Patriots

Why time away from football will benefit Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham

Why time away from football will benefit Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham

A positive for Stid the Kid.

I have been called a lot of things. Pantload happens to be my favorite.

Many of you think of me as a contrarian. I think of myself as a person who thinks differently than most, and I think Jarret Stidham may benefit greatly during this trying time in the NFL. 

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The experts say that Stid the Kid will suffer because he lost out on OTAs and the opportunity to build chemistry with his teammates and work with his coaches. Both elementary and predictable observations. 

But chew on this; Have you thought about him once in the last month?  Exactly. If there had been a June minicamp, we would have sliced, diced and broken down his performance to no end.

I can hear it all now.

“Hey, the kid looked sharp in 7-on-7 non-contact drills.”

“He has true command of the offense on the field. He looks like a real leader out there.”

“Great, great footwork.”

“He looks like a starting quarterback.” 

“Ooooh, nice arm slot.”

The Patriot Coalition would have sung his praises. In other words, Stidham would have been set up to fail. 

There is no way training camp starts on time. Even if it does, it will not be the same. There will be distancing rules and regulations that will throw players, who are definitely creatures of habit, out of whack. Meeting rooms will be half-full, contact will be at a minimum and players will get sick leaving rosters in perpetual motion. Good luck with that team chemistry.

So, how can we expect Jarrett Stidham to thrive under these conditions? 

The expectations for this guy have dropped through the floor, which is a good thing. This will allow Stidham ease into his new gig with little pressure as the Pats’ number one QB. No disrespect to Brian Hoyer... well, yes, much disrespect to Hoyer. We all know Stidham is the starter. If he isn’t, you are going to wish they had cancelled the NFL season

Plus, at this time, there will be no fans in the stands. No opposing crowd to make Stidham inaudible to himself. (This is subject to change as there is talk that some stadiums may be able to have a limited amount of attendees. Stay tuned.) 

So, make the most of this opportunity, Stid. It’s much easier to learn from your screw-ups when no one is looking. 

Tom Brady shared this sage advice with Titans' A.J. Brown last season

Tom Brady shared this sage advice with Titans' A.J. Brown last season

When the GOAT speaks, you listen, especially when you're a rookie in your first NFL training camp.

That's what Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown did when he crossed paths with then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during Tennessee's joint practices with New England last summer.

According to Brown, the 43-year-old quarterback imparted some valuable wisdom on the second-round draft pick -- the best advice Brown has received as a pro -- at one of those practices.

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"He told me: Work on the things you know you need improvement on, so you won't have no weakness," Brown said Monday in a video conference with reporters, via Titans.com.

"Everybody works hard, but everybody knows what their weakness is. Work on your weakness so you have no weakness."

That's sound advice from Brady, whose relentless drive to eliminate his own weaknesses helped him win six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots over 20 seasons before leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.

It appears Brown took Brady's advice to heart, too: The 23-year-old has been working to improve his conditioning after noticing on film that he looked fatigued during the fourth quarter of games as a rookie, which he believes may have given away some of his routes.

"(I have to) make sure my pad level is the same all the way through the whole route," Brown said. "Just not putting on your turn signal before you turn."

Brown was the only rookie wide receiver to top 1,000 receiving yards last season -- 1,051 yards on 52 catches with eight touchdowns -- so the Ole Miss product could become an elite NFL wideout if he takes another step forward in 2020.

Brady has helped plenty of Patriots wideouts over the years, but he's also been a font of wisdom for other budding NFL stars -- and you can add Brown to that list.

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NFL Rumors: Patriots plan to sign TE Jordan Leggett, DT Darius Kilgo

NFL Rumors: Patriots plan to sign TE Jordan Leggett, DT Darius Kilgo

UPDATE (Aug. 11, 8:45 a.m. ET): The Patriots won't be signing Jordan Leggett after all, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

-- End of update --

The New England Patriots have more open roster spots than any NFL team, but they're reportedly beginning to fill them.

The Patriots plan to sign tight end Jordan Leggett and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo assuming both free agents pass their COVID-19 tests and physicals, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

New England hosted both players for visits last week, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

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Leggett began his NFL career with the New York Jets in 2017 but missed his entire rookie year due to a knee injury. He caught 14 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown during the 2018 campaign but hasn't played a regular-season snap since after spending the 2019 season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad.

Still, the 25-year-old would add depth to a thin tight end group in New England: Ryan Izzo joins rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene as the only tight ends on the roster after Matt LaCosse opted out of the 2020 season.

Kilgo has spent four NFL seasons on six different teams and spent part of the 2016 campaign in New England, earning a Super Bowl ring while finishing the season on the Patriots' practice squad.

The 28-year-old missed his 2019 season with the Detroit Lions due to injury and last played an NFL snap with the Tennessee Titans in 2018.