Getting Garoppolo ready a priority, but Brady to return as starter in week five, Belichick says

By Christopher Frangolini

Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the media Wednesday for the first time in 2016 and his monotone “candor” is already in mid season form.

With their focus set toward the start of training camp on Thursday and the 2016 football season, Belichick laid out some of the team’s “priorities,” starting with the suspension of Tom Brady and getting Jimmy Grappolo ready for week one.

“We had, finally, some definition with Tom’s situation, so our priority now is to get Jimmy [Garoppolo] ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game [Sept. 11]. That will be, obviously, a comprehensive process,” Belichick said. “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 will be to get Jimmy ready to go.”

The Patriots open week one in Arizona on September 11, a Sunday night prime time game. Weeks two through four are all home, against Miami (September 18), Houston (September 22) and Buffalo (October 2).

brady garoppolo
Tom Brady has 223 career starts. Jimmy Garoppolo has zero.

In that span, we will learn a lot about Garoppolo, who has zero career starts, but has appeared in 11 games (20-for-31, for 188 yards, TD, 0 interceptions) mostly for mop up duty.

Opening up on the road (in prime time), against a team that was 13-3 a year ago, will be tough for his first career start. He will also have a difficult turnaround from week two (against Miami) to Houston (week three), which is a Thursday night game.

Regardless of how Garoppolo performs, Belichick is clear that Brady will return to the starting line up in week five against Cleveland.

Belichick also said that practice reps will be divided and evaluated “day to day.”

“We know what we have to work with and that’s what we’ll be doing,’’ he said.

Beantown Blitz will be live reporting from training camp on Thursday. Follow Beantown on Twitter @beantownblitz12.

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