Jimmy Garoppolo learned a lot from Tom Brady last season.  (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo learned a lot from Tom Brady last season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With Tom Brady’s four-game suspension being upheld and the case now reportedly going to court, there is a chance Brady does not play in at least a few games this season.

If that were to happen, second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would take the reins and lead the team.

Safety Devin McCourty said Wednesday if that were to happen, he believes Garoppolo is ready as he spent his rookie season learning everything and anything from Brady.

“I don’t know what to anticipate from him, but I can just tell you that he’s a young guy who has come in and as a rookie quarterback continued to get better. I think last year we faced him every day on the scout team then and this offseason — OTAs and minicamp — he’s a hungry guy,” McCourty said. “You can tell he sits and hangs on every word and everything that Tom kind of does. You see him trying to emulate that and try and do it. I think all of our guys here, they are hard workers and the greatest thing about football and a team sport and competitive sport as it is is everyone is looking for an opportunity to play. If you’re a backup you don’t want to be a backup your whole career.

“Everyone wants to play, so him just like every other guy I think is anxious and ready to go. That’s the good thing about training camp. Everyone starts at the same level and is a bunch of competitive guys trying to earn spots on the roster, starting spots.”

Asked if he had confidence in Garoppolo, McCourty kept it in generalities.

“I think we have full confidence of everyone on this team,” he said.

Garopollo appeared in six games as a rookie and went 19-for-27 passing with 182 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions.

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Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft came to the defense of his star quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday and so did his teammate

Devin McCourty supported his quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Devin McCourty supported his quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft came to the defense of his star quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday and so did his teammate Devin McCourty.

Speaking as captains typically do at the start of training camp, McCourty was asked his thoughts on Brady’s four-game suspension being upheld.

The safety echoed his owner’s comments from earlier in the day.

“The great thing about this organization is no matter who comes up here and speaks they really represent and speak for the organization as a whole,” McCourty said. “When Mr. Kraft comes up here and he talks, he’s not just talking for himself, coach Belichick or the coaches, but the players as well. We all feel the same way. Mr. Kraft came up and addressed things earlier. We feel the same way. We all understand we all have different roles on this team and our role is to play football. That’s what we have to do and that’s our focus.”

“Like I said, we all support Tom and what Mr. Kraft said,” he added. “We all support Tom and we believe in him.”

Obviously no one in the organization wants to deal with the attention that the matter has drawn to the organization, but like the team does better than most in sports, they are blocking the noise.

“I think like everyone else, it’s been disappointing, but I think like anyone in this organization, we’d rather not go through it, but we understand what it is and have to deal with it,” McCourty said.

McCourty said he hasn’t really been following the case on television as by being around the facility he knows what is going on.

“We know what’s going on just from being in the building, so for me, when I leave it there’s no point to be glued to ESPN, following it all day,” McCourty said. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Wednesday marked the start of training camp, which included the yearly conditioning test and McCourty along with the rest of the team are doing their best to move onto actual football.

“For us it is what it is. Our focus right now is as you guys know back to training camp,” he said. “Trying to get better each day at training camp and really get ready for the Packers (first preseason game). The hard part is that game comes before you know it and we have new guys, we have rookies. To me, I think it’s all of us getting on the same page and ready to go has to be our focus. We really can’t control or do anything else, but focus on football.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Robert Kraft made it clear Wednesday where he stands when it comes to Deflategate. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)Robert Kraft heard you loud and clear, Patriots fans.



With the upholding of Tom Brady‘s suspension, the Deflategate saga has taken yet another turn. With it, more headlines and smoking hot takes have been spawned.

More than anything, the Internet and Twitter have been set ablaze with reactions ranging from serious to irreverent, including those from current and former NFL players.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft did Bill Belichick a big favor Wednesday. He took the burden of talking about Tom Brady and Deflategate off his plate with his attack on the NFL.

Bill Belichick speaks after Robert Kraft Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick speaks after Robert Kraft Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft did Bill Belichick a big favor Wednesday. He took the burden of talking about Tom Brady and Deflategate off his plate with his attack on the NFL.

