Backing up a Hall of Famer? Osweiler's been in Garoppolo's shoes

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Backing up a Hall of Famer? Osweiler's been in Garoppolo's shoes

FOXBORO -- Nobody knows better than Brock Osweiler what it’s been like for Jimmy Garoppolo to toil quietly in the shadow of a Hall of Famer.

Drafted by the Broncos in 2012, Osweiler backed up Peyton Manning for three full seasons before getting a chance to show a little something in 2015. Osweiler showed plenty. But when Manning came back from injury, Osweiler got the rug pulled out from under him and Osweiler was relegated to watching a physically overmatched Manning still get the Broncos to the Super Bowl on guts and guile.

The sting from getting yanked obviously played into Osweiler’s decision to put one finger in the air this offseason and sign with Houston.

Now, as Osweiler prepares for the Garoppolo-less Patriots on Thursday night, he was asked if he gets what Garoppolo’s gone through behind Tom Brady.

“I know how difficult it is,” he said. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, playing backup quarterback, that’s the best position in the world.’ What they don’t understand is when we leave the building at 5 o’clock on Wednesday or Thursday, you still need to go home and study and prepare just like you’re the starter and usually you won’t get any reps on Sunday but you have to approach as if you are the starter. To see somebody like Jimmy who’s stayed patient, stayed disciplined, constantly gotten better, absolutely. You’re very happy to see someone have success like that.”

The principals can spend every waking hour talking about how much they admire, support and root for each other. But the reality is, that’s a party line. Quarterback is a job that can’t be shared. And the best of the best didn’t get that way by being anything but cutthroat in the kindest way possible.

This video of Manning taking reps from Osweiler during a blowout shows the dynamic in full clarity.  

I mentioned the video to Osweiler, asking if it’s a hard dance with a legend who knows some snotnose wants his job.

“I think that’s almost every quarterback in the National Football League and really, it’s almost every position,” said Osweiler. “We all know that the NFL is the best of the best and there’s great competition across the board so any time you’re hurt or something like that and another guy gets an opportunity, he’s gonna try to make the most of it. I completely understand why things transpired the way they did. I don’t hold any grudges or anything like that, it makes complete sense to me and there are no hard feelings or anything like that.”

What’s it take to sit, watch and wait?

“One, it takes a lot of patience and two, it takes a lot of discipline,” he said. “I do know what Jimmy’s going through right now, I’ve been in those shoes. I was in those shoes for 3 1/2 years before I really got my opportunity. I say patience because that’s a long time to sit and not play. The discipline comes in (in that) just because you’re not playing, doesn’t mean you don’t work hard.”

Osweiler says it’s clear Garoppolo made good use of his time.  

“Just from the way Jimmy’s been playing I can tell he hasn’t wasted a single day. I’m sure he approached it very similarly to how I did: whether he was the backup or playing, I wanted to show up to the building and get better at something every day,” he said. “There was a coach that told me, ‘If you’re not getting better, you’re getting replaced,’ and I heard that very early in my career. I wanted to soak in as much as I could from being around Peyton and then I wanted to make myself a better player on a daily basis.”

Waiting – and being ready – paid off in a $72 million deal for Osweiler. Garoppolo could be headed down the same golden road.  

 

Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before national anthem against Cardinals

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Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before national anthem against Cardinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, so the speculation was that he would not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem.

The Cowboys and their owner did kneel, though not during the anthem.

Following a weekend of kneeling and protesting across the NFL, the Cowboys and their owner displayed their own version of unity Monday night, kneeling on the field before rising as a group before the playing of the national anthem.

The Cowboys went into the locker room and returned to the field for the anthem, lining up between the sideline and the yard markers on the field.

Arm-in-arm, they dropped to a knee as a giant flag was carried onto the field, with Jones and his family in the middle near the 50-yard line.

Numerous boos rang out across University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys kneeled and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field. They remained connected as Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.

The Arizona Cardinals had their own symbol of unity after a weekend of protests in the NFL, gathering along the goal line arm-in-arm during the national anthem. They were joined by owner Michael Bidwell, his family and general manager Steve Keim.

More than 200 NFL players kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

Three teams did not take the field for the national anthem and numerous NFL owners came out against Trump's statements.

EX-PATS PODCAST: Brown and Koppen in-depth conversation on national anthem protest

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Brown and Koppen in-depth conversation on national anthem protest

Former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown joins Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen in this week’s episode of “The Ex-Pats Podcast” to discuss the protests from around the league and Donald Trump’s comments on Friday night. Troy spoke critically of the President on CSN’s Postgame Live show on Sunday, and the two former players react to what former teammate Matt Light said Monday morning on Toucher & Rich.

Also, the guys talk about the thrilling win for the Patriots against Houston, including whether Brandin Cooks has found his way into Tom Brady’s “trust tree” (24:40), Rob Gronkowski playing a monster role in the passing AND blocking game against Houston (29:00), and how concerning the defense has looked in the first three weeks of the season (32:30).