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Should Chicago Bears make move for Garoppolo?

February 25, 2017 - Author: admin

 

Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks with members of the media in the team’s locker room following an NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass.

by Bob LeGere

Reprinted with permission, Daily Herald, 2/2/2017

There’s no doubt about the biggest question facing the Chicago Bears this off-season.

Should they trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to lead their bid to return to NFL prominence, or would they be better off using a high draft pick to get their quarterback of the future?

Bears general manager Ryan Pace has three months to find an answer to the most important decision he will make between now and the NFL draft. His future here and that of coach John Fox may depend on getting it right.

For a Bears team poised to move on from Jay Cutler, the Garoppolo scenario is too intriguing to ignore because the team doesn’t have a successor in place.

The Arlington Heights native, who starred at Rolling Meadows High School and then at Eastern Illinois before being drafted in the second round by the Patriots, has impressed in his limited opportunities in the NFL.

The Pats can afford to entertain offers for Garoppolo because Tom Brady is still playing at a Hall of Fame level at 39 and has indicated he wants to play for several more seasons. They also drafted Jacoby Brissett in the third round last year.

As usual, the Patriots are in the driver’s seat because they’re rich at quarterback and this is not considered a strong year for the position in the draft.

With that in mind, let’s consider the main arguments in this Bears debate.

No. 1: The top QBs in the draft all come with major concerns.

North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky is the consensus top prospect because he grades the highest in accuracy and mechanics. The biggest knock on Trubisky is that he has been a starter for just one year. But he still may not get past the Cleveland Browns, who have the first pick, and the San Francisco 49ers, who are next at second.

That doesn’t mean Trubisky will pay immediate dividends.

“It would shock me if, after one year as a starting quarterback, he were able to play at a high level as a rookie in the NFL,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said.

But what if he’s there when the Bears are on the clock?

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson is not strong fundamentally and comes with accuracy concerns, but he’s a potential top-10 pick. He proved himself on the national stage and has great athleticism and intangibles such as leadership and experience.

Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer is the consensus third-best quarterback in the draft. He has prototypical size, athleticism and a strong arm, but he underachieved last season with inconsistent accuracy. Several draft analysts believe Kizer will be available when the Bears make their second-round pick (36th overall).

No. 2: Garoppolo is the safer pick.

The safer alternative is Garoppolo because he has three seasons of experience with the Patriots. It’s true that the vast majority of that time has been spent watching Brady play the position, but there’s also value in that.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised Garoppolo’s work ethic and his acceptance by the team last summer when the Bears traveled to practice with the Patriots.

“I think that happened Day One when he came here,” Belichick said. “He’s always done that. I don’t think it’s been any different this year. He has grown this year, but I don’t think his approach has been any different. Jimmy has good presence for the position. I think he always has.”

The 2016 season was supposed to be Garoppolo’s opportunity to show his readiness to be a starter because Brady was suspended for the first four games for his alleged role in “Deflategate.”

But after less than six quarters as the starter, Garoppolo was sidelined with a right-shoulder injury that kept him out for several weeks. Before getting injured, Garoppolo was spectacular, completing 42 of 59 passes (71.2 percent) for 496 yards, 4 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 119.0.

He has one year remaining on his four-year, $3.48 million rookie contract, but no team that trades for him would do so without a long-term extension in place.

No. 3: The Patriots won’t let Garoppolo go cheaply.

Rumors suggest the starting point in trade talks with the Patriots is a first- and fourth-round draft pick for the 25-year-old Garoppolo.

That’s too much to give up in the Bears’ case, since they hold the third overall selection. Too much unless they’re convinced he is worth much more than he was in 2014, when he was a late second-round pick (62nd overall).

Since then, adding in garbage-time appearances to his two starts, he has completed 63 of 94 passes for 690 yards with 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions for a rating of 106.2.

That’s not a large enough body of work for the Bears to give up the third overall pick unless they’re convinced Garoppolo is their long-term answer at quarterback.

Don’t forget how impressively the Bears’ No. 3 quarterback, Matt Barkley, played last season before he crashed and burned.

In his first three starts, Barkley had an 83.0 passer rating with 4 TD passes and 2 interceptions. After opponents had three games’ worth of film on him, Barkley threw 10 interceptions and 4 TD passes in his next three starts for a 66.0 passer rating. He also lost 2 fumbles on sacks.

