FOXBORO, Mass. — Accuracy hasn’t been a major issue for Jimmy Garoppolo early in training camp, but the young quarterback will need to show more urgency when preseason games begin.
Garoppolo is still holding onto the ball too long when he drops back, which is natural for a young quarterback. It’s also unfair to compare him to New England Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady, who has one of the quickest trigger fingers in the NFL.
“You can never be satisfied with it. You can always be faster,” Garoppolo said Wednesday. “There’s good defensive lines in this league, and the faster you get it out, the better.”
Garoppolo saw increased reps Wednesday in the Patriots’ annual practice under the lights of Gillette Stadium. He completed just 15 of 32 attempts, however, in his worst practice of the summer.
“Every rep matters, and when you get an opportunity like this to get out there with the guys and get the majority of the reps, it’s a good thing, and you have to take advantage of it,” Garoppolo said.
It might not be a coincidence that head coach Bill Belichick waited to give Garoppolo the majority of the reps when the Patriots were practicing in the stadium, when the crowd noise was a little louder, and the scenery was different.
“It’s more game-like than switching back and forth,” Garoppolo said about his reps. “It definitely benefits you moving forward.”
Garoppolo will need to get used to the added pressure of playing at Gillette if Brady serves his four-game suspension. Garoppolo would be called upon to start Week 1 of the regular season in a Thursday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Belichick was asked about Garoppolo three times Wednesday, but the head coach wouldn’t address his backup quarterback by name. Questions about Garoppolo have increased as Brady’s suspension looms, and Belichick isn’t biting.
“I think everyone is working hard and they’re making progress,” Belichick said. “I think we’re making progress as a team. We’ll see as we keep moving forward here how it all comes together.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images