Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham 'Extremely Excited' to Compete For Starting Job
During Friday's media availability with coaches and quarterbacks, all three quarterbacks on the New England Patriots' roster—Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer—had one thing to say: I'm competing for the starting quarterback job.
While Brian Hoyer is fighting an uphill battle against a former MVP and a second-year player with lots of promise, the quarterback that has been overlooked quite a bit since Newton's arrival is a player that was seemingly handed the keys to the vehicle (i.e. the Patriots' offense) about five months ago.
When Tom Brady departed New England to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason the Patriots were left with Stidham on the roster and strapped for cash. They managed to sign Hoyer following his release from Indianapolis, but besides that did not grab anyone else from the saturated quarterback pool in free agency, which consisted of guys like Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater.
Apparently 2019 third-round pick Stidham was the next man up at quarterback. That's at least what the Patriots were showing based on the fact that they let Brady walk, didn't sign a high-profile free agent at the position and added Hoyer as insurance.
Then June 28 came.
New England signed Newton to a one-year, incentive-laden deal. Although Superman has much to prove, which was evident based on the deal he signed and how late in the offseason he signed it, his presence nevertheless seemed to knock Stidham back down the depth chart. That had to have been frustrating for a second-year player who was a month away from entering camp as the projected starter.
But if you ask Stidham, he's not bitter and is up for the challenge of competing for the starting job.
"I think I'm definitely ready [to start]," Stidham said. "I've put in a lot of work this offseason to really improve mentally, physically in a lot of different areas. But at the end of the day I'm extremely excited to compete with Cam and [Brian Hoyer] as we go forward in training camp and get into the season and things like that. I'm really looking forward to the competition. I love competing in whatever it is, so I'm really forward to it."
What Stidham has going for him in the month of August is his experience in the system. He has been in New England's offense for over a year now, which is more than Newton can say, as he has been going through a crash course over the past five weeks.
But it will take more than schematic experience for Stidham to win the starting job.
The second-year QB will be competing against a veteran QB that has won an MVP, been to a Super Bowl and has nearly 10 years of NFL experience. Because of that, Stidham will have to show out when padded practices begin on Aug. 17 for New England.
Any player can learn a playbook. But it takes a talented athlete in order to make certain reads and throws on the football field. That's where the greats separate themselves from the pack. And that's what it will take for Stidham to beat out Newton for the Week 1 starting quarterback job.
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