Where are the Jarrett Stidham fans?
Apparently, the 24-year-old didn’t have an abundance of backers on the New England Patriots‘ coaching staff or in the team’s locker room. According to a recent report from Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard, Patriots players reportedly, “didn’t trust Stidham” on the field and the lack of trust and confidence shined through in huddles and other places.
Here is what Bedard wrote.
What people need to keep in mind, that Cam playing and starting … I came to learn was more about how the other players viewed Stidham, more than anything else. There was not much faith in the building (in him). And you could even see that when he got into the games and the way he conducted the huddle. For whatever reason, and I don’t know if it was the training camp injury or the offseason thing or what have you, or the way he just conducts himself. There’s not a lot of belief (in him) in that building. And there was the feeling within the team that if they turned the keys over to Stidham, that it would become a complete debacle down the stretch and that wouldn’t be good for anybody.
According to Bedard, Cam Newton appeared to have kept his job by default because the coaching staff nor the players on the team believed Stidham was capable of taking on the job.
That’s troubling on several levels.
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The Biggest Problem With Stidham’s Perceived Lack of Readiness
Stidham was originally drafted in 2019 and expected to be Tom Brady’s eventual successor. In fact, it’s not crazy to think Bill Belichick and Co. once envisioned that hand-off taking place as soon as 2020.
However, as Bedard mentioned, there was a training camp injury that didn’t appear to sit well with the Patriots’ coaches, and perhaps the players as well.
Stidham’s lack of development and readiness has potentially hurt the Patriots as much as Brady’s exit, Newton’s tough 2020 season, or even N’Keal Harry’s slow start to the season.
Had Stidham been healthy, and there are some undertones that suggest his injury may have been due to a lack of conditioning, he could have been the team’s starter in 2020. Had he played well in that role, the quarterback position might not be seen as an area of need, and New England could shore up other areas of their team during the offseason.
There might have even been an opening for the Patriots to package the young, and in this scenario promising young quarterback, in a trade with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson.
None of that is a reality at this point, and most of it traces back to Stidham’s inability to claim the starting spot.
Stidham Still Has Some Backers
It might sound like all doom and gloom for Stidham, but he does have some backers.
WEEI’s Andy Hart wrote this in support of giving Stidham another chance to earn the starting quarterback spot:
Don’t force a pick at No. 15 in the draft for a guy like suspect Alabama prospect Mac Jones. Don’t use salary cap or trade assets to get a bridge guy. Save that for the rest of a roster that needs more attention at more spots than maybe some people want to admit. Don’t look any harder or further than necessary to find the next guy in line at the New England quarterback spot. He might be right under your nose. Where he’s been all along. Stidham at least deserves an open-minded shot to compete for the job. To prove once and for all whether he can play or not. Especially since, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, there really aren’t any obvious better options right now. Even with all the “options” that are “available.” It’s time to stoke up the Jarrett Stidham story once again.
Stidham has the arm talent required to be a solid quarterback, but we’ve seen so little of him, it’s almost impossible to make a fair evaluation. That said, the Patriots coaches and players have seen plenty, and perhaps we should take their word and lack of action as law.