Round 3 For Jimmy Garoppolo & The BucsApril 8th, 2014
The quarterback parade continued today at One Buc Palace. And no, Joe’s not referring to fightin’ Mike Glennon.
The Bucs announced that former Eastern Illinois QB and soon-to-be NFL player Jimmy Garoppolo was in the building for an official visit with the team. This is the third time the Bucs have met with him.
Feel free to speculate. The Bucs, Joe would wager, will be drafting a quarterback. Josh McCown and Mike Glennon are hardly enough to soothe the masses.
Garoppolo is put up eye-popping numbers in college football’s second tier, and he’s impressed scouts for weeks and climbed up draft boards this years. He could be a second-round pick. For those who missed it, here’s some of Joe’s chat with Garoppolo back in January.
JoeBucsFan: Is there any pressure on you? Yeah, Eastern Illinois isn’t in the Big Ten, it isn’t Alabama; it isn’t Florida State; it isn’t USC. But there is a linage there of quarterbacks.
Jimmy Garoppolo: There might be, but I always thought I put more pressure on myself. I was the same way going into this past season. People were predicting us to finish first and what-not. It was a lot of pressure but I will put more pressure on myself than anybody.
Joe: Are you surprised at how far you have advanced in a year or two? You went from an unknown to on everybody’s radar?
Garoppolo: Not really surprised but more than I expected it. But I do feel like I have advanced immensely. Especially in the knowledge of the game; especially in learning the game inside and out and learning our offense. It really helps you on the field.
Joe: Yes, Dennis Hickey of the Bucs talked to you, but did Lovie Smith?
Garoppolo: No, but he’s a great coach. Lovie Smith did great things in Chicago. I am a big Bears fan and watched him bring the Bears to the Super Bowl. I saw all that happen. And I think he will bring the Bucs back to what they were in the early 2000s.
Joe: What have you learned last few days?
Garoppolo: I learned a whole new offense, really. There are a couple of new concepts that are the same as ours but for the most part they are whole new stuff. Being under center; the play-action that we are doing is a bit different; a lot of zone-reading, things like that. The whole offense in general is different. The scouts have helped me learn inside and out. I have learned a whole lot about the league. It is a fun experience, really.
Joe: So June Jones is your offensive coordinator this week. What have you learned from him?
Garoppolo: He is awesome. He really simplified the offense. When I first looked at the play book it looked like there was a lot going on. He helped calm me down. He is a real calm guy, calm demeanor. He is my kind of a coach: laid back, relaxed and knows his stuff.
Joe also had a chance to talk to June Jones, who has a lot of experience in the NFL, and this is what Jones had to say about Garoppolo:
“I’m very impressed with how sharp he is and his accuracy is what really jumped out. You tell him to put it on a guy’s shoulder and he puts it on the guy’s shoulder. I think with his accuracy, he will make it in the NFL because he is that accurate. My Hawaii teams played against [Eastern Illinois] when they had a guy named Tony Romo and he was very accurate with the football. I am really impressed with Jimmy.”