SANTA CLARA — It became a Monday ritual for the New England Patriots the past few seasons: defensive coordinator Matt Patricia would single out Jimmy Garoppolo for providing such a good look as the scout-team quarterback.
“You could see right away with his ability to run the show team, his ability to recognize the defense and be able to create plays, he had a certain skill that was pretty tough to defend against,” Patricia said Friday on a media conference call.
Patricia’s first road game as the Detroit Lions coach comes Sunday at Levi’s Stadium against Garoppolo and the 49ers. Both teams lost their opener, and whereas Garoppolo had three interceptions in a 24-16 defeat at Minnesota, the Lions fell 48-17 at home to the New York Jets on Monday night.
Bobblehead dolls featuring Jimmy Garoppolo’s likeness will be distributed at Sunday’s 49ers home opener (49ers)
Patricia spent the previous 14 seasons as a Patriots assistant, serving under Bill Belichick. Garoppolo, meanwhile, sat behind Tom Brady his first 3 1/2 seasons before getting traded to the 49ers.
“I obviously know Jimmy really well. He’s a great guy. I like him,” Patricia said. ” We’re really close with our time in New England. He’s someone who did a phenomenal job for me every single day.”
And just about every Monday, Patricia, as the Patriots defensive coordinator, recognized Garoppolo “for the outstanding job he did to help us try to win.”
Matt Cassel is now Patricia’s socut-team quarterback as he backs up Matthew Stafford, who’s played in 113 consecutive games. That’s the third-longest active streak among quarterbacks behind Philip Rivers (194) and Matt Ryan (132).
GOODWIN UPDATE: Marquise Goodwin put weight on his bruised thigh without any sign of hindrance as he worked out on a side field. But Goodwin did not officially practice all week because of the injury he sustained Sunday and limited him to 17 snaps.
Dante Pettis likely would start in Goodwin’s place, while available backups would be Kendrick Bourne and Richie James, the latter of whom did not suit up in the opener.
MUTINY MUTED: Amid recent NFL Network reports that veteran Lions players are none too thrilled with their new coach, Patricia has kept his response in-house. “I don’t really acknowledge outside rumors or gossip,” Patricia said. “We’re a tight football team. There’s great conversing inside this building and have open conversations about things that are bothering us. Really what our focus is this week is the 49ers.”
SECONDARY HEALING: The 49ers starting secondary, albeit filled with injuries, was on hand for warmups Friday and should be available Sunday. Free safety Adrian Colbert (hamstring) practiced for the first time this week. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle), nickel back K’Waun Williams (rib) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) were limited.
MALCOLM ON MEND: Linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) took part in practice and is likely a game-time decision if he’ll make his long-delayed 49ers debut. Smith did not play last week because of the hamstring issue that flared up Aug. 9, and he missed all of last season with a pectoral …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports