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Pats' Tom Brady: Jimmy Garoppolo works tail off

Jimmy Garoppolo has earned the respect of the New England Patriots' most important player.

Tom Brady spoke highly of Garoppolo on Sunday as the team prepares for life without No. 12 for four weeks due to suspension.

"He works his tail off to prepare and I know he has the respect of everybody. That's what you try to do, you try to come out here and prepare, earn the respect of your teammates and your coaches, and you've got to put the work in," Brady said of the young QB. "You've got to show that you're willing to show up every day and do whatever it takes to get the job done."

Garoppolo has a tall task as the Patriots open the season against a top-tier NFC team in the Arizona Cardinals before facing the Dolphins, Texans and Bills -- all four teams are expected to have above average defenses in 2016.

Yet Brady believes Garoppolo and the Pats are ready for the challenge.

"It's been fun to see his development," Brady said. "We got off to a good start the other night and hopefully we keep it going. We have three days of practice coming up against the Bears that will be good preparation for our team. We've got to use them really well and hopefully we can come out of Thursday night, after these practices and the game, a stronger team than we are now.

Garoppolo completed 11 of 18 passes for 168 yards in New England's preseason win over the New Orleans Saints. He showed some promise, spreading the ball around to different receivers while playing the entire first half.

Preseason games No. 2 and 3 will provide a much larger sample size of Garoppolo's readiness for the regular season. It's beneficial, though, that's he's got the support from Brady and New England's locker room.

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