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Michael Lombardi: Patriots think QB Jimmy Garoppolo “fits in perfectly”

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A former member of the Patriots front office speaks on how highly the team regards Jimmy Garoppolo.

The New England Patriots parted ways with Michael Lombardi this offseason and the former front office star and Bill Belichick confidant has found his way to Fox Sports where he will be a guest analyst.

Lombardi has started his rounds and joined Colin Cowherd to discuss Jimmy Garoppolo and how the Patriots scouted the quarterback and how they currently perceive him. I’ve transcribed the conversation below:

“We spent a lot of time on quarterbacks [with Cleveland], a lot of time,” Lombardi said in reference to his time as the Browns general manager. “The Derek Carrs of that draft. You’ve got Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel.”

“So you and Cleveland saw this kid [Garoppolo],” Colin Cowherd interjected.

“We spent a lot of time on Jimmy Garoppolo and really felt like he was the kind of guy that could come in and fit the program,” Lombardi continued. “It takes a unique person to come in and be around Tom Brady-”

“Why?” Cowherd asked.

“Because Tom Brady is huge and you’ve got to be somebody who is going to not be intimated by it, but also follow his work ethic,” Lombardi responded. “And understand that you can learn from Tom, but you can’t back down to Tom. And Jimmy over three years has found a way to fit in perfectly. He sits and has lunch with all the players. They respect his toughness.

“The first year, he looked at Tom ‘oh my’, second year, ‘hey, I’m getting better’, the third year, he was ready to come in and say, ‘hey, I’d throw this, I would do this, I wouldn’t do that,’ and I think he’s grown. It takes a unique guy; Jimmy has those unique qualities.

“Jimmy is a tough kid and I think what he brought to the table was a great release, he had an offensive system that really didn’t run New England’s, but when he came in that day and spent time around the Patriots coaches, Josh McDaniels, Bill Belichick, you kind of came away thinking ‘wow, this guy is something special.’”

Garoppolo has three more weeks to audition for a starting job with another franchise since it’s unlikely that he’ll start so long as Tom Brady is eligible to wear shoulder pads. There probably won’t be a shortage of suitors for his services. Garoppolo put together a great performance against the Cardinals and he’ll try to impress again in week 2 against the Dolphins.

(h/t Temujln)