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Belichick: Getting Garoppolo Ready Is Priority No. 1, But 'Tom Will Return As Starting Quarterback'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Priority No. 1 for the New England Patriots this training camp is getting Jimmy Garoppolo ready for Week 1.

But after his four-week run as the Patriots' starting quarterback, Tom Brady will not get, well, Tom Brady'd. His job will be waiting for him come Week 5 in Cleveland, head coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday.

"We have, finally, some definition with Tom's situation, so our priority is to get Jimmy ready for the Arizona game. That will be a comprehensive process," Belichick said Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. "Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he gets back."

Belichick addressed the media for first time since Tom Brady dropped his DeflateGate battle with the NFL. Training camp practices start Thursday morning at Gillette Stadium, and Belichick is ready to prepare Garoppolo the best he can for the quarterback's first NFL starts.

He wouldn't say much about Brady's decision to accept the league's punishment, or how he'll go about getting Garoppolo ready, but Belichick was in mid-season form with his responses. The grunts were there, as were the echoing of previous answers when reporters pried.

"We know what we have to work with and that's what we're doing," he said, adding that Garoppolo's situation is a "day-to-day" learning session.

"We'll do what we think is best. Whatever we think is best is what we'll do. That's the priority," the coach offered in true Belichick fashion.

He did not divulge on how he'll split up the reps between the quarterbacks this training camp ("We'll find out"), but Belichick doesn't see divvying up the snaps between Brady, Garoppolo and rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett as a major challenge this summer.

"We'll see how it goes. I think we have a good situation. We have three [quarterbacks] we want to work with," he said. "Some other years, other teams may not feel they have anybody. We have a good situation, we'll see how it plays out."

Belichick was mum when asked how he'd treat Brady's four weeks away from the team, when the quarterback can't have any communication with his teammates or the New England staff.

"What we've talked about is today and tomorrow," he said. "I'll see him every day between now and whenever that day is... We talk every day."

Continually peppered by Garoppolo questions, Belichick did get a little flustered at one point.

"I don't know how else to put it. We're going to get [Garoppolo] ready the best we can. That's what we're going to do," he said.

He seemed even more frustrated when asked again about Brady's decision.

"That would be a great thing for you to talk to him about," he said pointedly.


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