The Bears and others will proceed more cautiously than the Houston Texans did last off-season when they signed unrestricted free agent Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal that included $37 million guaranteed. The Texans overspent for Osweiler after he had accumulated just seven mildly encouraging starts in four years with Broncos, and they wound up benching him. Osweiler finished 29th in the league with a disappointing 72.2 rating.

No. 4: Comparing apples and oranges in the NFL.

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings just before the start of the 2016 season, they got a first-round pick this year and a fourth-rounder in 2018.

But the two situations are not comparable. The Vikings were in panic mode after Teddy Bridgewater went down with an injury on the eve of what Minnesota expected would be a playoff season.

The Bears have no such reasonable expectations for next season, regardless of who is at quarterback.

More important, Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, and a more proven commodity than Garoppolo.

Bradford had made 64 NFL starts before the Vikings traded for him, and had 54 TD passes vs. 31 interceptions in three seasons.

In 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs gave up a second-round pick (34th overall) and a conditional pick (which became a second-rounder) to the 49ers for Alex Smith. But Smith was 29 and had started 75 games, posting a 38-36-1 record. Smith also was a No. 1 overall pick (2005).

The Bears won’t be the only team interested in Garoppolo. The Browns (at No. 1), and the 49ers (No. 2) have critical needs at quarterback.

Still, it’s conceivable the Bears could offer their second-round pick this year (36th overall) and a fourth-rounder next year for Garoppolo.

That would allow Pace to draft a defensive difference-maker in the first round and also get a quarterback of the future who’s ready to play right now.

No Comments - Categories: Team News

Where Will Jimmy Go?

February 4, 2017 - Author: admin

On the cusp of the Super Bowl (and we hope Jimmy Garoppolo gets to play!) let’s review the many pieces speculating on Jimmy’s possible draft by another team. Will it happen post-season? At present, most likely prospects look like the Cleveland Browns (who really need the help) and the Chicago Bears (Jimmy’s hometown!)

JimmyScruffAgain

Here are links to the predictions:

Chicago Tribune:

Fox Sports:
UPI.com:
Sporting News:

No Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Garoppolo Shines in Debut as Patriots Starter; Patriots down Cardinals 23-21

September 12, 2016 - Author: admin

Jimmy Garoppolo was stellar in his first game filling in for suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, completing 24-33 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown. The Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals went back and forth all game, but Garoppolo was able to drive the team down the field late in the 4th quarter before kicker Stephen Gostkowski came in to kick what would be the game-winning field goal. From there, the Patriots defense forced the Cardinals to attempt a long field goal, which was missed. Garoppolo then took a knee to run out the clock and seal the victory.

The game went in Arizona’s favor early, as a sack of Garoppolo forced him to fumble. Arizona’s Chandler Jones recovered the fumble, which led to a Cardinals touchdown. Despite the early setback, Garoppolo was able to bounce back and make great plays for the Patriots all over the field. While the Patriots are generally known for having a deep passing game when Brady is under center, it would appear that Head Coach Bill Belichick adjusted the gameplan for Garoppolo. Many of the Patriots’ offensive drives included more running plays than passing plays, and when Garoppolo did pass he threw short or mid-range strikes. Despite this, the Patriots still moved the ball very efficiently. Garoppolo’s biggest strength in this game was his effectiveness on 3rd down. Garoppolo completed 8 of 10 3rd down throws and converted seven of those throws for first downs. Arizona has a lot of weapons on offense, including future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and a key part of the gameplan with Garoppolo was to keep the Patriots offense on the field so Arizona’s offense would have fewer chances to score. Despite Fitzgerald’s 2 touchdown catches and a late push by the Cardinals’ offense down the field, the Patriots were able to hang on and get the victory.

The spotlight was squarely on Garoppolo after the game, but instead of basking in it Garoppolo was quick to give most of the credit to his teammates and coaches. It is clear that Garoppolo isn’t going to be a cocky kind of guy when leading this Patriots team.

“Whoever’s out there on the field, we have a lot of confidence in one another, and that means a lot to us,” Garoppolo said. “The coaching staff did a great job simplifying plays for us on third down. It makes things a lot easier for all of us when you have coaching like that.”

