BOSTON (CBS) — Following his selection by the New England Patriots in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sounded like an excited kid.
He’s well aware that he probably won’t be throwing any meaningful passes anytime soon, but he’s OK with that. It means he gets to learn from the man he tried to emulate while at Eastern Illinois and his favorite player in the NFL: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“It’s crazy being able to go to Boston and learn from Tom, learn from Coach [Bill] Belichick and all the coaches and all the players. It’s a great opportunity for a guy like me, a young player,” Garoppolo said on a conference call Friday night.
“His poise in the pocket is so impressive. He really does a great job of taking control of the offense,” he said of Brady. “He never really loses his cool. He’s always cool, calm and collected in the pocket and that’s what I try to do.”
Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns in 2013 en route to the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in FCS. He finished his college career with over 13,000 passing yards and 118 touchdowns.
As for taking over for No. 12, who is signed through 2017, Garoppolo knows that’s something he’ll have to earn further down the road.
“I feel good about it. Whether I was coming in as the starter or as the backup, I’m going to go in and approach it the same way,” he said. “My mindset is the same as it would be if I was going in as the starter. I’m going to go out there and try to get better each and every day. That’s what good football players do.
“There’s going to be a learning curve but I know that going into it. I’m excited about it,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity to grow as a quarterback and as a football player. That’s what I’m going there to do.”
The 22-year-old said he didn’t have any preconceived notions about New England, just that they’re a winning organization that he’s happy to now be a part of.
“It fits me very well. They’re a very blue collar organization,” he said. “It seemed like all business and they get to work. That’s what I’m excited about. I’m one of those guys; I’m a blue collar guy and I go to work every day. That’s what I’m most excited about and it fits my personality very well, so I think it’s a very good fit.”
He even received a little advice from Patriots’ legend Willie McGinest, who was in New York Friday night to announce New England’s second round selection.
“We got off the stage and he told me the Patriots are a hard working organization,” Garoppolo said of the chat with McGinest. “He told me to get to work and everything – ‘if you know what to do, do your job, then you’ll be all right in New England.’ That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON