Garop­polo takes lessons from Brady

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By JOSH DUBOW

MIAMI — Jimmy Garop­polo had a front-row seat in the best class­room on the best way to pre­pare for be­ing a start­ing quar­ter­back in the Su­per Bowl.

Af­ter watch­ing Tom Brady pre­pare for two Su­per Bowl wins as his backup on New Eng­land, Garop­polo now gets the chance to trans­late those lessons into his first trip as a starter for the San Fran­cisco 49ers.

“I think just how calm he was,” Garop­polo said about what he learned watch­ing Brady pre­pare for wins over Seat­tle fol­low­ing the 2014 sea­son and At­lanta two years later.

“Every­one says you’ve got to treat it like another game, just the way he ac­tu­ally he did it. I was up close and per­sonal, pick­ing up ev­ery­thing I could, see­ing how he went about his busi­ness and ev­ery­thing. And ob­vi­ously it worked out the two times that I was there with him.”

Brady is the most ac­com­plished Su­per Bowl passer there is, mak­ing nine trips to the big game and win­ning six of them, in­clud­ing the two with Garop­polo as his backup.

Both those wins were

mem­o­rable ones with the Pa­tri­ots over­com­ing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quar­ter to beat the Sea­hawks and then ral­ly­ing from 28-3 down to beat the Fal­cons in over­time.

The work for those come­backs be­gan long be­fore Brady went on the field.

“You could see it, how he is, his body man­ner­isms, ev­ery­thing, just how he pre­pares for it makes him con­fi­dent on Sun­day,” Garop­polo said. “And so, I’m try­ing to do the same thing, be ready to go and we’ll see what hap­pens.”

Garop­polo said he re­ceived a con­grat­u­la­tory text mes­sage from Brady as he pre­pares for the game. Garop­polo will try to join for­mer Nin­ers great Steve Young and Jeff Hostetler as the only quar­ter­backs to be ac­tive for a Su­per Bowl win as a backup quar­ter­back to later go on and win the ti­tle.

If that hap­pens, the 49ers will have the Pa­tri­ots to thank as the team that has played in the past three Su­per Bowls still has an im­pact on this year’s game.

The re­build of the 49ers was fast-tracked mid­way through the 2017 sea­son when the Pa­tri­ots of­fered to trade Garop­polo to San Fran­cisco for a se­cond-round pick.

With Brady show­ing no signs of slow­ing down or want­ing to re­tire and Garop­polo set for free agency the fol­low­ing spring, coach Bill Belichick de­cided to of­fer him up to a fran­chise he re­spected.

“It was a big step in our as­cen­sion as an or­ga­ni­za­tion,” gen­eral man­ager John Lynch said. “He made us bet­ter as an or­ga­ni­za­tion in­stantly. He’s a win­ner. A lot of that is just in­her­ently who he is but I think the ‘Pa­triot Way’ helped shape that as well. He had great ex­pe­ri­ences there. All he cares about is win­ning.”

That was ev­i­dent from the day Garop­polo ar­rived in San Fran­cisco to join a team that started its first sea­son un­der coach Kyle Shana­han with nine straight losses.

Garop­polo be­gan learn­ing the of­fense im­me­di­ately and stepped in late that sea­son to win the fi­nal five games as a starter.

As­so­ci­ated Press

ALL SMILES — 49ers quar­ter­back Jimmy Garop­polo smiles as he speaks dur­ing a me­dia avail­abil­ity for NFL Su­per Bowl 54 on Tues­day in Miami.

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