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New England Patriots: Jimmy Garoppolo to start final preseason game

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New England Patriots fans will get to see a lot of rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo when the team plays its final preseason game on Thursday night against the New York Giants. According to a report by NESN’s Doug Kyed on Monday, Garoppolo will start the game and get a chance to prove can handle the duty of being the backup to Tom Brady.

The second-round pick has been impressive in the first three preseason games and has looked better than backup quarterback Ryan Mallett for the most part. The rookie has made some mistakes, but overall he has shined and his ability to move the offense down the field has also been impressive. In the three games, Garoppolo has a completion rate of 64.9 percent. He has thrown for 334 yards and four touchdowns.

Garoppolo told reporters Monday at Gillette Stadium that he is “excited” about the start and sees it as an opportunity to get some quality reps. Most importantly, he wants to go out there and have some fun, while continuing to build on his game and the confidence he picked up from the first game against the Washington Redskins. He said that was the game that really helped him breakout after struggling early during training camp.

“Yeah, it was definitely a building block. Going from there – it’s one of those things, you’re going to have your ups and downs as a rookie, that’s just part of the game. You have to keep gradually improving day-in and day-out, and if you keep doing that, as a rookie, that’s all you can ask for.”

Garoppolo is out to prove he is what the Patriots are looking for as a backup, but also realizes he still has a long ways to go. He said, “I’m still a rookie. I have a long way to go, a lot to learn. The playbook is pretty thick. It’s one of those things, if you keep learning day-in and day-out, you’re on the right track.” So far, the rookie looks to be headed in the right direction.