Jarrett Stidham could actually be a huge contributor for the Patriots this season, even if he isn't in the plans for the future.
I think that we are now at the point where we have all accepted that Tom Brady will not be the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots this season, I think that we've also accepted but the Patriots will be going forward with Jarret Stidham for at least the 2020 season. Nobody is quite sure if Stidham is ready to be thrusted into the starting position, and nobody is really sure if he is the long-term solution for the Patriots. But, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels trust their system and their development enough to give the kid a try.
"The thing is, what happens sometimes with players who have enough talent and ability, if there are good coaches around them, and a good system that allows them to learn, and be educated, and develop -- which is something that happened with Brady ... I'm not saying this guy can be Tom Brady, but he has enough of the skills, tools and intelligence to develop," Scott Pioli said recently on "The Zach Gelb Show" on CBS Sports Radio.
As Mike Reiss of ESPN pointed out, Jarrett Stidham could actually be a huge contributor for the Patriots this season, even if he isn't in the plans for the future.
The Patriots 2019 first round draft pick N'Keal Harry never seemed to find his place in the offense when he returned from his injury last season. A part of that was Harry trying to adapt to the NFL in a very short amount of time, part of that was also Tom Brady less inclined to work with the rookies and rely on the veteran receivers like Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu. I think that the same can be said for undrafted rookie free agent Jakobi Meyers.
Heading into the 2020 season with a simplified game plan, and less pressure with Stidham behind center rather than Brady, you could see New England's young receivers thrive a little more than they did last year. Assuming that the Patriots will be drafting a wide receiver and a tight end in the 2020 draft, I think you could also assume that Stidham can ease their transition as well. It's also fair to say that the expectations that the Patriots will have on them as a team this season will be much less than they have been the past fifteen years. This can allow all the Patriots young talent time to develop and grow together.
"There are other quarterbacks that have come out of that system that have done it," Pioli said. "The guy that played in the Super Bowl this past [season] out in San Francisco, Jimmy G (Jimmy Garoppolo], did a pretty good job of it. Matt Cassel had a pretty solid run as a quarterback during his time. There have been quarterbacks that come out of that system that learn under that group of people, and are taught by really good coaches, and they become good enough quarterbacks to win games in the National Football League."
From a fans perspective, I think it's very important to not compare Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, or whoever will be taking snaps for the Patriots this season to Tom Brady. Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, and the odds that the Patriots would be able to replicate what they accomplished with Brady, is about as great as a team having back to back 16-0 seasons.
"Every quarterback has to start somewhere, and those early in their careers often need support throughout the locker room. That's how former Patriots safety Lawyer Milloy remembers the early Brady years, when Brady developed a quick rapport with receivers at all stages of their careers -- veterans such as Troy Brown and David Patten, and rookies such as Deion Branch and David Givens." - Mike Reiss, ESPN
"I was there at the beginning. Obviously we took advantage of a young guy ready for his opportunity, but at that point we still didn't know [what he would be]," said Lawyer Milloy on Tom Brady. "We were just looking for that missing piece. We thought we had it in Drew [Bledsoe], but through injury we found out something else."
You also can't count out the role Brian Hoyer is going to have on Jarrett Stidham. Hoyer knows the system, he's one of the best scout quarterbacks in the NFL, and he is in New England to compete. He can push Stidham from a competition standpoint, but he can also help the younger quarterback understand the Patriots offense.
Is Jarret Stidham good enough to lead the Patriots offense? The truth is, we don't know. We're not in a position to say yes he is, or no he's not. We're going to have to wait and see how the 2020 season plays out, assuming that there is a 2020 season.