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What they’re saying about Stidham By Keith Niebuhr


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What they’re saying about Jarrett Stidham

ByKeith Niebuhr

12-15 minutes

Could former Auburn starter Jarrett Stidham be the successor to legendary quarterback Tom Brady with the New England Patriots? Right now, opinions on this subject are coming in from coast to coast.

Given Brady's popularity and the fact Stidham still is untested in the NFL, there has been great intrigue since Brady left for the Tampa Bay Bucs earlier this year.

This spring, Rich Ohrnberger, who played in New England from 2009-11, shared his thoughts via Twitter a couple months ago.

"I’ve heard it now from A LOT of people close to the Patriots," he Tweeted. "They really believe in Jarrett Stidham. Like it or not, Stidham is not a cheap placeholder... he’s the future."

Added The Spun: "The Patriots appear to be rolling with the former Auburn Tigers quarterback in 2020. New England has seemingly passed on the chance to sign a veteran quarterback in free agency. Cam Newton is still out there, but it’s reportedly unlikely that Bill Belichick makes a move on the former No. 1 overall pick. He likes what he has in Stidham."

Here's more of what they're saying about Stidham, Auburn's starter from 2017-18.

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Said Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms recently on WEEI radio "(Stidham is) more talented than Tua (Tagovailoa). “(Tua) is a creation of Alabama. You don’t think Jarrett Stidham, or like Justin Herbert would have set the world on fire if they got to play with four, first-round receivers and two, first-round tackles?”

He added, these comments ...

-“The difference between Tua and Joe Burrow is when I evaluated them, Joe Burrow makes way more high-level, NFL-type throws — people not open, protection not good, he still makes a play. You have a hard time finding that on any of Tua’s tapes. I don’t give Tua credit when I go, ‘He threw the five-yard slant to a wide-open guy and he ran 80 yards. Woah, he’s so amazing. He’s the only guy who can do that.’ Or like the three receivers on the right all run across the formation and pick for the backfield, the back coming out of the backfield, and he throws a four-yard pass to the only guy who it was intended for on the play and we all go, ‘Look at the quarterback play by Tua.’ That is the perfect example of what you’re doing for me there. You’re giving all the accolades, Alabama kicks the crap out of everybody for the last 15 years with all these quarterbacks, but now you want to tell me Tua is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

-"Stidham to me, of the guys I have in the 30s, he has the biggest potential to make a big-time jump. People thought I was crazy after Patrick Mahomes’ rookie year and I ranked him like 29 and people were like, ‘Oh my God, you haven’t even seen him play. He was 4-7 at Texas Tech.’ I was wrong to put him at 29, I should have put him at four or five, probably somewhere in there. Again, I could be off on Stidham. He could be way greater than what I say, way off. I am not saying my list is in stone, but my list has been pretty good the last few years and I certainly like the potential of Jarrett Stidham, what I saw in college and he was very impressive in the preseason. The fact that New England likes him, makes me like him too.”

Simms' comments, of course, drew a strong response from some, including former NFL great and Undisputed co-host Shannon Sharpe.

“The system that you see at Alabama….Tua created,” Sharpe said. “[They would] run the football and play defense. Now all of a sudden, they throw the football, and they don’t play defense."

He added ...

“Tua is as good a prospect coming out. His abilities to throw the ball, his anticipatory skills, his accuracy, is second to none. Great touch. Great leadership. They’ve had great athletes like this before, but they didn’t throw the ball like this with Julio (Jones). They didn’t throw the ball like this with Amari Cooper. With a Calvin Ridley. They’ve had top-flight receivers.

“Tua created the system. They implemented the system that says we’ve got a guy that instead of running the ball 35, 40 times a game, we need to throw it 25, 35 times a game. That’s what he allowed them to do.

“There is no general manager in the NFL that would take Jarrett Stidham over Tua, even with Tua’s injury history. No offensive coordinator. No general manager. No head coach.”

