Lee: Jimmy Garoppolo Truly “Thinks He Can Be the Best”

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The Patriots and their fanbase will forever be linked with Jimmy Garoppolo aka ‘the one that got away.’ Jimmy G is beginning his first full season as a starting quarterback, now with the San Francisco 49ers who acquired Jimmy from the Pats during the trade deadline last season. It’s also his first professional season out from under the shadow of the GOAT, Tom Brady.

Joon Lee of Bleacher Report wrote a very insightful profile Jimmy and Tom’s relationship in their 3 and a half years together in Foxboro, and how sometimes the two wildly intense competitors ‘rubbed each other the wrong way.’ Lee joined Mike Petraglia of CLNS Media on the Patriots Beat Podcast to talk more about that dynamic.

“Jimmy really looked up to Tom both on and off the field as a role model,” Lee told Petraglia. “But when you’re competing with someone, there’s always going to be some hard times. And you’re going to say things or do things that rub each other off in the wrong way.”

Lee’s in-depth look at Garoppolo’s rise in the NFL focused largely on his competitive spirit, and the many similarities he shared with Brady that made it one of the league’s most complicated love/hate relationships.

“I think that Jimmy really pushed Tom to be the best version [of himself that he could be], and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Tom’s best three year stretch of his career came with Jimmy as his backup,” Lee told Petraglia.

Brady’s fiercely competitive personality is well known, but Garropolo’s less so. Hearing about it gives fans a greater understanding of what Bill Belichick saw when he drafted the Eastern Illinois product in the second round in 2015. He saw someone who reminded him very much of Brady, turns out, Jimmy’s more like Brady than most people ever really knew.

“He [Garoppolo] really doesn’t have a life outside of football. It’s really just going to the facility, spending all his time training, working out, watching film, and trying to mentally prepare himself to be the best quarterback possible. He doesn’t even have food at home, and he doesn’t have a lot of clothes at home. Most of his stuff is at the facility, and as much of a cliché as it is, he really does live and breathe football and lives and breathes at the facility. This is a really intense guy, and he’s preparing himself to be a starting quarterback. He wants to be the best, and he thinks that he can get there.”