Morning sports update: Tedy Bruschi endorses Jimmy Garoppolo as a possible Patriots offseason target

"I think the pressure is higher than ever in New England in terms of who the next quarterback is going to be."

Jimmy Garoppolo Patriots Rumors
Jimmy Garoppolo playing for the 49ers in Nov. 2020. –Scott Eklund/Associated Press

Tonight, the Bruins get underway in the 2021 season. Boston faces the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m.

Elsewhere, the sports world is still reacting to the news of a blockbuster trade in the NBA which sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. The deal clearly has implications for the Celtics as an Eastern Conference title contender.

Tedy Bruschi on the Patriots’ future at quarterback: After a disappointing 2020 season in which the Patriots missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and recorded a sub-.500 record (7-9) for the first time since 2000, Bill Belichick might make some offseason changes at the quarterback position.

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With Tom Brady gone, Belichick might turn to another former Patriot.

According to former New England linebacker (and current ESPN analyst) Tedy Bruschi, who spoke about the issue during a Wednesday interview on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria,” the best candidate for the Patriots’ starting quarterback role might be Jimmy Garropolo.

For Bruschi, the shadow of Brady still looms large, creating circumstances that might be too difficult for someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to win in New England.

“Any other quarterback, why do you want to follow Tom Brady?” asked Bruschi. “You’re always going to be compared to the successes and the past, and that is going to make it a tough job. That’s going to make it a job to where guys will come in, ‘I can’t live up to that.’ I think the pressure is higher than ever in New England in terms of who the next quarterback is going to be.

“You better have some guts to come in here,” added Bruschi. “I’ll tell you that right now because from Day 1 it is going to be like, ‘OK, we’re ready for a Super Bowl championship.’ And [that quarterback] will have to deliver because that’s what [fans] are used to here. I think Garoppolo knows that. I think Garoppolo could even say, ‘You know what, I can do it. I know how it’s done.’ To me, maybe that is the best option because of the amount of pressure the new guy is going to have. It’s going to be a hard, hard task.”

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Of course, the 29-year-old Garoppolo is currently still under contract with the 49ers for two more seasons. Yet the former Patriot’s future in San Francisco continues to have a degree of uncertainty to it, and rumors persist about the 49ers lining up possible replacements.

Trivia: The last time Tom Brady beat the Saints, he was still a Patriot in 2017. Who was New England’s leading wide receiver (in terms of reception yards) that day?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was a multi-sport athlete in college, playing for two schools (including Monmouth).

More from Boston.com:

Tuukka Rask looks ready to get his season underway:

Debating Bill Belichick vs. Nick Saban:

On this day: In 2019, Stefon Diggs — now a Bills receiver — caught the dramatic winning touchdown for the Vikings in a playoff win over the Saints with no time remaining.

Here’s one more angle:

Daily highlight: AZ Alkmaar’s Teun Koopmeiners scored with an incredible back-heel finish on Wednesday in a 3-1 win over PSV Eindhoven.

Trivia answer: Chris Hogan

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