As far as veterans are concerned, rookie QB Jimmy Garoppolo making the grade
|06.09.14 at 6:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — It’s only been a handful of OTA sessions, but to this point, the Patriots veterans have been impressed with the work of rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The consensus seems to be that he’s not only delivering the goods on the practice field — albeit in limited snaps behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett — but he’s fully aware of his place in the locker room hierarchy as a rookie.
“I’ll tell you, he shocked me, man,” running back Stevan Ridley said after last Thursday’s workout. “He came in [and] he seems confident. He is a rookie, though. Everybody’s going to make mistakes, but he’s quiet, and he has been working hard.
“I didn’t know too much about him, but as I watched him, I liked him the more I watched him,” Ridley added. “He’s what we expect out of a quarterback. You don’t say too much — you just take it in and do your job.’
In last Thursday’s practice session, the first action for Garoppolo in full view of the media, there were some good throws and some bad throws, including an interception on a ball picked off by linebacker Chris White. All in all, a rookie performance in the rain that was probably about par for the course for a young quarterback at this time of the offseason.
Garoppolo wasn’t made available to the media after the session, but some of the other offensive veterans acknowledged they have been impressed with the rookie, who has managed to emerge as an early leader among the first year players.
“The guy is pretty good — he’s got a lot of talent,” said wide receiver Brandon LaFell. “He’s a rookie, so he has a lot to learn. But he has a lot of potential. If he continues to work, he’ll be a good quarterback in this league.”
Wide receiver Danny Amendola had the chance to work out briefly with Garoppolo prior to the draft, and said that the rookie out of Eastern Illinois has impressed him as a “smart” player.
“He’s a smart player,” Amendola added. “I don’t know if they ran the same offense in college, but he’s picked up the system really well. I know he’s been putting in his time and his work getting in the books. He’s been doing good so far.”
In addition, Amendola added that Garoppolo has shown a nice command of the huddle, at least to this point.
“That’s huge. It’s one thing to throw the ball and make the plays on your feet. But to actually control 10 other guys and get them to where they need to be is a huge part of playing the quarterback position. He’s learning from the best [in] Tom and Mallett. He’s doing well.”