When the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady had already won three of his five Super Bowls and two of his three MVP trophies.
And still, the Patriots rookie believed he was better than arguably the greatest to ever do it.
No really, Jimmy Garoppolo believed he was better than Tom Brady
“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,” the 49ers quarterback, acquired in a midseason trade in 2017, recently told Bleacher Report. “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 was always a quiet confidence. I would never speak that.”
Sounds crazy, no?
So crazy, that BR’s Joon Lee had to make sure he’d heard it right: “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.”
Before Patriots fans and Brady sycophants break their keyboards in an accomplishment-listing fit of rage, it should be pointed out that such a mindset can be healthy for a hungry backup.
Just ask Brady, who spent the first year of his NFL career with a similar stance on Drew Bledsoe, the Pro Bowler starting ahead of him.
“I’m the best decision this organization has ever made,” Brady famously told owner Robert Kraft upon their first meeting.
“Within three years, I will have Bledsoe’s job,” he told a teammate not long after.
Brady was off by two years.
In his second season, he took the starting gig from Bledsoe and led the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory.
Garoppolo was impressive in his first stint with his new team, but he’s got a much steeper mountain to climb than Brady did if he wants to be considered better than his former starter.
He’s got the frame of mind, at least, to pull it off.