The NFL decided to suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady Monday afternoon for the first four games of the 2015 season for his involvement in the deflation of the footballs prior to last year’s AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts and that will likely result in backup quart back Jimmy Garoppolo making his first career start in the 2015 Thursday night regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That game will also serve as the first as an NFL defensive coordinator for Keith Butler, who the team promoted from linebackers coach after Dick LeBeau re-signed following the 2014 season. Butler has been with the Steelers since 2003.
Not only will Butler not have to face Brady, he also won’t have to game plan for Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, who will also miss the game against the Steelers due to him being suspended several weeks ago for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
As for Garoppolo, he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Eastern Illinois. The 6-2, 225-pound quarterback has appeared in six regular-season games during his career in which he completed 19-of-27 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown.