FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo is a known commodity in a lot of ways. Since drafting him in 2014, the Patriots have learned about his work ethic, his athleticism and what he can process behind the line of scrimmage.
What the team can't be sure of, though, is how he'll react when he takes over as the team's starting quarterback Week 1 in Arizona. For all the time the Patriots have spent with him, there's no way to perfectly simulate that situation.
"There's really nothing that can give you the experience of playing in a regular-season game other than playing in them," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels acknowledged on Sunday. "Jimmy's done a great job of working hard for the 2 1/2 years that he's been here and studying and improving every year in our system with what he can do in it. He's gonna prepare hard this week and be ready to go in the game. Jimmy's part of the team.
"We're gonna ask all our guys to do some certain things that we're gonna do to get done to win the game. Whatever that group of things is at the quarterback position, we're gonna be ready to do those things. Everybody's gotta play a part in that. It's certainly, the burden is not going to fall on one person here. Jimmy's excited for this opportunity and he's worked extremely hard, and prepared hard for it. And again, we're gonna look to prepare as hard as we can so he can get better with each one of these opportunities."
The Patriots opted not to play Garoppolo in the preseason finale, keeping him out of harm's way before he takes over for four weeks during Tom Brady's suspension, so they know their third-year signal-caller will be healthy when he takes on a talented Cardinals defense on the road. What's a little less certain is how he'll respond.