Garoppolo: 'Smoother operation' without Brady in building

Garoppolo: 'Smoother operation' without Brady in building

FOXBORO -- For the Patriots as a whole, life without Tom Brady isn’t going to be easier.

For Jimmy Garoppolo, maybe it is.

Garoppolo said Wednesday morning that the Patriots’ first week with Brady out of the building has made things run better.

“It’s a smoother operation, I’ll tell you that,” Garoppolo said when asked by CSN’s Mike Giardi if Brady being away from the team changed things. “It’s just me and Jacoby [Brissett] splitting all the reps and we kind of know where we sit on that. It’s different without Tom, but it is what it is at this point.”

There’s really no way to parse those words to change their meaning. Preparation for the first four games of the regular season hasn’t been easy for Garoppolo because the offense just wasn’t his.

Wednesday’s statement, coupled with Garoppolo saying after the Carolina game that the quarterback shuffle was “different” having to jump in and out of the game indicates that behind Garoppolo’s perma-smile and deference, there’s a player that’s been itching to have Brady out of the passenger seat so he could drive the offense himself.

Saying the week’s preparation was “busy, that’s for sure,” Garoppolo said things have slowed down significantly.

“I feel like it has, especially since rookie year and last year," he said. "The biggest part of that is the mental part. Once you knopwo the offense you know what you’re looking for on defense and you can mentally break it down to where you almost know where you’re ready to go with the ball. It’s a comforting feeling. Not that it’s moving in slow motion but you know it’s moving slower than it was.”

Asked about the Brady banner hung on the stadium lighthouse, Garoppolo deflected, saying, “To be honest, I haven’t had much time to think about that. It’s straight Arizona right now.”

Brady’s message to Garoppolo prior to leaving the facility last Saturday was simply, “Goodbye and good luck,” according to Garoppolo.

Given he’s watched 32 regular-season games and five playoff games as the backup, I asked Garoppolo if he’s taken stock of the chance that approaches on Sunday.

“A little bit,” he admitted. “There’s so much going on right now, but it is a phenomenal opportunity. This is why you play the game, you play to be in the game and play. You don’t want to be the backup. The opportunity’s here. Now it’s time to take advantage of it.”

Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

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Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

Former Lions tight end Eric Ebron is signing a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ebron was rumored to be a potential target for the Patriots, especially after new Pats running back Jeremy Hill tried recruiting him to the team.

The 24-year-old had 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns a season ago with Detroit. 


Patriots release Shea McClellin

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Patriots release Shea McClellin

Shea McClellin will be blocking kicks for somebody else next season. 

The Patriots announced Monday they've released the veteran linebacker, ending his tenure with the team after two seasons.  ESPN's Field Yates broke the news.

The Pats signed McClellin to a three-year deal prior to the 2016 season, but that was the only season in which he played for the team. McClellin missed all of last season due to injury. Prior to coming to New England, McClellin played four seasons with the Bears, who chose him 19th overall in 2012. 

McClellin's biggest contribution with the Pats came when he blocked a Justin Tucker kick in Week 14 of the 2016 season against the Ravens.