Tom Brady is no longer the New England Patriots' starting quarterback. But while the team is facing some uncertainty at the position, some of the players on the squad seem confident in the team's quarterback options.
Those options are second-year pro Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, who reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots on Sunday to mark his third stint with the team. Stidham is the prohibitive favorite to win the starting job, and it seems that some of his veteran-most teammates are ready to support him if that happens.
On "The Double Coverage Podcast", Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty spoke about the two quarterbacks and what they may be able to provide for the team. And Devin seemed particularly high on the potential of Stidham, who he lovingly calls "Stiddy."
“I think, to me, the best thing for Stiddy was he had to go against our defense every week. He didn’t have it easy,” Devin McCourty said. “I love his poise. I would be faking a blitz sometimes and we'd make eye contact and he'd just start smiling and laughing.
"To me, there were weeks he was just on point and those were some of our best weeks as a defense mainly because Stiddy ate us up in practice leading up to the game, and I think put more pressure on us. So, I really admire just how hard he works and I've gotten to know him off the field as well. He's a really good guy. Young guy but very mature.”
That's certainly a great endorsement. McCourty is one of the longest-tenured members of the Patriots defense and is regarded as one of the league's best safeties. If he likes what Stidham is offering, that could be a sign of good things to come.
As for what Hoyer offers, both McCourty twins spoke of the impact that he would have off the field.
"Getting a guy like Hoyer, we're going to be fired up to see him back in that locker room," Jason McCourty said.
"He just has a veteran presence, man," Devin McCourty said. "He’s played on multiple teams, he knows our offense very well. I think he’ll bring experience and his knowledge. If he has to go out there and play, he’s going to compete at a high level, or if it’s coaching up young quarterbacks, he’s going to be a guy that going to be very necessary to have in our locker room."
That experience and leadership could be valuable in a post-Brady locker room. And at the very least, it could give Stidham another sounding board to bounce ideas off as he attempts to become the Patriots' next franchise quarterback.
The McCourty twins also had positive things to say about Cody Kessler, the forgotten third man on the quarterback depth chart. But at the end of the day, who do they want to see play the position for the Patriots? Devin McCourty said it best.
"The most winning quarterback is [who] I wanna see [start]. Whoever's gonna win."