Will Patriots’ Jarrett Stidham Play Week 16? Bill Belichick’s Answer Unclear

How much will we see of Jarrett Stidham in the next two weeks?


Dec 21, 2020

With New England officially out of playoff contention, now is as good of a time as any for the Patriots to give Jarrett Stidham reps to see what they have in the young quarterback.

Bill Belichick answered multiple questions about the Patriots’ immediate future at the quarterback position, and his answers seemed to waver. Belichick previously committed to continue starting Cam Newton under center.

New England’s head coach initially was asked if he could use the last two weeks of the season to give some players “a longer look or give some guys some reps to get experience for next year.”

“We can evaluate what the opportunities are,” Belichick said. “We’re still gonna prepare and try to play as well as we can on Monday night. But we’ll see how that all shakes out. It could be a possibility in certain situations.”

Belichick then was asked specifically if he could see giving Stidham an “extended look” over the last two games.

“Really the same question you just asked, so we’ll see,” Belichick said.

Belichick later was asked by what point this week the Patriots would like to make their decision at quarterback.

“We haven’t had any timeframe on that,” he said. “So, I don’t really see it going that way. We’ll go through our normal weekly process and make the decisions that we feel are best for the game in everything.”

So, Belichick gave an “it could be a possibility in certain situations,” a “we’ll see,” and an “I don’t really see it going that way” over the course of about 10 minutes.

Here was the exact wording on the last question:

“I just had one more about the logistics, I guess, of whatever decision has to be made at quarterback. By what point this week is that a call that you would like to have made just so you can prepare the way you want to for Monday night?”

So, it’s somewhat unclear how to interpret Belichick’s “I don’t really see it going that way” minutes after he said doing so could be a possibility. Perhaps the Patriots could give Stidham snaps at quarterback without starting him. Maybe he’ll only play in mop-up duty, or maybe the Patriots will just keep rolling with Newton under center.

Belichick deflected when asked why the Patriots would keep playing Newton.

“Really, we have a lot of team questions we need to answer,” Belichick said. “That will be the overriding thing. We’ll talk about that today, tomorrow. We have an extra day this week and look at things from a bigger picture standpoint. Obviously, haven’t played the run well the last two weeks. We haven’t been able to score a touchdown the last two weeks. I don’t think this is about any one individual.”

New England will host the new AFC East champion Buffalo Bills next Monday night.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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