While many experts didn’t pick the Patriots to win this game, it seems as if there might be more believers in Garoppolo than there were before the opening kickoff. There will now be even more scrutiny on Garoppolo when the Patriots face off against the Miami Dolphins next week in Massachusetts. While he won’t have as tough of an opponent as Arizona’s defense was, there will be increased pressure for Garoppolo to build on his success from this game. Many people were unsure of Garoppolo’s skill level coming into the season since he hadn’t played much time in meaningful games. As of the time this article was published, Jimmy Garoppolo is trending on Twitter. It just goes to show how much it means to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. If Garoppolo keeps playing this well in the team’s next three games, there may be other NFL teams that try to trade for Garoppolo to make him their starter. Anything is possible, but for now it’s really cool to see a kid like Garoppolo get to live his dream.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots will look to add to their momentum coming off Sunday night’s huge win when they battle the Dolphins next week in the Patriots’ home opener at Gillette Stadium. The Game starts at 1 pm EST on Sunday, September 18th. Be sure to keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more news and updates on the up and coming QB.

No Comments - Categories: Games

Jimmy Garoppolo Video: Meet the Garoppolos

September 9, 2016 - Author: admin

This coming Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo will play the quarterback position for New England Patriots as they play the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ (8:30 pm EDT, 7:30 pm CDT, on NBC).

Tom Brady will miss the first four games as Patriots QB due to the NFL-imposed four-game Deflategate suspension.

In case you missed it, here is a video from the New England Patriots about their up-and-coming star, Jimmy Garoppolo. You get to travel to his quaint hometown of Arlington Heights, IL, meet the parents and brothers, see him drive his snappy new Chevy, and much more.

This exemplifies what a down-to-earth guy he is–as is his family. When he was drafted, it was the first time any of the family members had been to New York!

Jimmy Garoppolo Video

Want to keep up on a daily basis with the latest news on Jimmy Garoppolo? Follow this Twitter account: Jimmy Garoppolo Fans.

 

No Comments - Categories: Games, Tom Brady

Jimmy Garoppolo Will Start Patriots’ First Four Games After Brady Suspension Upheld

August 1, 2016 - Author: admin

The New England Patriots’ have announced that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the team’s starting quarterback for the first four games of the upcoming NFL season after Tom Brady’s four-game suspension regarding the “Deflategate” scandal was reinstated by The US Second Court of Appeals at the end of April. Although some thought Brady may appeal the decision further up to the US Supreme Court, he made a statement shortly after the ruling saying that he would not fight the suspension any longer.

“It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process,” Brady said in a statement. “I’m going to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall.”

This decision clears the way for Garoppolo to be an NFL starting quarterback for the Patriots’ first four games of this season, and marks the quarterback’s first true test of whether or not he has the talents to be a starting quarterback in this league. While seeing glimpses of Garoppolo’s success in garbage time or in preseason games, fans have often wondered how Garoppolo would stack up if he had Brady’s job. Well, now those fans will get their chance to find out.

Garoppolo hasn’t had much experience in the NFL. He’s thrown just 31 passes in two seasons as the Patriots’ backup quarterback. But in the limited time he’s been on the field, Garoppolo has shown he can have an impact running with the ball or throwing downfield. This adds a new element to the quarterback position that the Patriots could toy with in the first four games of the season, as Brady isn’t considered a running quarterback. Garoppolo has received a lot of attention in the past few weeks since it was clear he’d be the starter for part of this season. His former coach at Eastern Illinois University, Dino Babers, had high praise for his former QB.

“Jimmy Garoppolo was the William Tell, to me, of college football,” Babers said in an interview with ESPN. “I’ve never seen a quarterback that could hit exactly what he was throwing at. I’m not talking about putting it on a guy’s body, you put your hand out there and he’s sticking the ball right in the middle of your palm…I’m just telling you, this young man is exceptional. If Bill Belichick put a second-round draft pick on him, he knows what he’s doing.”

Indeed, the Patriots’ coaching staff has been asked a lot about Garoppolo since he was named the apparent starter for these first four games. These games against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills, respectively, will not be easy (no NFL game is). However, it is clear that the coaching staff of the Patriots are confident in Garoppolo’s abilities, and won’t be changing much in the way of how the team practices or prepares.

