Patriots

Will Jimmy Garoppolo Or Ryan Mallett Back Up Tom Brady? Bill Belichick Won’t Say

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Bill Belichick (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — When Bill Belichick took the podium following the Patriots’ preseason loss to the Giants, the head coach wasn’t particularly loquacious. When asked about individual players’ performances, he mostly said that the coaching staff would have to look at the film and pick out the particulars.

With Jimmy Garoppolo playing the entire game against New York, there were a number of questions about the quarterback, as you might imagine. But for as quiet as Belichick was, his lips clenched even tighter when he was asked to name a backup quarterback.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss asked Belichick if there was any change on the quarterback depth chart.

“Uh, no,” Belichick said after a lengthy pause.

The follow-up question asked if Ryan Mallett is still No. 2 behind Tom Brady.

“I haven’t announced anything about any starters or anybody,” Belichick said.

When he was told that Mallett was No. 2 on the depth chart last year, Belichick indicated that the past is no indication of present or future roster positions.

“Last year doesn’t have anything to do with it,” Belichick said. “This year is this year. This year is this year, so that’s, look, this year is this year.”

So there you have it.

Garoppolo finished the preseason with a 58.2 percent completion rate on his 79 attempts, throwing for 618 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Mallett threw just 26 passes this preseason, completing 14 of them (53.8 percent) for 161 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

It’s unknown whether the Patriots will carry three quarterbacks into the season, whether the rookie has surpassed the veteran on the depth chart, or whether Mallett will be released or traded before Saturday’s cut-down deadline. Whichever way the Patriots are leaning, Belichick certainly wasn’t giving it away on Thursday night.

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