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News Blitz 8/11: Reaction to Jags game
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As you might expect the day after a game, Patriots news is dominated this Friday by New England’s preseason opener against Jacksonville.
Backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo started in place of Tom Brady, and Garoppolo’s play is receiving much media attention today, and it’s predominantly positive.
The Boston Globe declares there’s a reason Garoppolo is still a Patriot, after offseason chatter that he might be dealt to another team.
“At the risk of putting any emphasis on a meaningless preseason game… Garoppolo passed several eye tests against the Jaguars,” the author states. “All this talk during training camp from New England media that Garoppolo isn’t playing well, or that he looks disinterested because he knows he can’t unseat Brady, looks like a bunch of hot air. Jimmy G proved once again that he is Jimmy Gameday — performing much better under the bright lights of a game situation than in training camp practices.”
An ESPN blog post echoes that sentiment, saying “Garoppolo showed well. His trademark quick release was on display, and his accuracy was mostly on point.”
“Garoppolo broke out of his summer lull last night by again performing at his best when the lights were bright,” says a Boston Herald piece. “Garoppolo was shaky at times in the opening half, but he was perfect while running the two-minute offense to close the second quarter.”
“It took Garoppolo some time to get going,” The Providence Journal points out, “but once he did, we saw that potential… Garoppolo is still here in Gillette Stadium because of the type of plays we saw on Thursday.”
On WEEI.com, you’ll find this unequivocal stance on Garoppolo and his critics.
“Thursday night against the Jaguars in the preseason opener, Garoppolo had a message of his own to those people… Shut the hell up.”
Someone else had a less enthusiastic take on Garoppolo’s game… the QB himself.
“I mean, it wasn’t anything special,” he remarked afterward.
“The natural inclination is to think of the players who have moved from corner to safety, either due to age (Troy Vincent) or effectiveness (Devin McCourty). After a year-plus attempting to be a corner in the NFL, is safety the next move [for Jones]?”
There’s more on this Jones-to-safety topic in a NESN.com piece.
Meanwhile, MassLive’s blog offers 10 things we learned from the preseason opener.
In case you missed it, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was among the attendees at last night’s game, as the eagle-eyed Eagle-Tribune writes today.
“Does this mean Sept. 7 with a be love-fest for the commissioner? No,” the author concludes. “But the NFL has a month to showcase the hugs, smiles and baby photos of Goodell with Pats fans.”
“It’s humbling,” Butler says. “It’s nice to work hard and at least have some sense of it paying off to some extent. I mean, it doesn’t mean anything, you know? You have to go out and perform either way regardless of whether you’re a starter or backup or whatever. But it’s a humbling experience.”
Finally, even though it’s only preseason, some are thinking about the Super Bowl. Not the one to come, but New England’s past two Super Bowl victories. Boston.com tries to answer the impossible: which was more improbable, Super Bowl XLIX or LI?