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Jimmy Garoppolo is ready to be ‘consistently good, not occasionally great’

06.17.14 at 5:11 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo is getting up to speed with the high-powered Patriots offense with each passing day. These days include two-hour sessions during minicamp outside Gillette Stadium.

The rookie quarterback out of Eastern Illinois was as sharp Tuesday in the opening of minicamp as he has been in the 10 previous practices during OTAs, connecting with Jeremy Johnson on a long touchdown pass late in the workout.

“It was a good read,” Garoppolo said before cracking a smile of confidence. “It was just one of those things, you see safeties rotate, you get your eyes in the right place and you have to have efficient eyes. I did that on that play.

“It’s a day-by-day process. I went out there and had a good day today,” Garoppolo said.

Garoppolo is obviously working behind Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett. But for the second straight week, Garoppolo got all of the second team snaps as Ryan Mallett was off the practice field and inside the field house while the team help minicamp practice outside in the heat. As for the heat of battling for the back-up job behind Brady, Garoppolo said things couldn’t be going much better.

“Without a doubt, Tom does a great job of just going out there,” Garoppolo said. “Guys look to him as a coach on the field and that’s what you want in a quarterback. So, just watching and learning, not so much what he tells me but just watching his mannerisms, I’ve learned a lot.”

Garoppolo said he is, by no means, thinking of being Brady’s heir apparent several years down the road.

“It’s just one of those things that you can’t really focus on that,” he added. “If you’re focused on that, you’re focused on the wrong thing. My main focus was coming out here and being very consistent, day in and day out. It’s a grind. You have to do good each and every day.”

Garoppolo said he’s excited to be working with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

“It’s awesome. Josh, he’s just like me,” Garoppolo said. “He’s just an energetic guy, loves the offense, loves football and he’ll go out there and have a great time every day.”

As for comparing this to workouts and practices at Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo said it really doesn’t.

“I don’t know if you could even compare the two,” he said. “It’s night and day. We come out here. It’s gorgeous out today, had a great day of practice. What else would you rather be doing?

“It’s a process, for sure. It’s just one of those things you have to take it day-by-day. Each day is different and you have to be consistently good, not occasionally great. You have to come out here and do your best every single day and let the coaches see what you can do. It’s very fast but that’s what Coach Belichick wants it to be. He wants to have great tempo in and out of the huddle and moving from station to station. I think we did a good job of that today.

“I’m not really surprised. It’s very fast. I kind of expected that. There is a transition from the college to the NFL game. It’s just something you have to get used to, and great athletes do.”

“Slowly but surely, it’s a day-by-day process. Went out there and had a good day today.”

Garoppolo knows he and Brady will be joined at the hip all summer as the Patriots try to gauge how ready he might be if called upon to step in for the future hall of fame quarterback.

“Him and Ryan both, they’ve helped me so much,” Garoppolo said. “They’re two guys that have been doing this for a while. They know the offense very well so they’ve helped me a tremendous amount. Them and a combination of Josh our offensive assistants in each area have done a tremendous amount to help me in each area.

“The quarterback, you’re the coach on the field. You’re expected to know everything and get people in the right spot and take command. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

“The guys have done a great job of helping me out with that. Younger guys, older guys, there’s a great group of guys in there. So it’s not very hard. You’re the quarterback. That’s what you’re expected to do and that’s what I go out and do.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Eastern Illinois, Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh McDaniels
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