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Bill Belichick takes little things from Garoppolo debut

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Jimmy Garoppolo's preseason debut on Thursday wasn't what you would consider a resounding success.

Every game, all season

The quarterback -- who could start the first four games of the Patriots' season if Tom Brady's suspension holds -- took seven sacks, averaged just 5.3 yards per attempt and failed to consistently move the offense against the Packers.

Garoppolo was critical of his performance after the game, saying he has a "long way to go." Patriots coach Bill Belichick stayed positive in his day-after conference call with reporters, complimenting the second-year passer for his awareness in a sequence near the end of the first half.

The Patriots had no timeouts and were facing a second-and-5 with less than a minute to play. Garoppolo was sacked on the following play, but had the presence of mind to get to his feet and spike the ball. The clock stopped, giving kicker Stephen Gostkowski the opportunity to attempt a long field goal.

Gostkowski came through, booting a 56-yard kick for three points.

"I think Jimmy did a good job to recognize that situation; whether he should or shouldn't have been in it, that's really not the point," Belichick said, according to ESPN.com. "The point is that once it came up, I thought he handled it well. I thought that was a good, quick decision on his part. It gave us an opportunity to attempt a field goal at the end of the half and Steve came through on a 56-yard kick. ... He saved us three points on that."

It's the type of in-game situation that Garoppolo needs to be immersed in if he's going to be ready for the start of the regular season. Garoppolo wasn't happy with his performance, but progress was still made.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the gang breaking down Jimmy Garoppolo's preseason debut and Ameer Abdullah's breakout game.

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