#Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham’s first steps in taking over for Tom Brady
“Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham’s first steps in taking over for Tom Brady”
June 5, 2020 | 3:49pm
With NFL facilities shuttered in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019 fourth-rounder is spearheading social distancing-friendly workouts at a private football field with six of his Patriots teammates, according to ESPN.
Attendees to these extracurricular throwing sessions have included journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer — whom the Patriots re-signed this offseason — as well as wide receivers Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd and Gunner Olszewski.
After 20 years with Brady at the helm, the Patriots are currently faced with the unfamiliar challenge of finding a worthy heir. The 42-year-old icon departed New England in March to join the Buccaneers, leaving the fanbase shellshocked and the franchise sans an obvious replacement.
Stidham, 23, has the opportunity to lay claim to that post absent any viable competition, but remains largely untested on the NFL field. He appeared in three games in mop-up duty as Brady’s backup in his rookie year and completed two of four attempts for 14 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
The Auburn product has demonstrated the requisite off-the-field leadership qualities and character of a NFL quarterback through philanthropic actions in the New England community. With many families struggling to make ends meet, he and his wife Kennedy made a significant donation of 1,000 Chick-fil-A meals to a local YMCA in North Attleborough, Mass. last month.
“Stid worked really hard last year,” head coach Bill Belichick said back in May. “He was our backup quarterback the entire season, and I know he’s working hard in the offseason. I know he’s made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding opponent defenses like all players do from Year One to Year Two.”
Due in part to salary cap constraints, the Patriots did not make a serious pitch to any of the prominent free agent quarterbacks. Belichick, the team’s de facto general manager, elected not to take a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft in April, but did pick up undrafted free agents Brian Lewerke of Michigan State and J’mar Smith from Louisiana Tech.
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