Wearing his new Patriots number 10 workout gear, baby-faced Jimmy Garoppolo looked and sounded very much like a wide-eyed kid on his first visit to a big city. Except Foxborough is anything but a big city.
Try telling that to Garoppolo, though. New England's second-round draft choice describes the atmosphere in and around Gillette Stadium as electric.
"To have this opportunity to come here, I couldn't imagine a better one," he said. "I'm excited to get after it with the guys… and to play a game in this stadium finally."
Since arriving on Mother's Day with the rest of the 2014 rookie class, the young QB has been crash-course digesting the Patriots playbook, and even took part in his first practice session with his new rookie teammates.
"I'm getting a little sleep-deprived, but that's a good thing in this business. It's like learning Spanish compared to English. It's a different language, really.
"Film and playbook, that's what makes a quarterback great," added Garoppolo. "You have to have the physical tools obviously, but when you get into the film room, get with the coaches and talk about the playbook, that's what really separates you."
On Tuesday, May 13th, the New England media met with Patriots rookies Jimmy Garoppolo (QB), Zach Moore (DL), Jon Halapio (OL), Asa Watson (TE) and Tyler Beck (TE).
Garoppolo revealed that he's barely had a chance to meet fellow QBs Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett, with whom he exchanged little more than a quick introductory "hello" upon arrival. Since then, he said, the rookies have been separated from the veterans here at Gillette Stadium as they go through orientation.
"I think next week is when we'll interact with them more."
The Illinois native is clearly still getting accustomed to being in the bright lights of such a large media market as Boston. Coming from a self-described "big Italian family" in the Midwest, where he still lives with his three brothers at home, Garoppolo told a crowd of media that the biggest surprise thus far was leaving his mother on Mother's Day to go to his new job.
"She was a little upset about it," he admitted with an easy-going grin. "It's business now, it's my job and I'm excited to be out here."