Jimmy Garoppolo’s relationship with Tom Brady has been a topic of conversation recently.
The dynamic has been examined from various angles, including whether it should include a mentor/student aspect.
Brady said Tuesday that, for the Patriots’ sake, he hopes Garoppolo does well in the first four weeks of the season — while Brady is serving a suspension — and Garoppolo said Wednesday he believes that sentiment is genuine.
“There’s a little competitiveness in all of us, but at the end of the day, we’re a team and we’re all trying to hope for the best for each other,” Garoppolo said Wednesday on WEEI. “I think Tom is sincere about that. But we’ll find out.”
Brady acknowledged it will be tough to watch Garoppolo run things in his stead, but he loves being around the young quarterback.
“I enjoy every day that we’ve spent with him,” Brady said in Foxborough Tuesday. “I wish him the very best, obviously, for our team, for him personally. When you see people that it means a lot to, you always want them to succeed as well.
“It’d be tough to watch, but I’ll be excited to watch and excited to learn and hopefully when I come back in October, I’ll be a better player than I am today.”
Coach Bill Belichick even said Tuesday he doesn’t think it’s necessarily the role of older players to help develop younger players.
“Our players aren’t coaches, they’re players, and they need to get ready to play, and as I said, I think every player needs to get ready to play,” said Belichick. “I don’t care how long you’ve been in the league, I don’t care what position you play, I don’t care how long you’ve coached, I don’t care what position you coach.
“We haven’t done it for a long time, a number of months, and now we all need to sharpen those skills up. That’s every player, that’s every coach, so I don’t really think players have a lot of time to run around and be telling everybody else what to do.
“Honestly, there is enough that all of them need to work on individually, and that would be every single player, that’s a full plate for them.”
Garoppolo said Wednesday that he has welcomed Brady’s feedback, no matter how big or small the advice may be.
“It’s nice to have him there for the little critiques, the little ideas here and there,” Garoppolo said. “But before we know it, he’s going to be gone for a month and we’re just going to be rolling as we are. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. But we’ll be good going forward.”
Though Brady will return to his role as starter in Week 5 — something Belichick has affirmed more than once this preseason — Garoppolo isn’t writing himself off.
“I’m going out there with the mind-set, ‘I’m the starter,’ ” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to get these first four games. We’ll see where it goes from there. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s a crazy league, and anything’s possible, really.”
And what about Brady’s new hairstyle, which inspired many a social media joke Tuesday?
“I’m not really a long hair guy myself,” Garoppolo said. “To each his own, though. He can pull it off, that’s for sure.”
On whether he’ll play in the preseason finale against the Giants Thursday: “Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know. I hope I get a chance to get out there, get some reps with the guys. But we’ll find out tomorrow, I guess.”
On Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem to protest racial inequality: “It’s a touchy subject, but to each his own, I guess. It’s not my idea of doing the right thing. But it’s his personal opinion, I guess. You’ve just got to let him stand by that. But I think we have a great thing going on in this country. Everything about America, it’s a great thing. We’re all very blessed to be here. And it’s good to realize that.”
On what he thinks about during the national anthem: “I can’t tell you what exactly is going through my mind, because it’s right before the game, you’ve got a lot of emotions rolling and everything. But it’s kind of one of those moments you get to sit back and really appreciate where you are and the opportunity that you have. The NFL is a tough gig to get into and a tough gig to stay in. I feel blessed to be in it. It’s a great opportunity. It’s one of those moments you get to just sit back and realize where you’re at, then go kick some ass after that.”
Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.