“This is really the time of the year where we really try to provide everyone with their foundation for the whole year, so our philosophy really is going to remain unchanged for a while here, in terms of repetitions,” Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “We usually split them up pretty evenly. We don’t really put anybody in first and second groups, or third groups, at this point.”

Even opposing coaches have been singing the praises of Garoppolo. Here’s the Head Coach of the New York Jets, the Patriots’ division rival, on Garoppolo and the team:

“Garoppolo can play,” Todd Bowles told the New York Daily News. “They don’t worry about who they have. They just have a system in place and they go play football. I think people underestimate that. You still have to knock off the champs. It’s theirs until somebody takes it from them.”

It seems as if there are high expectations on Garoppolo, but based on how much talent he’s shown and how his peers in the NFL view him, it seems likely that the young QB could live up to them. Garoppolo has a chance to prove he is a starting-caliber NFL quarterback, which may even land him an opportunity to start on a team other than New England in the future. All that Garoppolo has to focus on now is the start of the season and getting ready to play in a role that he hasn’t held since college. The Patriots’ regular season starts on Sunday, September 11th when the Patriots visit Arizona to face the Cardinals. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Patriots and Garoppolo, so keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more news and updates!

No Comments - Categories: Games, Team News

Jimmy Garoppolo as Patriots Starting QB Suddenly a Reality

April 25, 2016 - Author: admin
Jimmy Garoppolo NFL New England Patriots

A decision today made Tom Brady’s four-game suspension a highly possible situation this fall. A panel of three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit today ruled in favor of the league in the case against Brady and the NFL Players Association. The NFLPA said they will “carefully review the decision [and] consider all of our options…”

The first four challengers for the New England Patriots this fall will be the Arizona Cardinals (Sun. Sept. 11), Miami Dolphins (Sun. Sept. 18), Houston Texans (Thurs. Sept. 22) and Buffalo Bills  (Sun. Oct. 2). Jimmy Garoppolo, drafted in the second round two years ago and considered the eventual successor to Tom Brady, is assumed to be the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots for the first four games, should today’s decision stand. He is now the only active quarterback on the Patriots roster.

Last May, it was speculated that Garoppolo might be starting quarterback when Brady’s four-game suspension was originally announced. However, a federal court vacated the suspension. The suspension originated from “Deflategate,” alleged tampering with footballs by the New England Patriots.

Though spending extensive time training and performing well on the practice field, Garoppolo saw little playing time last year as Brady often played long into easily-won games and held the stage as QB. This year, though, Garoppolo seems more than ready, backed by a healthy offensive line. Strong players like tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola should round out the team’s formidable lineup.

Experts are saying Brady’s ability to fight the latest turn of events on his suspension will be a tough road and likely unsuccessful, giving Jimmy Garoppolo the spotlight his fans hope to see this fall. However, there is a report that Brady is discussing options with his legal team and looking for a way to fight the ruling.

More to come as the story develops…

No Comments - Categories: Deflategate, Team News, Tom Brady

Photo Gallery Additions

February 23, 2016 - Author: admin

New pix at right, on link titled “Photo Gallery.”

Largest gallery of Jimmy Garoppolo pix anywhere! ridewithjimmy2

No Comments - Categories: Team News

Judge Overturns Brady Suspension, Garoppolo Once Again Backup

September 3, 2015 - Author: admin

New York Judge Richard Berman overturned the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady regarding the “Deflategate” scandal Friday, meaning he will start the season as the starting quarterback for the team. While the ruling is a big victory for the Patriots and the NFL Players Association, it’s bittersweet for Jimmy Garoppolo fans who wanted to see what skills the young player had at the quarterback position as a starter. The NFL is expected to appeal the ruling, but that appeal most likely won’t be heard during the upcoming NFL season. Barring injury, Brady should start every game of this season for the Patriots.

 

Berman’s ruling is over 40 pages long, and is very critical of the NFL in general. In the ruling, Berman states that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell created “His own brand of justice”. Berman also added that he thought the league’s independent investigation into the scandal wasn’t actually an independent investigation at all. His ruling was clear in this passage:

“The Court finds that no player alleged or found to have had a general awareness of the inappropriate ball deflation activities of others or who allegedly schemed with others to let air out of footballs in a championship game and also had not cooperated in an ensuing investigation, reasonably could be on notice that their discipline would (or should) be the same as applied to a player who violated the NFL Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances.”

