There is a growing sentiment that while Jarrett Stidham may be the QB of the future for the New England Patriots, that future won’t begin in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.
On Friday, former Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich predicted Brian Hoyer will be the starter in Week 1. Ninkovich made these comments on ESPN’s Get Up:
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.
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Here is a look at the segment in totality:
Because of the truncated offseason forced on NFL teams because of COVID-19, there are more people adopting this mindset and adding this approach to their expectations.
Ninkovich added even more context to his prediction, and he rounded out his comments with a definitive prediction in favor of Hoyer.
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. You don’t understand what it’s going to take, and not having an offseason does not help. So, Brian Hoyer will be the starter Week 1.
As I mentioned, Ninkovich isn’t the only person paying attention to the Patriots’ offseason situation who is starting to point to Hoyer as the likely starter. CLNS’ Evan Lazar painted a similar picture and identified the same thought process as sound reasoning when laying out a scenario where Hoyer is named the starter when the season begins.
If Hoyer is the starter, it’s safe to say Bill Belichick is not interested in a full rebuild. It would also dispel the concept of tanking for a college quarterback like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Many view Lawrence as the top QB prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft class. The only way to draft Lawrence is to be picking inside the Top 5 picks which would require the Patriots to have a putrid 2020 season.
If Belichick is worried about losing games early in the season with a young QB, and choosing to go with Hoyer because he gives the team the best chance to win, then he’s clearly not tanking. We’ll see how it all shakes out in the coming weeks, but Hoyer as QB 1 is beginning to sound a lot more likely than it did two weeks ago.