Jimmy Garoppolo still has about a month to get ready for the regular season, and if early reports are any indication, he’s going to need it. The 24-year-old Eastern Illinois product has showed flashes in training camp, but overall?
“Not good,” WBZ and 98.5 The Sports Hub host Adam Kaufman told Paul Nanos, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There have been a lot of struggles lately. He’s got a great release. A lot of people mocked when his old college coach compared his release to that of Dan Marino, but the skill set is there for Garoppolo. He just seems to be, in certain situations, hanging on to the ball too long and other situations forcing the ball in inopportune situations. But the thing to remember with this guy – and we’ve seen it each of the last couple of years, be it in preseason action or in very limited game action – that he’s a guy who’s largely performed as a gamer. He’s been kind of lousy in practice and he looks like he belongs instantly upon showing up in these games. So I don’t think anyone around here, while he has not looked very good, is concerned (that he’s struggling in workouts). Let’s see how you look in an actual game and then form an opinion going into the first month of the year without Tom Brady.”
Unfortunately for Garoppolo, New England’s running game likely won’t be able to carry – no pun intended – the Patriots to victory in Brady’s absence.
“I would say no,” Kaufman said. “This team is as deep as it has been under Bill Belichick overall and at a variety of positions, (which is) something he’s made a point to talk about. But in terms of running back depth, not really. If Dion Lewis is ready to go come the start of the year, that’s a different story. But if he’s not, if he starts the year on PUP or if he’s healthy but slow to get going, you don’t know what you’re going to get out of James White or LeGarrette Blount, if he even makes the team, or Brandon Bolden. D.J. Foster, this rookie, is something of an unknown, but you don’t know what you’ve got there in terms of running back depth.”
As a result, Garoppolo will have to rely on Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Martellus Bennett, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan, among others.
“I don’t think Garoppolo has to carry the team; I think he just needs to not hurt the team,” Kaufman said. “He needs to be efficient. He needs to kind of be what Brock Osweiler was to the Broncos early on last year when he took over for Peyton Manning, and the Patriots, at worst in that case, should go 2-2. As nice as it would be, I don’t think anyone is realistically thinking Jimmy Garoppolo is going to go out and light the world on fire – throw for 15 touchdowns and no interceptions and average 350 yards a game and all of a sudden reporters will be itching to again ask Bill Belichick, ‘So, who’s starting in Cleveland in Week 5?’ That’s not going to happen. It’s Tom Brady team come Week 5 no matter how well Jimmy Garoppolo plays.”