With Tom Brady, at this point, still facing up to missing the opening four weeks of the new NFL season the New England Patriots are busy preparing as if second-year QB Jimmy Garoppolo is to be their starting quarterback when the campaign gets under way.
Unfortunately, according to a couple of reports from Pats training camp this week, Garoppolo isn't looking anywhere near like a man ready to lead a franchise - no less, the reigning Super Bowl champions.
CSN New England reporter Andy Hart today raised concerns having watched the former Eastern Illinois star struggle through another practice, claiming Garoppolo is showing few signs that he can handle the responsibility.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
"I think there is a chance he does start and play most of the game." Hart explained when asked if he thought the second-year quarterback would play in the Pats' preseason opener against Green Bay.
"One of the reasons he has to is he hasn't looked very good this summer...Right now in training camp he hasn't looked like a capable NFL quarterback."
Garoppolo - yet to start an NFL game to date - has been struggling throughout the offseason with OTA interception issues followed by training camp frustration.
New England's official website even admitted the 23-year-old had "struggled to get the offense moving" in camp this week, and the numbers when compared to Tom Brady don't make encouraging reading.
Garoppolo, having thrown a total of 286 passes in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 combined, is completing just 65 percent of those passes. Meanwhile Brady, in 245 passes, has connected with 77.6 percent.
Of course no one is expecting Jimmy Garoppolo to step into Tom Brady's shoes without skipping a beat but the consistent reports of his practice field struggles will only serve to worry Patriots fans as they look ahead to the beginning of the 2015 season.
With talk of a slow release and overthrows there is certainly a steep learning curve ahead of the young quarterback. The Pats will just be hoping he can improve quickly, starting tomorrow vs the Packers.
Patriots fans: Do you have faith in Garoppolo, and what will your record be when Tom Brady returns? Have your say in the comments below...