Jimmy Garoppolo says Tom Brady wished him luck ahead of Super Bowl LIV

MIAMI -- Late last week, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo acknowledged that it's "not a bad idea" to reach out to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady before Super Bowl LIV.

Turns out, Garoppolo didn't have to. At Monday's NFL "Opening Night" event at Marlins Park, Garoppolo told NFL Network that he received an encouraging text from Brady this week.

"Yeah he shot me a text, just good luck and everything like that," Garoppolo said. "And you know just 'go handle business,' you know, wasn't anything too complicated, just 'go win.'"

Garoppolo, of course, counts Brady as a friend and mentor after serving as his backup for the first three and a half seasons of his career. The Niners traded a second-round pick to New England in October 2017 for Garoppolo, who has started every game for the Niners this season.

In his time with the Patriots, Garoppolo won a pair of Super Bowl rings (XLIX and LI) but never appeared in one of the championship games. This time, he is the Niners' starter and joked about how much different Monday would be with him sitting at a podium for the hour-long media session rather than "out in the jungle" walking amongst the media and the other players and coaches not at a dais.

During San Francisco's playoff run, Garoppolo has consistently said that his experience backing up Brady in those postseasons would help him, especially in navigating the media crush of Super Bowl week.

"He would have fun at all these events and everything like that, but when the game would come, he would lock in," Garoppolo said. "Get the game plan down and all that stuff. Anything you can learn from that guy. He is the best to ever do it. I was very privileged to have learned from him."

Brady isn't the only member of the Patriots hierarchy who has been in touch with Garoppolo recently. He said coach Bill Belichick has also reached out occasionally to congratulate him on his success, something Garoppolo called "an honor."

"Coach, we had a great relationship," Garoppolo said. "He is a great guy, very honest, very straightforward. I always appreciate him for that."

With Brady set to be a free agent this offseason, Garoppolo was asked where he envisions his former teammate landing. Garoppolo demurred.

"I don't know," he said. "I haven't put much thought into it -- we've been wrapped up with all of this stuff. It will be pretty interesting when all that happens."