Undoubtedly the biggest question heading into the 2020 season for the New England Patriots is quarterback Jarrett Stidham. As a player that was drafted in the fourth round in 2019, had a strong preseason, was hyped by players and coaches, and now is the projected starter for the Patriots, there's a lot of mystery surrounding how Stidham will perform as New England's starting quarterback now that Tom Brady is gone.
While teammates certainly know what Stidham is capable of on the field, it hasn't caused them to willingly gush about the Auburn product when given the opportunity. Take safety and captain Devin McCourty for example, who spoke about Stidham during the "Double Coverage Podcast" with Devin's brother, Jason. Without hyping up Stidham too much, Devin had some very strong opinions on how he feels about the young QB.
"To me, the best thing for (Jarrett Stidham) was that he had to go against our defense every week. He didn't have it easy," McCourty said in the March 22 episode. "I love his poise. I would be faking a blitz sometimes and we'd make eye contact and he'd just start smiling and laughing.
"To me, there were weeks where he was just on point. And those were some of our best weeks as a defense, mainly because Stiddy ate us up in practice leading up to the game, and I think put more pressure on us. So I really admire just how hard he works, and then I've got to know him off the field as well. He's a really good guy. Young guy, but very mature. He's married. I think the Stidhams are going to be in New England for a long time."
McCourty, who has been in the league for a decade, has seen his fair share of strong quarterback play over the years. That's why him praising Stidham as much as he did should be taken very seriously. As a veteran who has played his entire career with Tom Brady, McCourty has seen firsthand what it takes to be a successful NFL QB. So for him to say that he thinks the Stidhams are going to be in New England for a long time means a heckuva lot.
Add the Patriots captain to the list of people to give praise for what Stidham can do. In early February QB coach Jordan Palmer - who works with Stidham in the offseason - told The Athletic that he believes Stidham is going to be a star when given the chance to start. While McCourty’s comments don’t exactly reach Palmer’s level of praise, it nevertheless speaks volumes as to how some of the more important figures of the Patriots organization feel about Stidham.