Tom Brady will be present for the New England Patriots‘ first open practice of training camp.
That doesn’t mean that the impact of his suspension still won’t be felt.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady’s four-game suspension for the findings of the Wells Report and the investigation into Deflategate. The NFLPA plans to fight Goodell‘s decision in court, but for now, the Patriots have to live with the reality of life without Brady for a quarter of the season.
They also have to think about how that will affect their plans in training camp.
We’ve already gotten a glimpse of how this could unfold. This spring, the Patriots split the first-team repetitions between Brady and second-year backup Jimmy Garoppolo. This was a concerted effort to getGaroppolo on the same page with the pass-catchers he’ll be throwing to in the early portion of the season: wide receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, tight end Rob Gronkowski and others.
The Patriots should be taking it one step further, though. MatchGaroppolo against the top unit on defense to dial up the difficulty level a few ticks. Of course, this would be a much different story if he were facing off against last year’s duo of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner instead of this year’s duo of Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler.
That being said, facing Garoppolo against the top defensive unit is still an opportunity to increase the quality of his practice time. In that vein, the Patriots should be ready to throw the kitchen sink at him in terms of defensive looks.
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