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Jimmy Garoppolo Conference Call Transcript

Posted May 9, 2014

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo addresses the media during his draft day conference call on Friday, May 9, 2014.

Q: What is your reaction to being selected by the Patriots?

JG: Initially I was at a loss for words really, just excited to get out there. The opportunity to play for such a successful organization, I couldn’t have pictured it any better.

Q: We were told Tom Brady is your favorite player. Is that true?

JG: He was. He was always the guy I emulated my game after.

Q: What do you think about being able to learn the game from him?

JG: It’s crazy being able to go to Boston and learn from Tom, learn from Coach [Bill] Belichick and all the coaches and all the players. It’s a great opportunity for a guy like me, a young player. I still have a lot to learn and I know that and I’m excited about it.

Q: Were you surprised by the pick and what contact did you have with the Patriots before the draft?

JG: I would have been surprised by whoever picked me, to be honest. The excitement of it, it’s the draft, you don’t know which way any team is going to go. It’s a shock and excitement no matter who picks you. Other than that, just the opportunity to play for a successful organization is awesome.

Q: What was the visit like when you came up to Foxborough?

JG: It was awesome. It was good. I got to meet everyone, all the player personnel people, the coaches. I just got to talk some football.

Q: Have you met Tom Brady?

JG: Not yet, looking forward to it though when I get up there and to Boston. My first time up there was a visit and I’m looking forward to getting back there.

Q: How much did you talk with Josh McDaniels?

JG: We had a good conversation. We got to talk some football and everything when I went on my visit and got to know each other.

Q: You said you modeled you game after Brady’s. What specifically have you tried to incorporate?

JG: His poise in the pocket is so impressive. He really does a great job of taking control of the offense. He never really loses his cool. He’s always cool, calm and collected in the pocket and that’s what I try to do.

Q: What were some of your preconceived notions about the Patriots before you were drafted?

JG: I really didn’t have any. I knew they were a very successful organization and it would be an honor to play for them. I have the chance now and I’m excited about it.

Q: Did you expect to be drafted so high?

JG: Yeah. The draft, it’s crazy. You never know where you’re going to go. But it worked out pretty well. To go in the second round is a real honor.

Q: Brady in under contract until 2017. How do you feel about coming into a situation where you might not play a snap for four years?

JG: I feel good about it. It’s one of those things. Whether I was coming in as the starter or as the backup, I’m going to go in and approach it the same way. My mindset is the same as it would be if I was going in as the starter. I’m going to go out there and try to get better each and every day. That’s what good football players do.

Q: When you look at the dynamic, you’re coming in toward the end of a great player’s career. Have you given thought to the fact that you’re going to come in and play alongside one of the greatest players in NFL history? Does that make you have to catch your breath a little bit?

JG: Just from being drafted overall I had to catch my breath. That experience was a once in a lifetime experience. It was unbelievable. But going to Boston, I’m going to get an opportunity to learn from, like you said, one of the best and also all the good coaches they have out there. They have an unbelievable coaching staff. There’s a lot for me to learn between now and the beginning of the season and I’m excited about it.

Q: What do you think the adjustment will be like going from Eastern Illinois to the NFL?

JG: There’s going to be a learning curve but I know that going into it. I’m excited about it. It’s a great opportunity to grow as a quarterback and as a football player. That’s what I’m going there to do.

Q: I assume you’ve talked to Tony Romo. What has he told you about the NFL?

JG: We talked after we won our conference championship this past season. He was just wishing us the best in the playoffs and everything. We really didn’t get talking about the NFL because I was so focused on the college season. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to him in the future.

Q: How much did your game evolved since the end of your college career, going through the process of practicing for and playing in All-Star games?

JG: Oh, it’s improved tremendously, especially the knowledge of the game. Going on all those visits, learning from coaches, learning from all the quarterback coaches I worked with. It was as long offseason and a different offseason than what I was used to, but it was a very good learning experience is the best way to put it.

Q: How confident are you? Obviously the Patriots wouldn’t have drafted you to come into this kind of situation unless you could handle it maturity wise and physically. How would you characterize those parts of your personality?

JG: It fits me very well. They’re a very blue collar organization. It seemed like all business and they get to work. That’s what I’m excited about. I’m one of those guys; I’m a blue collar guy and I go to work every day. That’s what I’m most excited about and it fits my personality very well, so I think it’s a very good fit.

Q: If you had to critique yourself, what do you have to improve most before you come in here and once you’re here?

JG: Just the knowledge of the game. There’s a huge learning curve between the college and the NFL game and I think just getting into the NFL system, being on an NFL team and learning from the veterans, I’ll be ok with that. Just learn from the guys that have been there done that and we’ll just take it day by day.

Q: What would you say is your greatest strength right now?

JG: My greatest strength is my work ethic, I would say. I’m a guy who goes to work every day and I’m going to put in the time, put in the hours that are needed and more. I think that’s something that I bring to the table.

Q: Have you ever been to the Boston area outside your visit to the Patriots?

JG: No I haven’t actually, so I’m looking forward to the new experience. It’s going to be fun.

Q: Are you familiar with anyone on the team?

JG: Just the names of players, but that’s about it.

Q: They said on TV that you have small hands and you have problems with ball security. What would you say to that?

JG: You know, they can say what they want. Never, in my opinion, I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble with ball security. I personally like throwing the NFL ball better than the college ball, but you know, everyone has their opinions. It is what it is.

Q: Your delivery isn’t classic over the top – it’s a little bit 3/4. Has anybody bothered you about that and asked you to change it?

JG: No not really. Delivery is something that each quarterback is different with. If the coaches in New England think I need to fix it, I’ll do whatever I need to do to adjust to their offense and make it work.

Q: Do you have any recollections form your teenage years and what you might remember about Aaron Rodgers getting drafted by the Packers and sitting for three, four years before he got a chance to play? What do you remember about that as a fan of the game?

JG: Yeah, I remember when that happened, him sitting in the draft room and everything – he waited a little while. It’s a very similar scenario and it worked out very well for Aaron, so hopefully it will work out the same way for me.

Q: Where are you now, just to set the stage?

JG: I’m actually in New York. I’m at the draft right now. Just shook the commissioner’s hand on stage and now I’m talking to you guys getting to know the Boston community a little more.

Q: What did Bill Belichick say to you when he called?

JG: he just told me that they were going to draft me. I got real excited. It was an unbelievable moment.

Q: Obviously you’re a competitive guy. When you get here will you be looking at your job more as a competitor or a student?

JG: I’m going to go in there and try to get better each and every day, do whatever I can to get better and pick up as much information as I can. Become a student and learn everything I can about the game and just go from there and we’ll see what happens.

Q: Did Willie McGinest give you any advice when you were on stage with him in New York?

JG: We got off the stage and he told me the Patriots are a hard working organization. He told me to get to work and everything – if you know what to do, do your job, then you’ll be all right in New England. That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.

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