CLNsmedia.com had this to say about Stidham ... and the coaching he will get:

"The Patriots football czar is no longer applauding the (Kyle) Shanahan scheme from afar, adding his own Shanahan disciple to the staff in new quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch.  ... The Pats quarterbacks coach will now aid Josh McDaniels in developing Stidham and could provide new thinking schematically borrowing from his knowledge of the Shanahan system.  Along with Fisch’s presence on the staff, Stidham worked successfully in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, who was his coach in Mobile, at the Senior Bowl before the 2019 NFL Draft and raved about his fit in the offense."

Former Patriots starting left tackle Matt Light had some advice for Stidham, per Patriots Wire, on “Good Morning Football” ... 

-“I witnessed it happen with Tommy in a very difficult time. It’s not as if he had the snaps in practice leading up to that Week 3 where he was going to take over the reins from a very veteran quarterback in Drew Bledsoe. Stidham is going to prove it right now. Unfortunately right now means they’re not able to get together, but when they finally do get together, it’s going to happen in practice first."

-“It’s not going to happen in that first game — although you’re going to find out what he’s made of in that first game when the bullets are flying for real and the guys are amped up and it’s all on the line. But he needs to prove it in how he conducts the practices and how he gets guys on the same page in the meeting room and in the film room, the classroom.”

Apparently, Stidham has been working out with Brian Hoyer, another candidate to replace Brady: Wrote Mike Reiss of ESPN .... At one of the recent Patriots private throwing sessions that quarterback Jarrett Stidham helped organize with teammates, there was no center on the field, so Stidham was snapping the ball to Brian Hoyer," Reiss reported. "And vice versa. The exchanges highlight an important working dynamic between the two: They are fiercely competitive in hopes of being the successor to Tom Brady, but also sacrificing to help each other. Teams can't force a positive working relationship between their top quarterbacks, but with Hoyer's experience and top-shelf professionalism, it was never really in question how it would look this year in New England.

Former Patriot "Rob Ninkovich believes Brian Hoyer, not Jarrett Stidham, will be Patriots’ Week 1 starting quarterback," reports WEEI Radio:  

“I think Brian Hoyer will be the starter Week 1 and I say that because the quarterback position is one of the most important for reps under center, seeing defensive looks, looking at coverage, understanding the offense,” Ninkovich said on ESPN’s Get Up. “…Look, they’re not practicing right now. There’s no minicamp, there’s no offseason, there’s no training camp. We don’t know when that’s going to happen. “So if you have a veteran quarterback who has been in the system, understands what to expect what an NFL season is like, you’re gonna want to go with a guy who has the veteran leadership (and) also what it takes to be in that building. Look, when you’re a second-year player, you really don’t realize what a season’s like as a starter."

Musket Fire offers up "4 reasons Jarrett Stidham will succeed" ... here's one of them:

Some of the most successful people in their selected professions are successful because they learned from the very best in the business.

Jarrett Stidham had the honor of learning from the GOAT (greatest of all time) for all of last season. He couldn’t have had a better teacher than Tom Brady, and picking his brain for the entire season gives Stidham a distinct advantage.

He learned how to read defenses, change the play at the line of scrimmage, look off defenders, etc. — all aspects to being a great quarterback that Brady excels in.

Stidham also learned how to conduct himself on and off the field, dealing with the media and the Patriot Way. He also learned the championship pedigree from Brady.

Stidham learned a lot from Brady, but now he has to take those lessons to the field and be successful in 2020.

AL.com and others report that New England's center, Georgia alum David Andrews, already has a good relationship with Stidham:  “Jarrett is a great kid,” Andrews said during a video press conference. “I was still able, especially during the season at times, we would hang out a lot and stuff. Whatever quarterback is in that room, I try to build a bond with them, whether it’s Jimmy (Garoppolo), Brian (Hoyer), Danny Etling. Whoever is in there, you try to build a bond because it’s obviously one play away from anyone playing. That’s just the way it is. I look back on my rookie year and can remember the growth I saw from my rookie season to my second year and how the games start to click a little bit and make sense a little bit more, so that for all those players it’s just a natural thing coming from that first to second year. Your first year is such a whirlwind."

Patriots Wire asks, "What if Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham is actually very good?" ... 

