While fans and most members of the media are discussing the likes of Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Mac Jones, and Jimmy Garoppolo as the most likely choices for the New England Patriots at quarterback, a team captain, but impending free agent James White thinks it’s important we don’t forget the option that is still under contract with the team.
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Jarrett Stidham is Alive
White appeared on Sirius XM NFL Radio and he weighed in on some of Stidham’s strengths and how he isn’t going to just roll over and acquiesce to a back-up role in 2021.
I am sure he’s chomping at the bit to get his opportunity. I think he will be a guy that can get some things done. He works hard. Strong arm, studies hard, prepares hard and it’s tough being a backup. He may not get many reps as he wants to, but he stayed motivated throughout that entire season. He got to play sometimes towards the end of games. He’s a young guy excited to get out there. You want to play those four full quarters and get your opportunity. I am sure he’s working hard this offseason to prove that he can do that.
Stidham played in five games during the 2020 season, but never got an opportunity to start. When Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Patriots’ Week 3 clash against the Kansas City Chiefs, Bill Belichick elected to start veteran QB Brian Hoyer over Stidham.
However, after a disastrous first-half performance from Hoyer, Belichick lifted him for Stidham who completed 5 of 13 passes for 60 yards, a beautifully thrown TD pass to N’Keal Harry, and two interceptions.
One of the picks wasn’t his fault as he threw a catchable ball to Julian Edelman, who allowed it to hit off his fingers and into the hands of Tyrann Mathieu who returned it for 25 yards for a TD.
For the season, Stidham completed 22 of 44 passes for a 50% completion rate, 256 yards, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs. There really is no question about his arm talent, but there is still some hesitancy or reluctance to put him in a position to take over as the team’s starter.
Stidham is Already Working on Improvement
Despite Stidham’s limited experience and what looks like a lack of confidence from the Patriots’ coaching staff, the 24-year-old is working hard to put himself in a position to earn the starting spot, or to at least audition for his next job.
Earlier this week, Stidham posted images on his Instagram account of him working out with former NFL player and renowned QB coach Jordan Palmer.
Stidham still has his share of fans in the Boston area, and many of which wanted to see him get a chance to start ahead, or in relief of Cam Newton in 2020.
That’s all water under the bridge at this point and Stidham is seemingly focused on making the 2021 season as great as it can be for him.
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