Ten most important Pats heading into 2015: Jimmy Garoppolo


Ten most important Pats heading into 2015: Jimmy Garoppolo

Leading up to the first day of training camp, we’re going to look at the most important Patriots, counting down from 10 to 1. Yesterday, Chandler Jones got us started at No. 10. Today (dramatic pause . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . wait . . . )


Why? Because it’s quite possible Jimmy G will play an important role for the Pats, and not as the scout team quarterback (for which he got rave reviews a season ago). With Tom Brady currently facing a four-game suspension, and the uncertainty that surrounds the appeal and a possible trip to federal court, the Pats will have to get the second-year pro ready for more than a cameo. The Patriots' schedule in the first four weeks: Pittsburgh, at Buffalo, Jacksonville and at Dallas. That’s no walk in the park. The Pats can’t afford a sluggish start, which means Garoppolo is going to have do more than manage a game. He’s going to have to make winning plays.

Previous Performance: We got multiple regular-season looks at Garoppolo in his rookie year: A fourth-quarter effort against Kansas City in that one-sided Chiefs rout (6-of-7, 70 yards, 1 TD), a 3-for-3 outing for 22 yards against the Bears (Pats won, 51-23) and then a start in the meaningless regular-season finale at home versus the Bills. It was a mix of good and bad, where Garoppolo showed playmaking ability but also a tendency to hold the ball too long.

Questions surrounding the player: Experience, clearly, although Bill Belichick made sure Garoppolo got more snaps than previous Brady backup Ryan Mallett ever did. Also, it's a big leap from Eastern Illinois to the NFL. Yes, having a full year in the system helps, but now teams will game plan to take away what you do best. Can JG make the necessary adjustments? Finally, how will Garoppolo handle the constant questions when camp starts, and Brady’s situation drags on? This is far from an ideal situation, except for a coaching staff well-versed on ignoring the noise.

Overall Outlook: Josh McDaniels is a big fan of Garoppolo. Devin McCourty told us last year, somewhat wide-eyed, that Garoppolo is already really good. That’s been echoed by plenty of the skill position players. Now’s his chance to show it, and while I do believe they’ll be some rocky moments (nothing looks like Brady running this offense), the kid is confident and I don’t see the Pats emerging from that potential four-game stretch with anything less than two wins. I’d say three, but there's the matter of the Pats' revamped secondary going into Dallas . . . 

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did. 


Eyeing a QB, Jets trade up to No. 3 pick

AP Photo

Eyeing a QB, Jets trade up to No. 3 pick

After missing out on coveted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the Jets signed Teddy Bridgewater and brought back Josh McCown as short-term solutions at QB, but with the trade they made with the Colts on Saturday, their future franchise QB could be drafted next month.

The Jets acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the April 26 draft from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the sixth overall pick, two 2018 second-round picks (37th and 49th) and a 2019 second-rounder.

UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold are considered the top QBs in the draft. The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants have the first two picks, the Browns have No. 4, too, and could be eyeing a QB. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley could be among the top picks as well. 

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