In a very long read from BR Mag that was published on Monday, former Patriots (and current 49ers) quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo expressed the type of confidence that you may expect from an overlooked quarterback who had to play FCS football because he was passed over by FBS schools. More specifically, he revealed that he thought he had the ability to beat out G.O.A.T. quarterback Tom Brady for a starting spot in New England not long after they took him in the second round of the 2014 draft.
After a brief anecdote about busting his Browns friend's balls about how he could start in Cleveland, the write-up explains how Garoppolo believed he could bounce Brady to No. 2 on the Pats' depth chart, even if in the back of his head he realized that was a pipe dream.
“I’ve always had that mindset,” Garoppolo said. “I knew that [Brady] was better than me in my first day in the NFL. Naturally, you’re the rookie and he’s the veteran, but you have to have that mindset, that you want to be the starter.
“Even when I was a little kid, my brothers, whenever we would play, I would literally always think I was going to win. I wouldn’t, but I would always think that. It’s like when I go to New England, when I first got there, I thought in my head, ‘I’m better than this dude.’”
The interviewer (Joon Lee) and Garoppolo then had a back and forth where Jimmy G. hedged a bit while simultaneously maintaining his confidence. Here, read the excerpt for yourself:
“But in your head, you believe you’re better than Tom Brady?” I ask.
“It was always a quiet confidence,” Jimmy says. “I would never speak that.”
I ask again: “But you believed that you were the best dude there?”
“Yeah, you believe in yourself,” Jimmy says. “That’s the best way to put it.”
I check his confidence one more time: “So you’re going up to Tom Brady and saying, ‘I’m better than you’?”
“I’m not stupid. You have to pick your battles, but I had belief in myself that I could do certain things, and it’s always worked out pretty well. It will always be in me, that drive that comes from my dad telling me that someone is always working harder, that I’m always in last place and I need to catch up to someone else.”
Perhaps a guy who eventually reduced Drew Bledsoe to a clipboard holder can appreciate the mindset (or not, he's an ultra-competitive nut). It's not like you should be satisfied sitting on the bench. Garoppolo did go on to say that Brady taught him many things, while also calling him weekly during the offseason to check in on his progress. After being traded to San Francisco last year, Garoppolo completed 67.4 percent of his throws for 1,650 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He also went 2-0 with four touchdowns and zero picks (with a QBR of 86.0) while filling in for Brady during that DeflateGate suspension. Sensationalist quotes aside, it's a pretty good read. Check out the whole story (that is, if you're super into Jimmy Garoppolo) over at Bleacher Report.