Tom Brady’s reign over New England lasted so long it seemed like it’d never end. Since TB12 signed with Tampa Bay in the offseason, the Patriots will finally have to see what it’s like with a different quarterback running the offense. Jarrett Stidham could be the answer for the near future. He’s already putting in extra work to ensure he does not fail.
Jarrett Stidham’s story
Stidham had a long college career. After spending his first season as the freshman QB at Baylor, he transferred to Auburn’s legendary program. He took a year off before making his name there. Then, he showed his talent. Stidham had been good at Baylor. But he went there when the program got involved in a damning investigation about sexual misconduct among players. As a result, reports SB Nation, several players left for new teams.
Once in Auburn, Stidham had a fresh start to play for a school without a dark cloud hovering above it. He threw for 3,158 yards his first year along with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions; Auburn was all the better for it, too. By the following season, Stidham was looking to take another leak. Although this did not happen, he showed similar numbers to what he had the year before.
Rather than do a fifth year at school, Stidham decided to leave and explore his NFL options. Stidham waited until the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft before hearing his name called. Like Brady before him, Stidham hoped that his late-round selection wasn’t going to hurt his prospects. Still, he would need to learn under one of the best to ensure that this happened.
Stidham gets the keys
With Brady in his forties, Stidham likely believed his chance to play would come. Still, it may have arrived quicker than anyone expected. While rumors of Brady’s retirement came with his age, many presumed that the surefire Hall of Famer would retire as a member of the team that drafted him. That was not the case, and Stidham was potentially hoisted into the lion’s den.
This didn’t stop him from working hard, however. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and with Brian Hoyer also vying for the spot, a friendly rivalry will likely develop as they try to earn the coveted spot in Belichick’s offense. He wasted no time getting to know his teammates more personally. Specifically, he worked with former Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman.
This not only helps Stidham get the reps he needs in but also lets him grow closer with those he would share the field with if he got the starting spot. Even Brady tended to take the offseasons off as he got older. With an uncertain player like Stidham, this extra work could be the difference between becoming the new starting quarterback and sitting on the bench again.
What happens next?
The NFL is still in limbo with the rest of the sporting world. While it is presumed that the league will be able to operate in some regard come August, the entire offseason has been a circus. Stidham has been working through this to get to know his teammates and make the best. However, Hoyer returned to the team that gave him his first shot a decade ago with the hopes of playing, too.
He has been with the Patriots twice already, and he knows Belichick’s system. However, Hoyer is in his mid-thirties. If the competition is close between him and Stidham, the Patriots would likely go younger. Stidham has the cards in his hand to be something special. With those cards, he is making sure that he does not go unnoticed. Come week 1, don’t be surprised if it becomes the start of the Stidham era in New England.