There was a time when New England Patriots' Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers and Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts were teammates. In 2016, Garoppolo served as Brady’s quarterback while Brissett, who was the Patriots’ third-round pick that year, served as the third-string quarterback. In fact, Brady nicknamed their group “The Wolfpack”. Garoppolo had a chance to start that year when Brady was suspended for four games due to the “Deflategate” issue. In his first career start, Garoppolo led the Patriots to a 23-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

In his second start, Garoppolo suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter of their 31-24 win over the Miami Dolphins. Brissett took over the next two games, leading the Patriots to a 27-0 win over the Houston Texans, but he suffered a thumb injury in the win. Brissett started against the Buffalo Bills, but they lost 16-0. In Week 5, Brady returned to the lineup and led the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl title with a 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Before the start of the 2017 season, Brissett was traded to the Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett while Garoppolo was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers at the 2017 NFL trade deadline.

Brissett, Garoppolo shine with new teams

Their respective trades proved to be blessing in disguise for both Brissett and Garoppolo as they both emerged as starters for the Colts and the 49ers. Brissett started 15 of 16 games in 2017 due to the injury of starting quarterback Andrew Luck. Brissett started four games in the 2018 season and was headed to backup role this season before Luck announced his retirement.

Luck’s retirement proved beneficial to Brissett as he signed a two-year deal worth $30 million to be the Colts’ starting quarterback. Garoppolo, for his part, led the 49ers to five wins in 2017 and later signed a 5-year contract worth $137.5 million with San Francisco. This season, Garoppolo and Brissett are doing well as they led the 49ers and the Colts to 8-0 and 5-2 marks, respectively.

The Patriots, for their part, also have an 8-0 record following their 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 8.

Brady still keeps in touch with ex-backups

When asked by media during his Friday’s news conference, Brady showed love to his former backups, saying it’s been fun to watch them. The 42-year-old quarterback said he still regularly keep in touch with them as all the other guys that he played with. “I always keep in touch with all of the guys that I play with,” said Brady, praising both Brissett and Garoppolo for doing a great job. “We’ve had some great groups. And those guys are doing a great job, so happy for them,” added Brady, whose current backups are 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and veteran Cody Kessler.

During the press conference, Brady did not confirm nor deny reports that he pushed the Patriots to trade with the Falcons for wideout Mohamed Sanu. "I think everybody liked Mohamed. Everybody liked him. That's why he's here. So, it's great to have him,” Brady said of his new wideout. In his first game with Brady as quarterback, Sanu caught two passes for 23 yards against the Browns. However, Brady is confident that he will have a strong connection with Sanu in the coming days. "The more we work together, the better it's going to be," Brady said.