It’s happened at just about every position in recent memory except quarterback. Now, the New England Patriots have to bring that next man up mentality under center too.
With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games, the Patriots are turning to Jimmy Garoppolo for the first four games of the season. And since he really has not seen much game action in the NFL, the Patriots are working to acclimate him to the fast-paced environment. Sure, he has familiarity with the playbook and the second unit does a lot in practice, but this is different; this will be in-game action.
So what’s going to happen? Is Garoppolo going to step up and make Tom Brady the next Drew Bledsoe. Umm.. Bill Belichick kind of shut that one down.
“We have finally some definition with Tom’s situation, so our priority now then is to get Jimmy ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game, so that’ll be obviously a comprehensive process,” he told USA Today.
“Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back, but in the meantime we have to prioritize the first part of our schedule, and that’ll be to get Jimmy ready to go. That’s pretty much where we are for today. It’ll be a day-by-day, step-by-step process.”
Garoppolo has played in 11 games in his NFL career and in those, he is 20-for-31 passing for 188 yards with a touchdown and a 91.9 passer rating.
He is entering his third NFL season and was the Patriots second round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
So how will Garoppolo being in the offense change the way they operate? Yeah, like Belichick is going to give that away.
The Patriots first game of the season is Sunday, September 11 on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a Sunday Night Football game with kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. EST.