It remains to be seen who will be under center for the Patriots come Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.
But if Dante Scarnecchia had to make a prediction, it sure sounds like he’d lean toward Cam Newton.
Scarnecchia, who retired from his position as New England’s offensive line coach in the offseason, touched on the Patriots’ upcoming quarterback battle during an appearance Saturday on SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio. Scarnecchia emphasized one area where Newton has a major advantage over Jarrett Stidham: experience.
“I think he has a huge edge, because of what he’s done in the league,” Scarnecchia said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “The guy was an MVP (in 2015). We played against him a number of times, have a huge respect for him as a player and leader, and the things he’s done. This guy, from a skill set, a lot different from guys we’ve had in there at quarterback over the years. (Jarrett) Stidham has great feet and ability to move and avoid the rush, and create and do a lot of similar things. I don’t think he’s to Cam’s skill set, but this guy is a pretty good player. He also has a tremendous work ethic and he’s a smart guy. I know this, you have to be a smart guy to play quarterback in that system. Having said all that, the cupboard is not half empty by any means. I think there is a lot of enthusiasm. The situation looks a lot different than it did two months ago.”
Newton, a 10th-year pro, has far more NFL service time under his belt than Stidham, but the 2019 fourth-rounder did spend a season in Foxboro learning under arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. The Patriots clearly like what they have in Stidham, whereas the franchise effectively took a flier on Newton without bringing him in for a formal workout and medical evaluation.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection should win the starting job if he’s healthy, but as Patriots fans know full well, few things are set in stone in New England during training camp.