Thursday night’s preseason opener won’t just be the first time New England Patriots rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suits up for an NFL game. It’ll also be the first time he sees one in person.
“I’ve never actually been to an NFL game before,” the second-round draft pick told reporters Wednesday, via the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, “so this will technically be my first one, I guess.”
Even big-time college stadiums are a foreign concept to Garoppolo, whose schedule at Eastern Illinois consisted almost entirely of Football Championship Subdivision opponents. He says he isn’t nervous, though, about stepping onto the turf at Washington’s FedEx Field — the fourth-largest venue in the NFL.
“I don’t think so,” Garoppolo said. “It’s still football. A football field is 100 yards long, 53 yards long. Same old, same old. You’ve just got to go out and do it now.”
Garoppolo, the Patriots’ highest-drafted quarterback in years, has much to prove this preseason after struggling thus far in training camp. He will see time under center against the Redskins along with starting QB Tom Brady and backup Ryan Mallett.