It’s actually surprising few have stopped and considered one alternative: What if Stidham — or “Stid,” as Belichick likes to call him — actually proves to be a good NFL quarterback?

It would almost certainly be a gut punch to an entire league anticipating a 2020 funeral for the Patriots. But crazier things have happened this year than Stidham proving to be a fourth-round steal.

So you might want to leave those black suits and dresses in the closet for the time being.

From strictly a numbers perspective, Stidham had the greatest preseason ever for a rookie quarterback in the Belichick era in New England. He finished with 731 passing yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. The passing yard total dwarfs even Jimmy Garoppolo’s in 2014, when he posted 618 yards as a rookie.

Granted, those numbers are a bit skewed with Stidham seeing more repetitions behind center, but the objective isn’t to get into a shouting match regarding the chances of the 23-year-old having a higher ceiling than Garoppolo, who was literally a throw away from winning Super Bowl LIV.

Back to Simms, who has compared Stidham to former NFL quarterback Tony Romo: “First off, I loved [Stidham] coming out of college,” Simms said on the Pro Football Talk television show. “I saw a lot of him in preseason last year, and loved the way he looked. Really, when you look at him, there’s nothing to say or look at him physically and go, ‘Oh, there’s a weakness to his football game.’ He reminds me a little of Tony Romo. He’s a very pure thrower of the football. He’s got great mechanics, he’s natural that way. He’s smart, and we know he’s being well-schooled up there in New England.

NESN writes that "Jarrett Stidham, Will Hastings’ ‘special connection’ can help Patriots" ... There are a hundred stories to tell about undrafted slot receiver Will Hastings, but the one New England Patriots fans want to know is his connection with prospective starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham. ... Hastings and Stidham linked up for 26 completions for 525 yards with four touchdowns during Auburn’s 2017 season. Now, they reunite on the Patriots, and Hastings’ history with Stidham could wind up giving him a leg up on his competition at wide receiver. If you’re looking for the next quarterback-wide receiver pairing that can not only read the other’s mind on the field but also form a “bromance” that rivals Tom Brady and Julian Edelman’s, look no further than Stidham and Hastings. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound wideout was even in Stidham’s wedding last summer.


CBSSports reports Stidham has replaced at least one Patriots teammate thus far: That player is running back Rex Burkhead. "Very impressed," Burkhead said of Stidham recently per WEEI. "Last year even though he didn't step on the field that much, just seeing his improvement every day on the practice field, in meetings. He's a very humble guy and he came in eager to work right away and picked it up so quickly. I think that is what struck me, how quickly he picked up the offense from the get-go. He's out there making calls, making adjustments in audibles like he has been in this system for awhile. I'm excited for him. Excited for his opportunity. Whoever is at quarterback -- whether it's him, Hoy [Brian Hoyer], whoever -- just ready to follow them."


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Personally, I think Jarrett Stidham is going to struggle this season if he's the starter for the Patriots. But that's not a knock on Stidham. I think if Tom Brady was back, he'd struggle in New England this coming season. I think any QB playing for New England this season would struggle. And I think that because the Patriots didn't do much, if anything, to improve on the offensive side of the ball and provide their QB with needed protection and offensive weapons after the deficiencies of last season became apparent.

In the NFL, just like in college, the QB's get too much credit when teams win and too much blame when they lose. Stidham is not Brady. Following Brady is going to be a tough row to hoe. 

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20 hours ago, CleCoTiger said:

Personally, I think Jarrett Stidham is going to struggle this season if he's the starter for the Patriots. But that's not a knock on Stidham. I think if Tom Brady was back, he'd struggle in New England this coming season. I think any QB playing for New England this season would struggle. And I think that because the Patriots didn't do much, if anything, to improve on the offensive side of the ball and provide their QB with needed protection and offensive weapons after the deficiencies of last season became apparent.

In the NFL, just like in college, the QB's get too much credit when teams win and too much blame when they lose. Stidham is not Brady. Following Brady is going to be a tough row to hoe. 

i want to see stid do well for two reasons. he came to auburn. also people called him a coward and said he was not serious enough and smiled too much. so i hope he proves them wrong.

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