"My time in New England was awesome," Garoppolo said on 49ers Talk, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. "I enjoyed every bit of it. It got me to where I'm at today."
Garoppolo was a second-round pick by the Patriots in 2014, making just two starts in three-and-a-half seasons before a trade to the San Francisco 49ers. He is now set to make his return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday when New England hosts the 49ers.
The 28-year-old was able to begin his career learning from one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history in Brady, although he still kept his distance from his veteran teammate.
"I didn't want to be a bother or a nuisance to him," Garoppolo said. "I just tried to pick up everything I could, just organically. I didn't want to be a pest and annoy him too much. But whenever I saw an opportunity to learn something new, see something he did, I tried to take advantage of it."
He added that while they didn't have too much in common—stemming partly from a 14-year age gap—there were still plenty of positives.
"It was fun, man. We had a good relationship," Garoppolo said. "It was competitive. We'd get after each other. But at the end of the day, it was fun."
While he did win two Super Bowl titles with the Patriots, the quarterback has found his own success in San Francisco while leading the team to an NFC title last season. He is 2-2 as a starter so far in 2020 with the team sitting at 3-3 entering Week 7.