FOXBORO, Mass. — Jimmy Garoppolo was hesitant to give himself too much praise on a deep completion down the right sideline to rookie wide receiver Reese Wiggins, but the New England Patriots backup quarterback went for it anyway.
“It was a good read,” Garoppolo said with a slight smile and chuckle Tuesday after Day 1 of minicamp. “It was just one of those things, you see the safeties rotate. You get your eyes in the right place. You have to have efficient eyes. I did that on that play.”
It was a good read but not great. And for Garoppolo, and the Patriots, that’s an important distinction.
“It’s a process. That’s for sure,” Garoppolo said about whether he’s happy with his progress so far. “It’s one of those things you’ve got to take 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.”
Garoppolo said there’s nothing else he would rather be doing on a sunny, June Tuesday afternoon, and he genuinely sounded like he meant it. Garoppolo is having fun learning from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and veteran signal-callers Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett.
“Oh, it’s awesome,” Garoppolo said. “Josh, he’s just like me. Just an energetic guy, loves the offense, loves football. We go out there and have a great time every day.”
Garoppolo already has shown improvement over the three sessions he’s practiced in front of the media. He held onto the ball too long Tuesday, but the ball comes out of his hand quickly, and he made strides to improve his accuracy from last Thursday. Garoppolo has a huge learning curve coming from Eastern Illinois, but so far he appears to be handling it well.
Minicamp practice ended for the Patriots at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, but Garoppolo’s day was far from being finished.
“It’s not even close to being over,” Garoppolo said.
The Patriots are putting their rookies and veterans to work for the next three days before the offseason starts up again. If the Patriots perform well Wednesday, they could see their vacations starting early, since head coach Bill Belichick has a tendency to cancel the final day of minicamp.