In a freshly-released feature story for Bleacher Report, former New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo admitted that he was of the belief that he was better than Patriots quarterback Tom Brady while in New England.
“I’ve always had that mindset,” Garoppolo, now with San Francisco, 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.’”
It’s the mindset that any team wants their starting quarterback to have, and it’s the same mentality that Brady had when he successfully took the starting job from Drew Bledsoe in 2001. You should expect nothing less from a competitor.
But the author of the story, Joon Lee, then pressed Garoppolo on the idea that he was better than Brady.
“It was always a quiet confidence,” Garoppolo said. “I would never speak that.
“You believe in yourself. That’s the best way to put it.”
Lee pressed once more and put it simply: “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,” Garoppolo, still undefeated as a starter, admitted. “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.”
At 26 years old, and signed by the 49ers to a five-year deal worth almost $140 million this past offseason, Garoppolo will have plenty of time to prove that he’s better than the Greatest Of All Time.
The good news for Garoppolo in such a pursuit, though, is that he spent multiple seasons studying from the G.O.A.T himself.