It didn’t take long for Jarrett Stidham to impress at the Patriots’ training camp.
The quarterback reported July 21 along with other rookies, and MassLive.com notes “no one has shown more growth than Stidham.” He went 8 for 8 during Tuesday’s joint practice between New England and the Lions, and Stidham has a 68% completion rate through 10 practices. For comparison: Tom Brady is at 58%, per MassLive.com.
While Stidham likely won’t see much action during the regular season as a rookie, he’s quickly proving himself at camp.
“He’s getting more comfortable. He has a live arm, can make any throw,” receiver Phillip Dorsett said. “I like Jarrett. It’s the National Football League, and he’s young. Coming in here is tough. A lot of stuff gets thrown at you really fast and changes on the move, so you have to be able to adjust.
“He seems real cool and collected. … He takes the criticism well, doesn’t get down on himself and just goes out here and plays football.”
Coach Bill Belichick explained Tuesday that the team’s practices early in the season are always the most challenging because the playbook is constantly changing and evolving. But that’s not stopping Stidham.
Running back James White said the rookie, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft out of Auburn, has adjusted well.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 27, 2019
“He’s got good command. It’s tough being a quarterback on any team, especially on our offense,” White said. “There’s a lot you have to know. He’s trying to put the work in, trying to learn as much as possible, and all of the young guys and us veterans are trying to make him feel comfortable and make some plays for him.”
Stidham joins the Patriots amid speculation around Brady’s long-term future with New England. Brady and the Patriots recently agreed to a deal that will pay him an additional $8 million this season, which increases his 2019 salary to $23 million, but includes voidable years for 2020 and 2021, according to ESPN.
Brady and the Patriots will have to discuss his contract again early in 2020 if they’re going to extend the current deal beyond what amounts to a year-to-year basis.
While there’s no indication Stidham will replace Brady anytime soon, he’s already shown growth in his role under the 42-year-old veteran.