Based on his media spot with WEEI’s OMF on Tuesday, Belichick appears to be saying, “Jarrett Stidham is who we thought he was.”
Belichick was asked if he would start Cam Newton in the team’s Week 17 game against the New York Jets, and his response wasn’t completely definitive, but it does appear there won’t be a change.
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Cam Newton Did What He Was Asked to Do
Immediately after the Patriots’ lopsided 38-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, Belichick was asked about Newton’s performance. Belichick said: “he did what we asked him to do.”
That’s a very important thing to point out, and it may be something that is being missed by Patriots fans. Many are frustrated with the simplistic and one-dimensional nature of the team’s offense. Yes, it’s true, Newton has been inaccurate on some short and intermediate passes, but the playcalling has been extremely restricted.
That could be part of the reason Newton is so frustrated. It’s one thing to fail while being given an opportunity to do everything in your toolbox. It’s another to fail when you’ve been confined to limited throwing opportunities.
Many are saying Newton is incapable of throwing the ball, but it’s difficult to see how that assessment can be made considering he’s had big passing yardage games this season but hasn’t has had more than 20 attempts just one time in the last 7 games.
What quarterback can impress with his arms with so few attempts? He’s never going to have Troy Aikman-like accuracy, but his leash is so short, it can’t be the most comfortable situation.
Stidham Did Nothing to Prove He Deserves to Start
Stidham came into the game on Monday night and struggled mightily. He had one 22-yard completion to Jakobi Meyers that was the result of a busted coverage from the Bills. Otherwise, he looked putrid, and the difference in athleticism was apparent whenever he tried to escape the pocket.
Stidham completed 4 of 11 passes for 44 yards. He was sacked on a play when he left the pocket too quickly, despite good protection. He didn’t have the speed to get to the edge, and he had open receivers.
Still, Stidham has yet to get an opportunity to play when he’s had a full week of practice as the starter. Belichick seems to be leaning toward Newton, but perhaps Stidham will get his chance against the Jets.
A QB Move to Pacify the Stidham Supporters?
Much of the fanbase has been asking for the Patriots to allow Stidham to start. What are the chances Belichick makes the move just to satisfy the outcries?
If Belichick turns to Stidham, it’ll be because he thinks it’s the right thing to do.
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