With Tom Brady officially suspended for the first four games of the season, our attention now turns to Patriots’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo. How will Bill Belichick handle the top reps in training camp?
Obviously the Pats have to get Garoppolo ready for NFL action with top reps in camp, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will get ALL the top reps in camp.
In fact, there is a good chance Tom Brady will still get a majority of the top reps.
"One closely watched storyline early in Patriots training camp will be how the four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady affects Bill Belichick’s practice plans at quarterback, and there’s a strong chance it will mostly be the status quo. Belichick annually says training camp is about preparing every player on the roster for the entire regular season, in addition to an eye toward the opening game, which is always a balance. Because of that, it wouldn’t be surprising if Brady continues to receive plenty of No. 1 repetitions early in camp. Then later in the preseason when the focus shifts to a higher gear for the Sept. 11 opener against the Cardinals, that’s when the torch could be passed to Jimmy Garoppolo for more exclusive No. 1 reps and a message to players about rallying behind Garoppolo."
I think this is a good plan for New England. You need to get Garoppolo as many reps as possible to prepare him for the first four games, but at the same time, this is still Tom Brady’s team. He hates losing reps more than anything (except losing games), so it will be tough to simply hand the reigns over to Garoppolo.
Giving Brady the majority of reps early in camp to establish a rapport with his weapons is the smart move. But you have to make sure Garoppolo gets his fair share of reps with the top guys later in camp and preseason as well.