MIAMI — Rob Gronkowski has fond memories of Jimmy Garoppolo’s three-and-a-half-year stint as a New England Patriots quarterback.
The retired Patriots tight end said Wednesday he quickly realized Garoppolo — a second-round New England draft pick in 2014 — was a “special” talent.
“(I learned) how special of a player he was,” Gronkowski, who now works as an NFL analyst for FOX, said during the network’s pre-Super Bowl LIV media availability. “To have him as a backup QB and just seeing how he progressed over the years was just tremendous. He just always put the ball — he had that touch where he could put the ball in the place for you to go make a play.
“Every single time he threw it up there, you knew there was a chance that you could go make a play, because he had a special touch where he just lofts it, and it just somehow falls in the hole. I just remember so many experiences and so many times during practices that that happened. He just has that touch that just makes the ball go and puts it in the spot that it needs to be.”
The Patriots won two Super Bowls during Garoppolo’s time as Tom Brady’s understudy. Now a starter in San Francisco after being traded from New England in 2017, Garoppolo will have an opportunity to earn his third ring when his 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.