Is this the guy who is supposed to replace me?
Tom Brady didn’t say this out loud. However, from the look on his face after then-rookie and likely successor Jarrett Stidham threw a rather egregious pick-six in Week 3 of the 2019 season against the New York Jets, it looked like those were the words running through his mind.
Take a look at the play and Brady’s reaction after Jamal Lewis goes in for the score that shrunk the huge lead to 16 points.
LOL,… Look at Brady pic.twitter.com/LtqxsuVKvo
— ManCave Media (@media_mancave) May 20, 2020
Brady has moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The future Hall-of-Fame quarterback signed a two-year deal with his new team after it appears the New England Patriots were unwilling to commit to him for the second year. Now, it appears Stidham is the man set to replace Brady–barring some circumstances that could make it more favorable to go with the veteran Brian Hoyer.
The interception came in Stidham’s first regular-season pro game. He made two solid throws on this drive, but he’d also taken a sack on a play where he made the wrong read and held the ball for too long.
These are all rookie mistakes, but they do fall in line with the criticisms Stidham has received from those who believe the odds are against him becoming a solid starter for the Patriots.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Ball placement, moving through his progressions and making the right decisions are seen as Stidham’s areas of opportunity. This drive would seemingly validate those concerns. That said, it all must be taken into proper consideration. It stands to reason Stidham has been hard at work in an effort to fix these issues since last season. After the pick-six, Stidham threw just one more pass for the rest of the regular season. Thus we haven’t an opportunity to see the maturation–if it has taken place.
The next pass he throws will occur during the Patriots’ first preseason game. NFL teams are beginning to roll out preseason schedules, but everyone knows things are subject to change based on the way society rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stidham will need to play well during the preseason to calm some of the concerns across Patriots Nation, but also to reassure his coaching staff and organization. The Patriots passed on Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Marcus Mariota, Nick Foles, and other available veterans. They also elected not to draft a rookie QB, but they did sign two rookie undrafted free-agent signal-callers in J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke.
While Smith and Lewerke add needed bodies to the QB meeting room, they don’t provide the sort of presence that is designed to push Stidham from a competition standpoint. Barring something strange, Stidham will be the starter, but he’d better start making better decisions and throws than the one in the video above, or his time as QB1 will be short.
- How Brian Hoyer Could Be Patriots’ Week 1 Starter, Says Analyst
- Patriots Jarrett Stidham Greatest Weaknesses Revealed, Per Insider
- Patriots Star at Center of DeVante Parker-Michael Thomas IG War
- Jarrett Stidham Shouldn’t Be ‘Babied’ in 2020, Says Patriots Insider
- Patriots Unveil List of 2020 Undrafted Free Agents With Glaring Omission