who threw 53 touchdowns in 14 games in 2013. Some feel the selection was made too early, with other more glaring needs on the New England depth chart and Brady under contract until 2017. Brady’s backup, Ryan Mallett, is signed through the end of this season.

But Belichick defended his selection of Garoppolo late Friday evening.

“With the situation we have at quarterback, I think that we felt as an organization that we needed to address that to some degree in the future, so we’ll see how all that works out,” said Belichick. “But I think you’re better off being early than late at that position.”

Belichick said he constantly talks with Brady, hinting that the future Hall of Famer was aware of the team’s intentions to draft another quarterback.

“We know what Ryan’s contract situation is. We know what Tom’s age and contract situation is. I don’t think you want to have one quarterback on your team,” he said. “We’ve had four, we’ve had three, we’ve had two. So whatever’s best for the team, that’s what we’ll do. Nothing is set in stone. We’ve had different numbers of guys at different positions. I don’t think there’s any concrete formula. We’ll do what’s best for the team.”


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