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Kraft: No one knows how Jimmy Garoppolo will respond

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Robert Kraft believes Tom Brady is innocent of any wrongdoing in the Deflategate scandal.

Nevertheless, the New England Patriots' owner faces the possibility of opening up the season with second-year signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo for up to four games, if Brady's suspension isn't reduced upon appeal.

Speaking with The MMQB's Peter King, Kraft was asked how he thinks Garoppolo would do in Brady's stead.

"My gut feeling is the same as yours," Kraft said. "He is a very hard worker, a very fine young man, but until the bullets are flying and you're out there, no one knows. Think about how many of these first-round picks, even, don't make it. (Garoppolo was the team's second-round pick in 2014.) He works hard and he studies hard, though."

In the end, the owner hopes he doesn't have to find out.

"Deep down," Kraft said after a brief pause, "I would hope that's an academic question."

Unless Brady's suspension is fully overturned, Kraft will watch his team kick off the season with Garoppolo under center. Last week Gregg Rosenthal broke down what the Patriots' offense might look like with the young quarterback at the helm.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Lindsay Rhodes to discuss the Patriots' response in the "Deflategate" saga and the latest names revealed on the "The Top 100 Players of 2015" countdown. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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