After nearly two weeks of padded practices in the books, it seems as though the starting quarterback competition is done.
Over the first week of padded practices, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham - who is competing with Cam Newton for the Patriots' starting quarterback job - threw seven interceptions. What may be even worse is that the reason for the frequent turnovers may have been because of a hip injury, which is the same injury that kept him limited over the past several practices.
In Thursday's training camp practice when New England had a live-game atmosphere with officials and a scoreboard, New England's coaching staff seemingly gave away who they are crowning as their starter, though they won't officially announce it until their home opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 13.
During full-team drills, Cam Newton took 37 snaps. Stidham took 19, and Hoyer 15, per NESN's Doug Kyed. While it has all but been confirmed that Newton is New England's QB1, Stidham still believes he's competing for a starting job, but isn't focused on who comes out as the winner as much as getting better in the process.
“Yeah. No, I definitely feel like — how I view things is every day is a competition,” Stidham said Thursday during a video conference with the media. “Whether I’m first string, second string, third string, fourth string, fifth string, I don’t view it as that. I just view it as a great opportunity to get better with my teammates every single day and to compete really hard. I look at it as competing against myself, too, and trying to learn and grow every single day, to help myself get better each and every day I go out there on the field.”
While it is encouraging to see that Stidham is still maintaining a positive attitude despite not having an ideal training camp, what is discouraging is that he isn't having an ideal training camp.
Some - like myself - were excited to see what Stidham could do in his second year with the six-time Super Bowl champions. Even when Cam Newton signed with the Patriots in late July, the expectation from me was that Stidham would give Newton a run for his money thanks to his experience in the system. But that hasn't been the case yet. Stidham's hip injury will likely impact his performance moving forward, which is why it is nearly set in stone that Cam Newton will be New England's Week 1 starter.
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