Whether Jarrett Stidham has what it takes to be an above-average starting quarterback in the NFL remains to be seen.
However, it’s clear the New England Patriots sophomore is in a great position to succeed, which is far more than most young quarterbacks get in the early parts of their careers.
Scott Pioli, who worked for the Patriots from 2000 to 2008, believes Stidham has a legitimate chance to develop into a good player. He discussed the Auburn product during a recent appearance on CBS Sports Radio’s “The Zach Gelb Show.”
“The thing is, what happens sometimes with players who have enough talent and ability, if there are good coaches around them, and a good system that allows them to learn, and be educated, and develop — which is something that happened with Brady,” Pioli said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Mike Reiss. ” … I’m not saying this guy can be Tom Brady, but he has enough of the skills, tools and intelligence to develop.”
Added Pioli: “There are other quarterbacks that have come out of that system that have done it. The guy that played in the Super Bowl this past (season) out in San Francisco, Jimmy G (Jimmy Garoppolo), did a pretty good job of it. Matt Cassel had a pretty solid run as a quarterback during his time. There have been quarterbacks that come out of that system that learn under that group of people, and are taught by really good coaches, and they become good enough quarterbacks to win games in the National Football League.”
Even if the Patriots believe Stidham has a chance to become a starter, there remains a chance Bill Belichick isn’t quite ready to hand the youngster the keys to the operation. Piolo believes Stidham has the inside track toward winning the job, though.
“That’s what my instincts tell me,” Pioli said. “They obviously think well enough of him — he’s been in the system, he’s seen it for a year. I think they’re going to give him a shot.
“I also think the idea of having a backup that also has experience (Brian Hoyer), they’re in a really good situation there right now. I also can see them going out and getting another quarterback, whether it’s a more decorated veteran or in this draft. Their entire quarterback room is not filled, yet. But I’m curious to see Stidham. He was a solid player in college. I was down at Auburn and saw him play in practice when he was coming out, and he was an intriguing prospect.”
Of course, the Patriots still could draft a quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft, if for no other reason than to give Stidham competition during training camp. Furthermore, there is a growing sense among those who cover the league that Tua Tagovailoa could be in play for New England in the first round.
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