Another one of Jarrett Stidham’s teammates appears optimistic with the post-Tom Brady era in New England set to begin.
Patriots center David Andrews sat out all of last season, but the Georgia product says he was still able to bond with the Stidham, New England’s 2019 fourth-round pick, just as he does with all quarterbacks.
“Jarrett is a great kid,” Andrews told reporters Tuesday during a conference call. “I was still able, especially during the season at times, we would hang out a lot and stuff. Whatever quarterback is in that room, I try to build a bond with them. … Whoever is in there, you try to build a bond, because it’s obviously one play away from anyone playing. That’s just the way it is.”
Stidham, 23, appeared in three games last season and completed two of four attempts for 14 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
Despite the lack of playing time, Andrews thinks the former Auburn signal-caller can grow a lot in his second year in the league.
“Your first year is such a whirlwind. It’s such a long year from going from bowl games to training to Combine to Pro Day to OTAs, minicamps, all that, to training camp. For a year, it’s nonstop. The growth from your first to your second year is so huge,” he said. “I look back on my rookie year and can remember the growth I saw from my rookie season to my second year and how the games start to click a little bit and make sense a little bit more. So, that for all those players is just a natural thing coming from that first to second year.”
Andrews isn’t the only one to boast about Stidham. Patriots safety Terrence Brooks and the recently traded Duron Harmon also raved about Stidham in January, before Brady left to sign a two-year, $50 million fully guaranteed contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For now, Stidham is expected to be atop coach Bill Belichick’s unofficial depth chart. Due to salary cap limitations, the Patriots were not able pursue a high-profile quarterback in free agency. They curiously did not make a move for one in the 2020 NFL Draft, though that could be a sign Belichick is confident in Stidham, too. The Patriots brought back veteran Brian Hoyer, and added undrafted free agents Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith this offseason, though none of them are expected to challenge for the starting role.
“Coach Belichick brings in great football players, and we have a lot of great guys in this locker room that are committed to winning,” the Patriots’ lineman said.
Last August, Andrews was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism — a condition which can be life-threatening — and missed of all of the 2019 season. The 27-year-old has been cleared to return.
“As a competitor and a guy who wants to play football, it sucks not being out there,” he said. “I just want to move forward now and look forward to 2020.”
The NFL season is expected to announce its schedule Thursday, though it is unclear if the Sept. 5 start date will be pushed back to due to the coronavirus.
Credit: Source link