Bill Belichick leaves no doubt: Tom Brady will be Patriots' starter after suspension

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Tom Brady announced almost two weeks ago that he was giving up his fight, and would end pursuit of exoneration in Deflate-gate: The Saga, meaning he’d be suspended for the first four games of this season.

Which means the New England Patriots know that third-year backup Jimmy Garoppolo will be starting those games, and he must get more first-team reps during training camp than he normally does.

Garoppolo, a second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois who has just 31 attempts in his first two seasons, will be at the helm for a not-too-easy quartet of games to open the season: at Arizona, then home against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady (Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady (Getty Images)

No matter how he does, Bill Belichick stated firmly during his camp-opening news conference on Wednesday that Brady will step back into the starter’s role as soon as his suspension ends on Oct. 3.

For a man renowned for his preference to say as little as possible on all topics, this counts as news.

See for yourself:

New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels noted that like many of his teammates, Garoppolo isn’t a finished product, but he’s made a lot of progress in his time as a pro.

He’s worked extremely hard,” McDaniels said. “He’s gotten a lot of opportunities in his first two-plus years here, in practice and in spring football. This will be his third opportunity at training camp. He’s got a great work ethic. He’s got a great approach. He tries to get better and improve every day, and he’s made progress.”