National Football League
Garoppolo focused on preparation at Patriots minicamp
National Football League

Garoppolo focused on preparation at Patriots minicamp

Published Jun. 7, 2016 9:06 p.m. ET

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) As Tom Brady awaits the outcome of his latest appeal of his suspension, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said his preparation for the season remains unchanged.

''No, pretty much the same. Going about my business the same way,'' Garoppolo said Tuesday as the Patriots opened their three-day minicamp.

''Just coming out here trying to get better every day. We've been pretty fortunate so far, we've had good weather and everything. Practice has been going pretty well, so we just gotta keep rolling the way we are.''

Brady didn't address reporters following Tuesday's workout and hasn't spoken publicly on his case since he asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month for a new hearing before an expanded panel of judges in the ''Deflategate'' case.


The request comes after a three-judge panel in April reinstated Brady's suspension for what the NFL ruled was the quarterback's role in using underinflated footballs during the 2015 AFC championship game.

The Patriots showed their support for their star quarterback late last month, filing an eight-page friend of the court brief, referring to ongoing episode as ''a severely flawed process.''

Much as he did last season, on the field Brady looked as if everything was normal, tossing passes during drills Tuesday, and even working 1-on-1 with new tight end Martellus Bennett.

''It's just like the student-to-teacher ratio,'' Bennett said. ''When it's lower you have a better chance of learning the material. So it's always fun.''

Garoppolo has yet to start a game for New England, but has appeared in 11 games and thrown for one touchdown since being drafted by the Patriots in 2014.

''Obviously, experience always helps. But to be honest it doesn't really change much for me,'' he said. ''Whether it happened last year or didn't happen, I'm pretty much going about it the same way. Just enjoying the process right now and trying to get through OTAs.''

Whoever the Patriots' starting quarterback will be when the season begins in September, Bennett could play a key role in the passing game.

The Patriots acquired the eight-year veteran in March along with Chicago's sixth-round pick in this year's draft for the Patriots' fourth-rounder.

New England's offense has thrived thanks in large part to the tandem of Brady and starting tight end Rob Gronkowski. In Bennett they add another playmaker at the position.

Bennett arrives in New England entering the final year of his contract, but reiterated Tuesday that pursuing a new deal is secondary on his agenda right now.

''I feel like every year is the last year of my contract, so that's just how I live,'' he said.

Notes: Tuesday's minicamp was mandatory, but 13 players were not on the field including Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount and Logan Ryan. Edelman and Amendola reportedly both had offseason surgeries, while Lewis (left knee surgery) and Blount (hip injury) are working their way back after having their 2015 seasons cut short.


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