Tom Brady's level of play seemed to be elevated soon after the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round. Whether he needed the motivation or not, Brady helped the Patriots go on to win two Super Bowls in Garoppolo's three full seasons with the team, and the only significant playing time Garoppolo saw was during Brady's four-game suspension for Deflategate.
Now that Garoppolo's gone, traded to the 49ers in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick, Brady has officially won the showdown. But the 40-year-old told Westwood One that his approach would not be impacted.
Asked during his weekly interview if he was surprised that the Patriots have determined he is the present and the future, Brady said, "I don't know what that means."
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"This is a week-to-week league," Brady added. "Things change so quickly from week-to-week, year-to-year, everyone is concerned, in my mind this is all about this season and us trying to win. I'm trying to do the best I can do for our team like I always do.
"I am going to bring it every single day like I've tried to do for the last 18 years so you know I'm focused on this season, and I'm sure everyone else in the organization is focused and we got to go out and got to try to . . . We got a bye week this week, and we are going to go out and try to win next week."
There aren't many people who have been around Garoppolo as much as Brady has over the course of the last three seasons, and though Garoppolo never got an extended shot in New England, Brady believes he's put in the work to be a good starting quarterback in San Francisco.
"I mean, he's put in all the effort," Brady said. "I've watched him for three-and-a-half years and really enjoyed working with him and hopefully he goes on and does a great job."
Now the Patriots will move on to try to find yet another backup for Brady. It will be the ninth No. 2 quarterback Brady has worked with in his 17 years as a starter.
"Jimmy was a great teammate and a great friend and he always will be," Brady said. "I want nothing but the very best for him. He's earned the trust of his teammates and the respect of his teammates and that's all you can ask for as a player."