David Butler II/USA Today Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo acknowledges he plays better in games than in practice

Ryan Hannable
August 11, 2017 - 12:29 am

FOXBORO -- There's been a developing trend with Jimmy Garoppolo. The quarterback performs better in games than in practice.

Last summer, Garoppolo had a rough time, but then went out and beat the Cardinals on the road in Week 1 and shined in the first half against the Dolphins in Week 2 before injurying his shoulder. Fast forward to this summer and it's been a tough first two weeks of training camp, but then Thursday night against the Jaguars in the preseason opener, Garoppolo shined.

The Eastern Illinois product went 22-for-28 with 235 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 31-24 loss.

"It’s not on purpose. I don’t know," Garoppolo said when asked about the discrepancy in his practice performance to game performance. "I try to go out there and practice well every day with the guys. I mean, you’re trying different things in practice sometimes. You’re working with different guys. But, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s really a rhyme or reason to it. It’s football at the end of the day."

Over the past few weeks there has been significant attention in the media on Garoppolo and his play with some saying the dedication isn't there as much as it should be. Garoppolo said there wasn't any extra motivation to prove anything on Thursday.

"No, not really. I go out the same way every day, since I’ve gotten here, since I’ve started playing football," he said. "I love doing this. I love getting out there with the guys. I wish we would have pulled out the W tonight, but I think there was a lot of good things, some things to improve on, and we’ll work on those going forward."

Garoppolo played into the third quarter, which was the most playing time he's received in a game since Week 1 against the Cardinals last September. 

Also, the quarterback took a big hit for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 2 of last season, which knocked him out of the next two games and he wasn't able to come back until after Tom Brady returned from his four-game Deflategate suspension.

The fourth-year player recalled a hit from the game where he was rolling to his right, similar to against the Dolphins last year, and took a shot, but bounced up quickly. This was big for him.

"I actually, as I popped up from it, we completed it and I actually thought about that," he said, referring to the hit against the Dolphins last year. "So, yeah, just kind of a confidence boost, but just making sure the shoulder’s all good. It felt good tonight."

Thursday was a big night for Garoppolo and not just on the stat sheet, but able to feel like a quarterback again.

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