MIAMI – When Jimmy Garoppolo landed in New England after the 2014 draft, it was hard for him to get the attention he needed as a rookie quarterback.
“Josh [McDaniels] and Tom [Brady] were doing their thing getting ready for the games,” Garoppolo recalled on Monday at Opening Night of Super Bowl LIV.
And Bill Belichick? Obviously, he had more pressing concerns than the development of Garoppolo.
But there was one person on the staff whose job was to bring the rookie along, make him NFL-ready. Perhaps even one day Super Bowl-ready.
That was offensive assistant and eventual assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski.
“Thinking back on everything, I owe him so much,” Garoppolo said. “Jerry was there for everything from the minute I got to the Patriots. He was kind of my quarterback coach in a way… I mean, he started with me from Day One with the Patriots.''
Schuplinski wasn’t with Daniel Jones from Day One, but he may be with him for a while. Earlier this month, Joe Judge hired Schuplinski to be the Giants’ quarterbacks coach. The two coached together in New England, and now they’ll be together with the Giants.
The Giants are so impressed with Schuplinski that behind the scenes, they consider him the heir to the offensive coordinator job if Jason Garrett winds up leaving for another head-coaching vacancy. That’s assuming another team doesn’t pluck Schuplinski for their coordinator gig first.
Can Schuplinski turn Jones into a Super Bowl quarterback like the 49ers' starting quarterback? Garoppolo wouldn’t guarantee that, but he thinks Schuplinski will be very helpful to Jones as he enters his second NFL season.
“He’s a great guy at simplifying things, taking a complicated offense and simplifying it for a quarterback,” Garoppolo said. “I think that’s crucial and he did a great job of that when I was in New England. I know he did that with Jacoby [Brissett] too.
“It’s a great hire there in New York.”