Friday, May 9, 2014

Garoppolo likens role with Pats to Rodgers' with Favre


Everyone knew that at some point, the New England Patriots needed to choose a successor for Tom Brady.

That person may now be on his way to Foxboro.

The Patriots used their second round pick in the 2014 Draft on Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The move comes ahead of Brady's age-37 season and as hints of the future Hall of Famer's decline begin to emerge.

Head coach Bill Belichick allowed sufficient time for the organization to develop Garoppolo and acclimate the FCS star to the NFL, with Brady still likely to be at the helm for a couple more seasons.

Garoppolo understands that he's entering a situation where he'll be fixed on the bench to learn from one of the all-time greats.

"I feel good about it," Garoppolo said, via ESPN. "It's one of those things, whether I was coming in as the starter or the backup, I'm going to go in and approach it the same way either way. That's what good football players do."

He compared his situation to that of Aaron Rodgers, who came into the league in 2005 to study under a legend then went to forge his own path as a top NFL quarterback.

"It worked out very well for Aaron, so hopefully it will work out the same way for me," he said.

Garoppolo hails from the same FCS school that counts Sean Payton and Tony Romo as quarterback alumni, where he now stands as the all time passing leader with 13,156 yards. He was given the Walter Payton Award in 2013 as the most outstanding FCS player.

The other shoe to drop is a landing spot for Ryan Mallett, the Patriots' tenured back up signal caller made expendable by the selection of Garoppolo. The Houston Texans, now led by former New England assistant Bill O'Brien, are widely expected to the most likely suitor for a trade.

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