Instead of being thrown into the fire with a talent-poor team in search of itself, the rookie backup quarterback has spent his first NFL season learning the game through the lens of Tom Brady.
"He does a great job day in and day out of going in and putting in the work," Garoppolo said of his preparation. "It's impressive to see that from a guy of his stature. It makes me want to do that."
Like the rest of society, Garoppolo spent the past decade-plus watching Brady on TV. Asked what surprised him most about the star quarterback as a teammate, the second-round passer pointed to Brady's personality.
"He's really down to earth," Garoppolo said. "Coming from the outside world, you don't know any better not being in the NFL if guys are all about themselves or down to earth or whatnot. But he's a very down-to-earth guy, a regular guy and we get along great."
"It's different week to week," Garoppolo said. "It was tough in the beginning of the season, but Tom obviously has been doing it for so long, that it's like second nature for him. He gets it like that -- and he's ready to roll."