SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo’s early NFL schooling got here going up towards Invoice Belichick’s sophisticated protection every day in follow with the New England Patriots.
That work helped Garoppolo develop from a uncooked prospect popping out of Jap Illinois into an achieved quarterback within the NFL, even when it took leaving New England to do it.
Now Garoppolo will get his first probability to go up towards his former coach and workforce since being traded away to San Francisco practically three years in the past when the 49ers go to the Patriots on Sunday.
“It set me up for every little thing right here, made the transition quite a bit simpler,” Garoppolo mentioned concerning the work he did with the Patriots. “Initially I might bear in mind the primary OTAs and coaching camp. It was tough going from faculty to the NFL. That’s why if you see these guys are available and begin straight away, it’s spectacular.”
Garoppolo mentioned he needed to study every little thing from find out how to play from below middle as a substitute of the shotgun to figuring out fronts and coverages when he bought to the NFL as Tom Brady’s backup after being drafted within the second spherical in 2014.
He mentioned he owes a lot of his success to that point, appreciating every little thing Belichick taught him.
“He was simply very sincere,” Garoppolo mentioned. “Actually by no means beat across the bush. He’s very black and white with every little thing they did. That’s type of how I’m. I actually admire that from him. Whether or not it was my first day there or once I bought traded, he all the time shot me straight and I believe simply if you’re speaking about simply man to man, that’s all you might actually ask for on the finish of the day.”
Garoppolo by no means bought a lot of an opportunity to play in New England with Brady entrenched because the starter. He began two video games to open the 2016 season when Brady was suspended however bought damage within the second recreation and missed a possibility to start out the ultimate two video games.
He confirmed sufficient in these two begins to change into a scorching commodity on the commerce market. The Patriots lastly gave him up halfway by way of the 2017 season, understanding he might change into a free agent the next offseason and Brady was nonetheless enjoying at a excessive stage.
“All people right here had loads of confidence in him,” Belichick mentioned. “It’s a type of conditions the place you’re not capable of preserve all of the gamers, primarily based on the system that’s arrange, which is comprehensible. I’m glad that it’s labored out for him and San Francisco. I hope it doesn’t work out on Sunday. However in any other case, I’m blissful he has the chance to play for an ideal coach and an ideal group and play on an ideal workforce. I believe he deserves that. He actually labored laborious and earned it, and I’m blissful for him and his household.”
Garoppolo’s addition helped spark a turnaround in San Francisco for a Niners workforce that misplaced its first 9 video games with Kyle Shanahan as coach. Garoppolo took over the beginning function late within the 2017 season and received all 5 begins to complete a 6-10 season.
His ascension bought derailed the next yr when he went down with a season-ending knee damage in Week 3, however recovered to play nicely sufficient final season to assist San Francisco win 13 video games and make it to the Tremendous Bowl.
However a poor fourth quarter in that loss to the Chiefs left questions on whether or not he was the long-term reply in San Francisco that solely grew louder when he bought pulled at halftime two weeks in the past after throwing interceptions on back-to-back drives on a bum ankle in a 43-17 loss to Miami.
He bounced again final week by throwing three TD passes within the first half of a 24-16 win over the Rams.
“I believe that’s one of the crucial spectacular issues about Jimmy,” Shanahan mentioned. “Whenever you suppose the stress would possibly get to him and stuff, which you’d suppose it does to all people, it’s human nature and it’s a really robust place. Whether or not you play good or dangerous, if the outcome’s not good, you’re going to get questioned quite a bit and persons are going to level the finger at a quarterback quite a bit. The robust recreation that our entire workforce had versus Miami with him getting taken on the market in that recreation. Yeah, it was robust, however the way in which he got here into work on Monday, you couldn’t inform. He’s very mentally sturdy.”
That may turn out to be useful on Sunday when he returns to his previous dwelling to face his former workforce and a defensive-minded coach recognized for making issues as robust as doable on opposing quarterbacks.
“It’s an thrilling week,” he mentioned. “Get to return to the place it began for me in my NFL profession. … Thrilling week and I can’t look forward to Sunday.”
NOTES: LT Trent Williams (ankle) returned to follow on a restricted foundation. … RB Raheem Mostert (knee), S Jaquiski Tartt (groin) and LB Kwon Alexander (ankle) all missed follow. … RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (calf) was restricted and CB Dontae Johnson (groin) was upgraded to a full participant.
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