BOSTON (CBS) — The offseason has come and gone, and the Patriots are back on the field playing football.
And to the surprise of many, Jimmy Garoppolo is still here, backing up the GOAT and patiently waiting for his turn. Garoppolo, now in his fourth season in New England, obviously wants to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. But the 25-year-old is also pretty happy to be in the situation he is currently in with the Patriots.
“Just come out here and compete, at the end of the day that’s what it is all about. You are going to earn your spot. Nothing is going to be given to you, especially here,” Garoppolo told reporters on Tuesday after Day 1 of New England’s mandatory three-day minicamp down at Gillette Stadium. “If you’re going to be the starter, you’re going to have to earn it.”
As for when that opportunity to start may come, Garoppolo isn’t sure. He said that he’s never asked Brady when he plans on retiring, so your guess is as good as his. After getting brief taste of life as a starter last season, starting the first two games for a suspended Brady before a shoulder injury cut his fill-in duties short, it’s pretty clear that Garoppolo wants to be “the man” sometime soon.
“Obviously, I want to play. That is the competitor in me,” he said. “I think everyone out here wants to play. We come out here every day for that opportunity. If you go out and earn it, it’s yours.”
But Garoppolo also went out of his way to say how much the five-time Super Bowl champ has helped him deal with just about everything that goes with being a quarterback in the NFL.
“He’s very helpful, on the field, off the field and with things in life. He’s been kind of like a big brother to me and it’s been very helpful,” said Garoppolo.
The two certainly give off a big brother, little brother vibe, with third-stringer Jacoby Brissett also enjoying the ride. While you’d probably expect some animosity between a veteran and the youngster trying to supplant him, that doesn’t seem to be the case in New England. Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett were all part of the Patriots’ entourage that made a trip to The Kentucky Derby last month, and Garoppolo said the Patriots’ “wolf pack” of a quarterback group is a great one to be a part of.
“It’s awesome. It’s very competitive, I’ll say that,” he said with a grin. “Arguments break out and it gets competitive, but that’s how quarterbacks are, I guess. It’s great being around them.”
There has been some speculation that the Patriots could extend Garoppolo, who will be a free agent after this season. Though he hasn’t been thinking about the future too much, Garoppolo wouldn’t rule out a return to the Patriots when he hits the open market.
“I entertain any possibility,” said Garoppolo. “I’m not really thinking about it too much right now; there is so much going on with OTAs and training camp is right around the corner. That’s where my focus is and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”