Bean: If Garoppolo's practices are biggest concern, '17 Patriots are going to be amazing

Bean: If Garoppolo's practices are biggest concern, '17 Patriots are going to be amazing

The Patriots are so good that we care about them practicing poorly.

Jimmy Garoppolo had a bad scrimmage Friday. He stunk, completing only 14 of 36 passes, in a performance that only adds to a reputation that he’s never been a good practice player at the NFL level. 


In years past, or certainly in a different market, this would be but a footnote. The hyper-focused media of 2017 means that players’ practice snaps are counted and reported diligently. It’s useful information to have, but when you add an overload of information to a sports-obsessed town like Boston, you get people turning that footnote into an actual talking point. 

But it wasn’t just around here. Here’s what Mike Florio wrote in a post titled “Jimmy Garoppolo stinks it up in first 2017 scrimmage” on Pro Football Talk: 

It’s not quite yet time to send #Tommy floating on a sheet of ice.

Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, heralded as the real deal and suspected by some to be the potential choice to succeed Brady as soon as 2018, had a rough time at a scrimmage on Friday. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald describes the performance as “woeful.”

Garoppolo completed 14 of 36 passes (38.8 percent), leading his team to four field goals in nine drives.

Yes, Garoppolo didn’t have a star-studded cast of supporting characters. He nevertheless didn’t get it done, and to a certain extent it’s on him.

'You’re never happy about the incompletions, interceptions or anything like that, but it’s training camp,' Garoppolo said, via Howe. 'We’ll learn from those situations. We always go back, watch the film, and just diagnose what happened and what we could do to fix that.'

Plenty of fixins may be needed before Garoppolo is ready to be the week-in, week-out option, especially since he wasn’t able to get through his four-week audition healthy in 2016.

How much does this actually matter? Nobody thinks the sky is falling, but do any of the teams that tried trading for Garoppolo this offseason suddenly feel like they dodged a bullet? They shouldn’t, because they have as much game tape on Garoppolo today as they did three months ago. 

That and the fact that this is now Year 2 of fretting over Garoppolo’s play in situations that count. There were similar concerns last year, especially after he struggled — and got outperformed by then rookie Jacoby Brissett -- in the third preseason game against the Panthers. 

So all this leaves one to wonder what is the fluke: His brilliant six quarters of actual NFL football or his wholly unimpressive showings on the practice field and in exhibitions. One of those situations actually affects a team’s record and the other doesn’t. 

In some weird, twisted way, the us-against-the-world Patriots fans should take pride in this. The Patriots are so loaded this season that the biggest concern is how their backup quarterback -- whom they can seemingly exchange for a bevy of picks whenever they want -- doesn’t look as good when it doesn’t count as he does when it does count. 

Garoppolo looks bad in practice. That being the most negative thing about the Patriots right now means the 2017 season looks amazing for the Patriots. 


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The NFL's lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick.

The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That's the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

All three of Goff's touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.


More AP NFL: and

Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?


Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?


0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.