Part of Bill Belichick’s reasoning for giving Jimmy Garoppolo the start on Thursday night against the Giants wasn’t simply for the on-the-field experience the rookie would gain. By being named the starter early in the week, Garoppolo was subjected to a few new responsibilities, including being a part of the media production meetings before the game.
“I think it was very beneficial,” Garoppolo said. “Coming from a small school, we didn't have media like this. It was good to experience the outside-the-locker-room stuff, what goes on in the production meetings all that stuff. Like I said, I think it'll only benefit me in the long run. I'm happy with what happened this week.”
Garoppolo went 22-for-42 for 284 yards, a touchdown and an interception. It was a bit of a rollercoaster night for Garoppolo who had deftly managed his opportunities in three preseason games prior.
While he continued to show good touch on deep passes as well as a relative calm in the huddle, he was forced into inaccurate throws in the face of pressure and on occasion appeared to not be on the same page with his receivers -- especially on his first-quarter interception that was targeted for Josh Boyce.
When Garoppolo conducted his postgame press conference from behind a New Meadowlands podium -- another new experience -- he chalked up the week's work as a good learning experience.
“It's one of those things, hopefully I'll look back in a couple years and really learn a lot from it,” Garoppolo said. “Just take it and try to take the next step now. Now I know what a normal week is for preparing to start and everything like that. It'll only help me going forward.”
Asked if he was ready to be Tom Brady’s backup, Garoppolo didn’t hesitate.
“Ready to do whatever they ask me to do,” he said. “Whatever opportunity comes, whether it's first, second, third, whatever it is, you have to be ready for it. This preseason, going in with the mindset that I was the starter and preparing like that really helped me get ready for that.”