The New England Patriots have a big question mark at quarterback, but Bill Belichick believes the answer is in Jarrett Stidham.
For the first time in his coaching career with the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick will have a major question mark at the quarterback position in which he believes in the answer he already has.
He believes in second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
During an appearing on the NFL Network following the 2020 NFL schedule release, Belichick was asked about his current quarterback situation and appears pretty satisfied with what he has to work with in Stidham, veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer and undrafted rookies J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke.
Despite giving the impression they were going into the 2020 NFL Draft with hopes of drafting a quarterback, the coach and the team appear pretty content which has been evident with passing up on veterans like Andy Dalton and apparently Cam Newton.
"“Yeah, well that is where we are – you never know what is going to happen down the road, but we feel like we have four good players there,” Belichick said, as transcribed by WEEI. “We added Brian and J’Mar to Hoyer and Stidham. We added Hoyer and had Stidham from last year. We like working with those guys and we will see how it goes.”"
Unlike when he made the decision to roll with a sixth-round pick in Tom Brady over then-franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe, Belichick will really enter the 2020 NFL season (if it happens) with a quarterback who is really an unknown.
The raw talent is there as we saw in the 2019 preseason, but does he have the mental toughness and control to lead an offense that currently lacks major offensive weapons?
Similar to the team Tom Brady game managed back in 2001, Stidham will have to the opportunity to be eased into the position. Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will put him in the best position to be successful, but also not put too much pressure on him.
So, while it seems the New England Patriots are doomed at quarterback in 2020, the amount of confidence a coach like Belichick has in Jarrett Stidham should be given some credence in that they have watched him grow. Along with players like Devin McCourty and Stephon Gilmore praising his ability, the coach believing in his progress and that he is the answer dims that bright question mark.
"“Stid worked really hard last year,” Belichick said when asked directly about Jarrett Stidham. “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 out offense and understanding opponent defenses like all players do from Year 1 to year 2. I am sure he will get out there and be ready to go, be prepared, compete hard, and we’ll see where it takes us.”"
Where it could take the New England Patriots in 2020 is towards a very mediocre record as they will have the toughest schedule in the NFL. Even if that is the case, Jarrett Stidham should be measured by his composure and ability to move the offense.
If he proves not to be the answer based on those attributes, Bill Belichick will move on.