BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots may very well view Jimmy Garoppolo as the eventual successor to Tom Brady, but No. 10 won’t get any closer to succeeding No. 12 if he can’t stay on the practice field. That’s why 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz smell something fishy with the latest coverage of the team.

Wednesday’s story by Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, in which Brady referred to himself as “the worst quarterback in the NFL”, was just one of multiple stories detailing the superlative efforts by Brady (and even Jacoby Brissett) during the media portion of Patriots OTAs. During that same time period, Garoppolo was seen riding a stationary bike as he nurses a minor leg injury.

Michael Felger believes Patriots reporters are “laying it on pretty thick” with the coverage of Brady. He says it could be stemming from an effort by the Patriots to “push” Garoppolo to get back on the practice field and work through his injured leg.

“Do [the Patriots] want everyone to see that [Garoppolo] is not practicing to sort of highlight the fact that he’s not practicing?” asked Felger. “I smell something fishy there.”

Both Felger and Tony Massarotti agree that the Patriots are trying to “goose” Garoppolo to get back on the field. Mazz doesn’t necessarily see that as a problem; he thinks it could simply be part of Garoppolo’s development as the potential successor to Brady. The team may want to make Garoppolo understand what it takes to stay on the field as an NFL quarterback, something that Brady has been better at than just about anyone in league history.

“[The Patriots] can believe that [Garoppolo] is the guy, but still think he needs some pushing,” said Mazz. “You can do that in any number of ways … to me, they’re probably pushing him.”

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