The NFL issued the following statement regarding Berman’s decision:

“We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision. We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game,” Goodell wrote. “The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.”

Patriots fans and NFL players everywhere are celebrating this huge victory for the team and the rights of players in general. It is certainly an unprecedented ruling, as many thought that the NFL keeping the case in New York would work in the league’s favor. Fans of Garoppolo certainly want what’s best for the Patriots, which honestly is Tom Brady as the team’s starting quarterback, but it would’ve been nice to get a glimpse of the up and coming quarterback as a starter for a major NFL franchise. Even if it was just four games Garoppolo would’ve started, it would’ve been a huge test for him and a good gauge of how he could play as a starter in the league. For now, Garoppolo fans will have to keep waiting. Garoppolo hasn’t commented yet on this situation, but we will update this story if he does, so keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net

No Comments - Categories: Team News

Garoppolo Ready to Start Week 1 as Patriots Await Brady Decision

- Author: admin

Jimmy Garoppolo reiterated to reporters Monday that he was ready to be the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Even as the team awaits a decision from federal judge Richard Berman on the status of quarterback Tom Brady regarding the “Deflategate” scandal, Garoppolo has been practicing as the team’s starting quarterback since training camp began. Of course, it is possible that the judge will rule in Brady’s favor and the star quarterback will not serve a suspension, but that hasn’t stopped Garoppolo or the team from preparing as if the suspension will be upheld.

 

“Whether I’m the starter, backup, whatever that may be, I’m preparing like the starter, and I’ve got to be ready for Week 1,” Garoppolo said. “You’ve got to come into this whether you’re a starter or a backup, you’ve got to have a starter’s mentality. You never know when your number is going to get called.”

So far in this preseason, Garoppolo has shown flashes of greatness mixed in with some growing pains as he adjusts to the NFL game. His first preseason start against the Green Bay Packers was a tough outing for Garoppolo, as he was sacked seven times. He was able to bounce back in the next preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, protecting the ball and leading the Patriots to a win. The team’s last preseason game this week against the New York Giants will be Garoppolo’s last opportunity to get some much needed reps before he possibly suits up in week 1 as the starter.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are awaiting a judge’s ruling on whether or not Brady violated any rules in the NFL’s “Deflategate” scandal. Judge Berman said he didn’t want to wait until next week to issue a ruling, so that means a ruling will most likely be issued Friday. Of course, Garoppolo was mum on the subject of the Brady scandal when asked.

“We’re going about our business as usual,” he said. “Just getting ready for the next game against the Giants. We’re taking it day by day and going about our business.”

The Brady situation has loomed large over the Patriots all off-season, but we could finally know the status of who the team’s starting quarterback will be by Friday. It all depends if Judge Berman is ready to rule on the case by then. Of course, we will cover any developments in this case so keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net.

No Comments - Categories: Team News

Tom Brady Releases Statement on NFL’s “Deflategate” Ruling

July 29, 2015 - Author: admin

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released the following statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday:

“I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.

Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was “probable” that I was “generally aware” of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. He dismissed my hours of testimony and it is disappointing that he found it unreliable.

I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no “smoking gun” and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.

I authorized the NFLPA to make a settlement offer to the NFL so that we could avoid going to court and put this inconsequential issue behind us as we move forward into this season. The discipline was upheld without any counter offer. I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.

Lastly, I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support of family, friends and our fans who have supported me since the false accusations were made after the AFC Championship game. I look forward to the opportunity to resume playing with my teammates and winning more games for the New England Patriots.”

Although Brady doesn’t specifically mention taking this case to court, the legal battle has already been set in motion by the NFL. The League filed a legal brief on Tuesday in a New York Federal Appeals Court in order to try and keep the possible trial in that state. Brady also makes no mention of Jimmy Garoppolo taking over at quarterback during his suspension, and that is likely because he is hoping to have this suspension be erased altogether. It remains to be seen if Brady will be able to play while this case is in court, and it will likely depend on the judge overseeing the case. Keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more updates on this story, as there will surely be plenty of since this case is still developing.

No Comments - Categories: Team News

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