Steelers defenders: Who is Jimmy Garoppolo?

Steelers defenders: Who is Jimmy Garoppolo?

Published Jul. 30, 2015 5:41 p.m. ET

Unless the NFL Players Association is successful enough in federal court to have Tom Brady’s four-game suspension overturned completely, the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to prepare for a different New England Patriots quarterback before Week 1.

They just don’t necessarily know who he is yet.

If Brady’s suspension is reduced or upheld, we’re going to learn a lot more about former Eastern Illinois star Jimmy Garoppolo. A handful of Steelers players will have some serious studying to do, too, as linebacker Jarvis Jones told Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday that he has “no idea” who Garoppolo is.

Rookie first-round draft pick Bud Dupree was equally perplexed, but he got on the right track with a little help from Starkey.


“I’m not really familiar with Jimmy Garoppolo ... ” Dupree said. “Oh, OK, the quarterback. So we just have to prepare for a different kind of person and watch the little bit of film we do have on him.”

Brady has made a career of carving up the Steelers, so they are undoubtedly hoping to catch a break by having No. 12 sidelined for at least the first week of the season. But if they take Garoppolo lightly, they might find out the hard way why the Patriots used a second-round draft pick on the 23-year-old.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh’s defense, it is only July. It still has more than a month to prepare for Brady, Garoppolo or whoever else might be under center. We saw some impressive flashes from Garoppolo last season when he may or may not have been ignored by Brady after replacing him in a blowout. Expect him to be ready if his number is called.

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