The Patriots are going to look quite different without Tom Brady at the helm of the offense in 2020, but Bill Belichick and the New England coaching staff seem rather confident in Jarrett Stidham.
The players appear excited and confident in Stidham, too, including center David Andrews. On a video conference call with reporters on Tuesday, the 27-year-old discussed why and how he built a bond last season with rookie QB while Andrews missed the regular season with blood clots in his lungs.
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"Yeah, Jarrett [Stidham] is a great kid. I was still able, especially during the season at times, we would hang out a lot and stuff," Andrews said. "Whatever quarterback is in that room, I try to build a bond with them, whether it’s Jimmy [Garoppolo], Brian [Hoyer], Danny Etling. Whoever is in there, you try to build a bond because it’s obviously [they are] one play away from anyone playing. That’s just the way it is. 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 the second year. 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. So, we’ll bring in great players, Coach Belichick brings in great football players, and we have a lot of great guys in this locker room that are committed to winning. So, that’s the tradition from guys and how they handle situations."
Obviously, Stidham didn't start a single regular-season game last season, but that doesn't mean he isn't capable of doing the job in 2020.
While many wanted to see the Patriots either draft a quarterback or sign a veteran such as Andy Dalton or Cam Newton for the upcoming season, it appears to be Stidham's job to lose with veteran Brian Hoyer returning after a season with the Indianapolis Colts to likely serve as the backup.
If Andrews' reaction to having Stidham take over is any indication of how the rest of the team feels, it bodes well for the Patriots' first season of the post-Brady Era.