It’s not yet clear who will start at quarterback for the New England Patriots when they open the 2020 NFL season against the Miami Dolphins this September.
But the leading contender received a positive review from head coach Bill Belichick on Thursday.
Speaking with Rich Eisen during NFL Network’s schedule reveal show, Belichick said he’s seen improvement from second-year QB Jarrett Stidham, who served as Tom Brady’s backup last season.
Stidham will compete with Brian Hoyer for the starting job this summer, with undrafted rookies J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke rounding out the depth chart.
?Stid worked really hard last year,” Belichick told Eisen. “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 1 to Year 2.
“I’m sure he will get out there and be ready to go, be prepared, compete hard, and we?ll see where it takes us.?
No Nike appearance tonight, he?s working on the supplemental draft.
Bill Belichick kicks off @nflnetwork?s three-hour schedule show. pic.twitter.com/7OTqoTBuXW
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 8, 2020
Eisen asked Belichick whether he plans to enter the season with his current quarterback group. The Patriots eschewed big-name free agents at the position (Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton, etc.), did not select a QB in the 2020 NFL Draft and reportedly have shown no interest in signing Cam Newton.
“You never know what is going to happen down the road, but we feel like we have four good players there,” the coach replied. “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’ll see how it goes.”