There has also been a lot of significant reports out there that the Patriots actually really, really like Jarrett Stidham, and Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels are both comfortable with him as the starting quarterback.
I know that a lot of people have been concerned that Jarrett Stidham would not be the right guy to take over for Tom Brady. Unfortunately we now find ourselves in a position that we have no choice but to see if the kid can actually play. I know there's been a lot of rumours that Bill Belichick may go out and find a veteran quarterback like Cam Newton or Andy Dalton, but I think at this point, if Bill Belichick was going to roll the dice, to me it only makes sense that he would actually give Stidham the opportunity.
If Belichick actually gave Stidham the opportunity to take over as the Patriots starting quarterback, it would tell us one of two things: Either Jarrett Stidham is a much better quarterback than a lot of Patriots fans believe him to be, or he's not going to be the future quarterback of the Patriots. I know that that sounds so simple, but when you think about the other options like Newton or Dalton, it's not like those guys are the future of the Patriots either, so why not give Stidham the season to show us whether or not he can do it.
Whether we want to accept it or not, Tom Brady is no longer a New England Patriot, which means he will not be the starting quarterback of the Patriots when the 2020 season starts. So, we need to start thinking about who the future could be, and the reality is the future could be Jarrett Stidham.
I think if we're going to assess Jarrett Stidham college career, then I think we need to look at the entire thing and not just his 2018 season. Honestly, if you do a quick Google search and you look up what draft analysts were saying about Stidham prior to the 2017 draft, there were a lot of analysts that we normally trust to give us the best information when it comes to draft prospects who believed that's Stidham would be drafted in the first round of the draft. Stidham though decided to return to Auburn for another season, and unfortunately things didn't go quite as planned. Stidham's numbers took quite a dip and it looked like he was actually regressing as a quarterback. Suddenly you fast-forward to the 2018 NFL draft, and Stidham was looked at as a career backup quarterback who fell to the fourth round.
But when you actually look at the circumstances around stidham's college career in 2018, it's easy to see how different of a team it was then the year prior. Jarrett Stidham's offensive line from 2017 was completely gone either through graduation or being drafted into the NFL. He also lost two of his best offensive weapons to injury prior to the season starting, frankly the entire Auburn team was just a hot mess in 2018, and when I started watching some of the film and game replays, you couldn't really put a lot of the blame on Stidham. It would be crazy to say that he was going to turn into Tom Brady, but I don't think it's crazy to say that Bill Belichick may have just stolen another draft pick who's going to turn out to be a very solid NFL player who should have probably been taken higher in the draft.
Stidham finished his college career playing 37 games throwing for 7,212 yards, 48 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Of course we all remember his Pro debut when he took over for Tom Brady in a blowout to the New York Jets. Stidham took the field and threw a pick-six and he was quickly ushered back to bench and Tom Brady was forced to re-enter the game.
After that the only time Statham was brought in was when the Patriots were either being routed or routing the other team, and all Jarrett Stidham would do is hand off the ball and not really attempt any passes. So really assessing how he played during the regular season doesn't tell us much.
Our biggest sample size of Jarrett Stidham playing football in 2019 was his preseason where he actually was able to accumulate 731 yards in passing, surpassing Jimmy Garoppolo's first preseason for the Patriots. We also saw that he was starting to build a relationship and a connection with undrafted free agent wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, which is a pretty significant thing if the Patriots do decide to go forward with Jarrett Stidham as their quarterback in 2020.
There ha also been a lot of significant reports out there that the Patriots actually really really like Jarrett Stidham, and Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels are both comfortable with him as the starting quarterback. Of course we always have to take any article we ever read about the Patriots with a grain of salt. The Patriots are the most secretive organization probably in professional sports, so it's not uncommon for reporters to exaggerate or simply make things up just to get a headline. A lot of the stories surrounding Stidham came out after Tom Brady had announced that he was leaving the Patriots, because prior to that nobody really would have cared what the coaches or the team thought of Jarrett Stidham. But as we all know now, we live in the reality that Tom Brady is no longer the quarterback of the New England Patriots, and we could possibly be watching Stidham leading New England onto the field in September, granted the season starts as scheduled.
The other piece that makes me excited about Stidham is that Jordan Palmer who has become somewhat of a quarterback Guru as of late has had nothing but praise Jarrett Stidham. I was a little skeptical because Stidham is Palmer's client, and it probably wouldn't be in Palmer's best interest if he was talking bad about his client, but he apparently told Mike Reiss of ESPN that he believed that Stidham would be a star for the Patriots. That's quite an endorsement from a guy who's worked with people like DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and is currently working with the projected first overall pick in this year's draft Joe burrow.
I have to admit to you after doing my research and watching the game film, I've become more open to the idea of Stidham being the Patriots starting quarterback in 2020. I'm still not convinced that he's going to turn into the superstar that Jordan Palmer believes he will turn into, but I feel more comfortable this season with Bill Belichick rolling the dice and seeing what he has in Jarrett Stidham.
As a Patriots fan I've also grown more comfortable with the idea that for the next season or two the Patriots may have to go through some growing pains and some hiccups as Bill Belichick attempts to get this team back into top shape. Since I've accepted that this season may be a little rougher than we wanted it to be, then why not let Stidham have his chance and why not go with the young blood already in the organization?