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Amendola: Jimmy Garoppolo was 'great' this offseason

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Assuming Tom Brady's four-game suspension sticks, Jimmy Garoppolo will guide the Patriots into battle when they face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1.

Nobody can mask the loss of Brady, but Garoppolo's teammates have come out of the woodwork to praise the young signal-caller's growth.

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"He's a great player," wideout Danny Amendola said Tuesday, per ESPN.com. "He's been in the system a couple of years now and he's learned a lot. He's picked up everything that Tom has taught him and then also what coach (Bill) Belichick has to offer him. So we're all excited to see where he goes and see what the future holds for him."

Amendola, who noted that he feels "really good" after undergoing a "couple minor procedures," is just the latest Patriot to express confidence in Garoppolo.

"He's doing great, definitely," tight end Rob Gronkowski told MassLive.com earlier this month. "You can see a huge development over the last two years in the way he handles the offense now. He's doing a great job going out there, listening to coaches and just working together with the whole team."

Garoppolo split first-team work with Brady during most of the offseason. As mentioned in our film study of the quarterback last August, Garoppolo displayed promising stretches of accuracy and quick decision-making during the 2015 preseason. He brings a live arm, too, but the third-year passer has yet to be tested against starting talent in games that matter.

Barring a sea change in Brady's Deflategate-related legal entanglements, we'll have a better idea of what Garoppolo truly is come September.

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