Tom Brady

How Tom Brady's lessons will help 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Packers

How Tom Brady's lessons will help 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Packers

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won't be playing in the Super Bowl this season, but they are still ever-present in the playoffs. 

Jimmy Garoppolo won his first playoff start with relative ease last Saturday when the 49ers rolled over the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 . That was far from Garoppolo's first playoff experience, though. He won two Super Bowls as Brady's backup in New England.

Garoppolo studied Brady throughout his time in New England, lessons he will lean on as the 49ers' hunt for a Super Bowl title continues Sunday when they face the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium.

“I haven’t personally talked to him, but just, you know, things that I took away from watching him go through it and everything, just the consistency that he had throughout the entire run,” Garoppolo said Wednesday. “Whatever it was, the first playoff game, the Super Bowl, he was very consistent between all of it and I think that just goes into your preparation throughout the week. If you are prepared going into the game then you’re going to play like that.”

Following Brady's lead is a smart move for Garoppolo, for obvious reasons.

The unquestioned greatest quarterback of all-time has won six Super Bowls and played in three others. He's the all-time leader in playoff wins, touchdown passes and passing yards.

[RELATED: Super Bowl is 49ers' to lose with Ravens, Lamar gone]

Garoppolo learned from the best. Now, he'll have to go out and play like him come Sunday to book the 49ers a ticket to Miami.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Raiders signing Tom Brady 'no-brainer,' analyst Jay Glazer believes

Raiders signing Tom Brady 'no-brainer,' analyst Jay Glazer believes

Immediately after the New England Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC wild-card game last weekend, speculation began about whether Tom Brady would play next season, and if so, where.

The Raiders were one of the popular teams mentioned, and for good reason.

Coach Jon Gruden didn't give Derek Carr a glowing endorsement after the regular season ended, and the team is moving to Las Vegas, so they might want to make a splashy move.

The Athletic's Jay Glazer believes the Raiders absolutely should make a run at signing Brady and explains why.

"I know it’s going to be hard for Jon Gruden to do that but he’s the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, the most marketable guy there is," Glazer wrote. "He’s a gamechanger for a franchise. Season tickets. Marketing.  I would open up my checkbook for him if I was a team like the Chargers or the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas, and especially if I want him to teach a young quarterback how to be a quarterback. I think it’s a no-brainer — you pay the man."

Brady, who is a free agent and turns 43 before the next NFL season begins, was non-committal about his future when asked after the Patriots lost last weekend.

"I would say it's pretty unlikely," Brady said when asked if he plans to retire. "Hopefully unlikely ... Who knows what the future holds? We'll leave it at that."

But in an Instagram post a few days later, Brady claimed he "still has more to prove," signaling he will be playing yet another NFL season.

Would it be smart for Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock to move from a 28-year-old Carr to a past-his-prime Brady? Probably not. But having Brady in their first season in Vegas definitely would sell tickets. At least until the team starts losing games.

[RELATED: Raiders face tough free-agency decisions]

Brady's the most decorated quarterback in NFL history, but his best days are behind him. Glazer believes this is a good move for the Raiders, but if the goal is to win games and build for the future, signing Tom Terrific is not to the move for the Silver and Black. Resist the urge, Chucky.

How Jimmy Garoppolo's Patriots tenure will help in 49ers-Vikings game

How Jimmy Garoppolo's Patriots tenure will help in 49ers-Vikings game

SANTA CLARA -- Jimmy Garoppolo’s lack of postseason experience has been a hot topic this week, though saying the 49ers quarterback has none is a bit misleading.

Sure, Saturday’s NFC divisional-round clash with Minnesota will be Garoppolo's first time quarterbacking a playoff game. It is not, however, his maiden voyage into the postseason.

He has two Super Bowl rings to prove it.

Garoppolo was Tom Brady’s backup from 2014-16, a three-year span where the New England won the championship twice. He has seen firsthand how the great quarterback navigated the practice weeks and games themselves. There’s no better example of how to handle the spotlight and perform under pressure than Tom Terrific.

While that won’t replicate the experience of calling signals and making throws, Garoppolo enters Saturday with a greater understanding than most in his position.

“I think that's one of the bigger things, Jimmy just going and being able to go to those Super Bowls, watch those playoff games, being able to go through the whole process and stuff,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “You do see all the extra outside stuff that does come with it. You're not overwhelmed by it at all.

“Jimmy knows exactly what's going to happen before it happens because he's been through it at New England. I do think that's an advantage for players and for coaches just because you know what's ahead and so it doesn't surprise you. It's pretty easy to just stay the course.”

Garoppolo understands the intensity rachets up from here on out and that Saturday’s atmosphere will be electric. He also knows that pressure’s on after exchanging a clipboard for a helmet as the 49ers starter charged with leading the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

“Obviously being the starter and backup is a little different,” Garoppolo said. “I'm trying to prepare the same I have this whole season, treat this week, just go through my routine and everything like that like I normally do. Yeah, like I said before, the energy I think, especially on Saturday in that stadium, will be pretty special.”

[RELATED: Beathard opens up about brother's death]

While the 49ers postseason technically starts on Saturday, Shanahan believes Garoppolo played his first postseason game back in Week 17. That game in Seattle was a high-stakes with the NFC West title and a first-round bye on the line. The game was tight to the dramatic end, with Garoppolo able to perform well in an environment similar to what he’ll experience on Saturday. That's how Shanahan knows his quarterback will be poised and ready

“I forget that the Seattle game wasn’t a playoff game, because it sure felt like one,” Shanahan told Matt Maiocco on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “…I almost felt like we’ve been in the playoffs for about six weeks in a row. I feel like our team is battle tested. I feel like Jimmy has been battle tested.

“He has been around a lot of big-time situations in New England and here he has been in some big-time games. With his personality and make-up, I feel pretty confident Jimmy’s going to have one hell of a game regardless of what happens. It has nothing to do with this being a playoff game.”