Belichick opened his press conference following Kraft’s statement by saying the Patriots coaching staff is focused on preparing for the season, not Brady’s suspension or a possible showdown in court.

“I think Robert took care of the other situation. Tom had a statement so there’s nothing to really talk about there,” Belichick said. “Won’t be dealing with that at all. Just get the team ready and prepare for the regular season as we always do and as we did all spring. So, there’s no change for us on the football team.”

Belichick began his press conference by stressing his traditional approach to training camp.

“It’s good to see everyone back here. We got all the players back today for the start of training camp,” he said. “Right now, we’re in a long, step-by-step process as we head into the beginning of the 2015 season. So, we’re just going to take it one-day-at-a-time. I’d say we’ve got some preparation work to do, in terms of conditioning and going through some policies and things like that, trying to get everyone on the same page like we normally do. We’ll try to have a good day today and try to have another one tomorrow and just string them along day-by-day so that’s really where we’re at.”

Naturally, some of the over 50 reporters on hand did make several attempts to pry some type of response, with little to no success.

“We’re going to take it day-to-day, just like we always do,” Belichick said of the impact of the story. “We start training camp today. We’ll get ready for the 2015 season starting today.”

Anything to add?

“No. It’s already been addressed,” he said.

Another attempt to elicit some type of response was met with some wry humor.

“You heard what Robert just said. It’s already been addressed. Maybe you ought to go back and look at your notes. It’s already been addressed,” he said. “We’re going to continue to get the team ready for the 2015 season. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

In the wake of the NFL’s upholding of Tom Brady‘s suspension for his involvement in Deflategate, ESPN radio and TV host Stephen A. Smith called in to Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about the ruling and its fallout.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

In the wake of the NFL’s upholding of Tom Brady‘s suspension for his involvement in Deflategate, ESPN radio and TV host Stephen A. Smith called in to Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to talk about the ruling and its fallout. To listen to the interview, go the the D&C audio on demand page.

After a failed appeal of the suspension with the NFL, Brady is prepared to take the league to court in an attempt to get his suspension reduced or eliminated. According to Smith, who cited NFL sources, that isn’t a good idea.

“Somebody from the NFL, connected to the league office, told me yesterday: ‘Let him bring it on. If you get deposed, you give sworn testimony, we can then open the floodgates and ask anything. If he wants to open that Pandora’€™s box, be our guest. We will be waiting,'” Smith conveyed. “I’m telling you, he needs to drop this or it could potentially get ugly for everybody.”

On Wednesday morning, Brady issued a statement on his Facebook page with defenses and explanations for infractions that he stands accused of by the NFL. According to Smith, Brady’s reasoning was believable, but very predictably so.

“The way Brady sounds makes a lot of sense,” Smith said. “When you have time and you write down an explanation months after the fact and your lawyers and your representation and everybody looks over it, you can come up with a lot of plausible explanations. Or [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell may very well be wrong. It depends on what side you believe.”

Smith said that the controversy goes well beyond the suspected deflation of footballs and is more an issue of preserving the authority of Goodell.

“The NFL could have resolved this so long ago,” Smith said. “They not only dragged it out, they paid $5 million [to investigator Ted Wells] on top of it, so, clearly, this is not about deflated footballs.

“This is about something significantly more, and one would venture to guess, it’s about the power the NFL wields and sending a message to the Patriots, to Tom Brady and the players association that, ‘You don’t have dominion over us, it is definitely the other way around, and you had better recognize that.’ “

According to Smith, there is a sense within the league that, “We got him. He lied. He tried to cheat and gain an unfair advantage and he got caught.”

Though owner Robert Kraft has been criticized by Patriots fans for relenting in his defense and accepting punishment imposed by the league (a $1 million fine and loss of a first-round draft pick), Smith said that NFL owners have a primary obligation to the league, not to their own franchises.

As great as Tom Brady is and as much as you love your organization and you own your team, it is your obligation first and foremost to look out for the best interests of the league, and it is not in the best interests of the league if you fight on behalf of your coach and fight on behalf of your quarterback at the expense of the commissioner’€™s power, which the 32 owners bestowed upon him, because that works against the best interests of the league,” Smith said.

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

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