Most guys who expect to be a starting quarterback have a frosty reaction to their team signing, drafting or trading for someone who is there to take their job, but Jarrett Stidham seemed to have a different reaction to the New England Patriots signing Cam Newton this offseason.
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Jarrett Stidham Welcomes the Competition
He might be a soft-spoken, second-year-pro, drafted in the fourth round in 2019, but to quote popular Atlanta rapper, Stidham “ain’t never scared” of competition. On Friday, Stidham and the rest of the Patriots’ quarterbacks spoke to the media via a live streamed conferencing.
He was asked for his first reaction when he heard the Patriots signed Cam Newton to compete with him for the starting quarterback job, and the task of succeeding Tom Brady.
“Honesty, I was excited,” Stidham said. “What a great opportunity to compete with another great player.” In his easy-going manner, Stidham continued. “I’m extremely excited to compete with Cam [Newton] and Hoy [Brian Hoyer]. I look forward to competing in just about everything, and I’m looking forward to it.”
While Newton is the major favorite to win the starting job, the Patriots players and coaches have maintained the concept that there will be an open competition for the starting job between the former Super Bowl MVP, Stidham, and Hoyer.
Until he’s told otherwise, Stidham’s job is to show up and give his maximum effort. It appears that’s what he is prepared to do in 2020.
Stidham Not Keen on the ‘Brady Replacement’ Concept
As comfortable as Stidham is with competing for the starting job with Newton and Hoyer, he isn’t as good with the idea that he is replacing Brady. He made a point to say, “I don’t really look at it like replacing Tom Brady. I just want to be myself and be a leader for this team.”
Whether he’s trying to show respect to the legend who won six Super Bowls with the franchise or deflecting some of the pressure that comes with following a football icon is unclear. In any case, Stidham is seemingly ready to try to carve his own niche.
In reality, if Stidham wins the starting job over Newton in training camp, there is some sentiment the Patriots might even release the latter. While the organization isn’t saying this publicly, Newton was never brought to Foxborough to be a backup. The competition is essentially a test to determine if Newton can still perform the way he did from 2014-18. If he can, he will win the job. It’s really as simple as that.
Still, we will see what comes from what promises to be an eventful training camp heading into a bizarre 2020 NFL season.
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