Why Josh McDaniels Is ‘Confident’ Patriots Know Jarrett Stidham’s Potential

It sounds like Cam Newton will start Monday vs. Buffalo


December 26, 2020

Jarrett Stidham has yet to start his first NFL game. That might not matter to his New England Patriots coaches.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Saturday he has seen enough from Stidham in practice to know what New England has in its second-year quarterback.

McDaniels also seemed to suggest Cam Newton, not Stidham, will start behind center Monday night against the Buffalo Bills.

With the Patriots officially out of playoff contention, many have wondered whether head coach Bill Belichick would give Stidham an opportunity for evaluation purposes, as Newton has struggled as a passer this season.

?You know, that?s Coach (Belichick)?s decision, and I honor whatever he makes in terms of those choices,? McDaniels said when asked if he’d like to see Stidham get more playing time over the final two weeks of the regular season. ?We work as hard as we can to get everybody ready to go. I?ve seen plenty of Jarrett in practice. I see him every day, so I?ve seen him for two years. I?m confident that I understand where Jarrett?s at in his development. But I also know that our job is to try to go out and win two football games that we have left.

“So that starts with Buffalo Monday night. Cam has done a great job of preparing this week. We?re going to go out there and try to play our best football game that we can on Monday, and we?ll see what happens from there. So those choices are Bill?s. Whatever he chooses, that?s what we?re going to do. I feel confident going in with the plan we have right now.?

Stidham has played only in the fourth quarter this season, replacing Newton in three games and Brian Hoyer in one and going 18-for-33 for 212 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. He also mopped up for Tom Brady three times as a rookie in 2019.

As the second-string quarterback, the majority of Stidham’s practice reps come on the scout team. The 24-year-old is the only Patriots QB currently under contract for next season.

After hosting the Bills on Monday, the Patriots will close out their 2020 schedule against the New York Jets next Sunday.

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