Patriots

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo praises Tom Brady's consistency, preparation

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo praises Tom Brady's consistency, preparation

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is no stranger to championship games, but his experience this weekend will be a little bit different.

Garoppolo has led the 49ers to Sunday's NFC Championship Game, where they'll play the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium with a spot in Super Bowl LIV at stake.

The 28-year-old spent a little more than two seasons with the New England Patriots as their backup QB after they drafted him in 2014. The Patriots went to the AFC Championship Game twice in that span, and even though veteran quarterback Tom Brady played all of the snaps in those games, Garoppolo was still able to observe a few things that have helped him with the 49ers.

"I tried to see things from afar," Garoppolo said at his Wednesday press conference. "Obviously, not being on the field, it's a little different. Just the preparation that goes into it, the atmosphere in the locker room, the atmosphere in the whole building, really. I felt it, very similar to [New England], I feel it here. I'm not trying to compare the two teams, but when you get into that playoff atmosphere and it's a championship game, things get amped up. And you have to do the same."

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Garoppolo also highlighted one aspect of Brady's preparation that's made a positive impact on him.

“I haven’t personally talked to him [in the build-up to the NFC title game], but 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. “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.”

Garoppolo and the 49ers earned a berth to the NFC Championship Game with a 27-10 victory against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional Round last weekend. If the 49ers win two more games, Garoppolo will not only earn his first Super Bowl ring as a starting quarterback, he'll move the 'Niners into a tie with the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most championships (six) in the Super Bowl era. 

Why an ESPN reporter is convinced Tom Brady will leave Patriots

Why an ESPN reporter is convinced Tom Brady will leave Patriots

As Tom Brady's free agency approaches, the language of the reporting about him is getting stronger.

NFL reporter Jeff Darlington joined ESPN's "Get Up!" on Thursday to state quite confidently that he believes Brady will sign with another team rather than return to the New England Patriots for a 21st season.

"There are people very close to Tom Brady who are being told by Tom Brady, 'It's not going to happen. I'm going somewhere else,' " Darlington said. "That's the way we're operating here.

' ... I am now at the point where I would be stunned if Tom Brady returns to the Patriots."

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According to Darlington, Brady is looking at free agency as a way to "reinvigorate himself and do something different" by joining a new team.

Which team could that be? Joining Tom E. Curran on a recent episode of NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Talk Podcast, Darlington mentioned the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as favorites to sign Brady.

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Brady has familiarity with Titans head coach and former Patriots teammate Mike Vrabel, while it was reported earlier this month that the Raiders are prepared to offer Brady a two-year, $60 million contract, which may exceed what New England is willing to give him.

Not all hope is lost for Patriots fans: Darlington added that even those "close" to Brady could see Patriots head coach Bill Belichick convincing the 42-year-old quarterback to stay for another year.

But Darlington also offered this warning:

"We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is far more likely that Tom Brady will not be back with the Patriots."

UPDATE (8:50 a.m. ET): The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian and The Athletic's Vic Tafur both followed Darlington's comments with their own reports that don't bode well for Brady returning to New England.

Patriots DE Chase Winovich pleads for Tom Brady to stay in New England

Patriots DE Chase Winovich pleads for Tom Brady to stay in New England

Chase Winovich is all of New England right about now.

The Patriots defensive end clearly isn't a fan of the idea that Tom Brady may suit up for a new team in 2020. On Wednesday, he took to Instagram to beg Brady to re-sign with the Pats, and he did so in hilarious fashion.

"'To stay or to stay... 🤔' #pleaseDad #NotAllowedtoLeave #goat #shakespeare," Winovich wrote.


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The "Shakespeare" is a nice touch, but history tells us Brady may not be amused. Winovich may be on to something with the "#pleaseDad" hashtag, though.

Winovich, drafted out of Michigan 19 years after his favorite QB and fellow Wolverine, will have to wait impatiently like the rest of us until Brady makes his much-anticipated decision. The 42-year-old officially becomes a free agent March 18 if he and the Patriots can't agree on a contract extension before then.

The Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, and Las Vegas Raiders each have been named as potential suitors for Brady in free agency.