When the Patriots selected Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft it took people by surprise (and was panned by some critics). After all, Tom Brady has lots of football left ... right?
Our own Ryan Wilson believes so and broke down why this week. More importantly (sorry, Ryan), Pats owner Robert Kraft agrees and said as much on NFL Network during Patriots offseason training activities on Thursday evening.
"From my point of view, and I think from our organization, we believe that Tom has a lot of play left," Kraft said. "The way he takes care of his body, the way he eats, the way he plays, the way he trains. People look up to him."
The whole Garoppolo thing is a bit overblown: Brady even said he wasn't surprised New England selected a quarterback early. As Kraft pointed out, the very reason Brady got his opportunity is because the high-profile quarterback in front of him suffered an injury -- Drew Bledsoe got knocked out and Wally Pipped during the 2001 season.
"That's a position if you don't have someone strong at that position -- look what happened, how Tommy took over in that game after 911 when we delayed a week," Kraft said to former Pats player Willie McGinest on NFLN. "Mo Lewis, our friend from the Jets took Drew out. If we didn't have someone like Tommy in our system it would've been very devastating. In any business you always need disaster insurance. The most important thing. And now we have a young man who I hope is as good as everyone feels.
"I also hope he doesn't get a chance to start for a long, long time."
Back to Brady though: Kraft pointed out his success isn't "by accident" and it's "how he prepares" that separates Brady.
"I don't think people understand the amount of tape he watches and how he prepares. And whatever he feels is the big weakness in his game, he addresses and comes on very strong," Kraft said. "You don't separate ... eight [championship games] in his career -- it doesn't happen by rote or by accident."
Kraft also praised the coaching staff and the supporting cast (including players like McGinest) and then, when asked if Brady would wear a Patriots jersey for his entire career said "I sure hope so."
"I sure hope so. We did something creative with ... he was a visionary and allowed us to restructure his contract in a way that was good for us," Kraft said. "I personally and our whole fanbase only want to see him have that flying Elvis, or that Pat Patriot if we're doing throwbacks."