New England Patriots: There is not a quarterback controversy

Tom Brady (12) and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) of the New England Patriots. Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady (12) and Jimmy Garoppolo (10) of the New England Patriots. Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

After Jimmy Garoppolo’s standout play in Week 1, some people out there are wondering what the New England Patriots will do if he keeps up the good work. But by no means is there a quarterback controversy between Garoppolo and Tom Brady.

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We live in an age of kneejerk reactions. An event transpires, and conclusions are immediately drawn. Such was the case when Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore it up in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. Many Patriots fans were left wondering, what if Garoppolo sustains this solid play? What will the Patriots do when Tom Brady returns in Week 5?

Here’s the thing: in New England, every player has a job. It is the expectation that the player’s designated role will be fulfilled. In the case of Garoppolo, his job is simple: keep the ship afloat until Brady returns. This is still Brady’s team.

With that in mind, Garoppolo could be flawless over the next three games, pilot the Patriots to a perfect 4-0 start, and he would still be holding a clipboard against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5. Why? Because his job is to put the Patriots in position to win from a quarterbacking perspective, not to lead them all the way to the Super Bowl.

Now, this isn’t to say that the Patriots won’t ever consider plugging Garoppolo into the lineup after Brady’s return. But it’s a distant possibility; Brady would have to show clear signs of decline for the Pats to bench him. And considering the amount of built-up anger Brady will have by the time he returns to the field, this writer doubts he will disappoint. The angrier Brady is, the better he plays.

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Garoppolo is expected to do a job; he is doing that job; Brady will take over the reins on October 9th. More than anything, Garoppolo is motivated to play well in this four-game stretch to impress any number of quarterback-needy teams outside of New England.