New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said over the weekend he simply wants Jimmy Garoppolo to be himself as he prepares to fill Tom Brady’s sizable shoes.
It sounds like that’s exactly what Garoppolo plans to do.
“You can’t really overthink it,” the Patriots’ interim starting quarterback said Tuesday morning on WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan.” “You can’t try to be fake about it, either. You have to make your own — me and Tom are two different people, obviously. You kind of just have to go out there and play your game.
“You don’t know who you’re going to have out there with you, who’s not going to be out there. You just have to go out there and do your thing.”
Brady’s Deflategate suspension putting him out of commission until Week 5, meaning the Patriots are Garoppolo’s team for the first month of the regular season. Sunday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals will be his first NFL start.
It also will be Garoppolo’s first opportunity to play with a full assortment of offensive weapons, as tight end Rob Gronkowski sat out the entire preseason and wide receiver Julian Edelman played sparingly. Wideout Danny Amendola, who was removed from the physically unable to perform list Saturday, also missed all of New England’s four exhibition games.
“That’s who we had out there at the time,” Garoppolo said. “That’s kind of how the season goes. Injuries are going to happen. You don’t know who’s going to be out there. Coach is mixing and matching. You really can’t think about that stuff. When you start worrying about all that, then your head’s going to get messed up. Whoever’s out there is out there. We just have to make the best of it.”
Thumbnail photo via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images