Tom Brady shared some words of advice for his former understudy Sunday as Jimmy Garoppolo prepared for his first conference championship game as a starting quarterback.
Brady, Garoppolo’s New England Patriots teammate for 3 1/2 seasons, said the San Francisco 49ers QB will need to avoid overthinking as he squares off against the Green Bay Packers for a spot in Super Bowl LIV.
“Well, I think a lot of it is you pretty much do what you’ve done all year to this point,” Brady told Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio. “You’ve got to this point with an incredible team playing really great complementary football, and it’s not about doing something different. It’s just about going out and just having really good, solid execution. A lot of the prep — I think the distractions can really come the week of the game and not at the game itself, because that becomes really second nature.
“So if there’s anything I would advise people, it’s during the week not to get caught up in all the different things you can do and the media obligations and to overhype it. But at this point in game week, you’re pretty much in game mode. The preparations are what they are, and you’ve got to go out there and compete and be the best you can be for your team.”
Garoppolo, who was traded from the Patriots to the 49ers midway through the 2017 season, addressed his relationship with Brady in a separate Westwood One interview.
“I never wanted to be a nuisance or anything like that and ask too many questions around him, so I would try to learn from afar and really take it all in visually,” Garoppolo told “NFL Insider” host Scott Graham. “Hear what he’s saying and things like that. A big thing, especially in the playoffs, that I learned from him was that you’ve gotta stay cool, calm, collected.
“There’s a lot of things going on. It’s a big moment. Fans are going crazy. But you kind of, as the quarterback, just have to be the eye of the storm. So that was one thing that I took from him that’s benefitted me so far.”
Garoppolo won two Super Bowls during his Patriots tenure but did not make his first postseason start until last Saturday, when he piloted the Niners to a 27-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round. San Francisco leaned on its dominant running game and punishing pass rush in that comfortable victory, with Garoppolo attempting a season-low 19 passes.