MIAMI – If Jimmy Garoppolo were to give a Patriotic answer to a question about Tom Brady on Monday night, the upshot of it would have been that he was focused on his own self at this juncture.
But Garoppolo’s not a Patriot anymore so, when asked if he was curious where his former teammate may end up, the 49ers quarterback dove right in.
“Definitely,” Garoppolo said during Super Bowl Opening Night. “I think everybody’s curious. Whenever he makes a decision and whatever he decides, I’ll be happy for him.”
Garoppolo paused then added, “But … I heard Danny (Amendola) say the other day, ‘It’ll be hard to see him in anything other than a Patriots uniform.’ So we’ll see.”
The atmosphere Monday night was positively playful as the Chiefs and 49ers met with the media en masse at Marlins Park. The Chiefs went first from 7 to 8 p.m. The Niners had the late slot, 9 to 10 p.m.
The indignation, irritation, rage, grudging respect and flat-out fatigue the Patriots inspire among the national media and football fans in general has given way to a kinder, gentler atmosphere this week, it seems.
The coaches are relatively cuddly. The quarterbacks are fresh-faced. The perpetual plumbing for scandal that accompanies every Patriots postseason run is wholly absent. Everyone wants to have a nice time.
But Garoppolo’s presence and past means the Patriots still have a hand in this one. I asked Garoppolo if he was at all eager to blaze a trail away from being thought of as a “former Patriot.”
“Your past is always part of you,” he said. “The Patriots is where I started and really introduced me to the pro game and how different it is than college. I thank everyone over there for everything they did for me. Obviously what they did there got to this point here. Everything’s tied together but the 49er team is kind of a story of its own.”