Dante Scarnecchia is a believer in Jarrett Stidham, but he knows the first New England Patriots season in 20 years without Tom Brady at quarterback will require some patience.
The legendary Patriots offensive line coach, who retired in January after 34 years in Foxboro, shared his thoughts on the team's transition from Brady to Stidham in a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio.
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"There's gonna be some growing pains, there's no doubt about it," said Scarnecchia. "But the guy does have skills, he's got a great mind. He cares, he shows up early, goes home late, and I wish him nothing but the best. If still there, I would just say, 'Look, fellas, we gotta do everything we can to make this guy as comfortable as we can.' And I'm sure that the guys that are gonna coach those guys this year are saying exactly that.
"We've got to be as good as we can be every down and give this guy all the support we possibly can. Let him get comfortable and build confidence, and be the kind of player we want him to be and he wants to be, more importantly."
Hear the full clip below:
Former Patriots O-Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia discusses the team's transition from Tom Brady to Jarrett Stidham....— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) June 22, 2020
"There's gonna be some growing pains, there's no doubt about it" #GoPats
LISTEN ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/kIWVXDPq9X
There's no question Stidham will have his work cut out for him as Brady's replacement. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick will have limited opportunities to get up to speed with his new teammates this offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That, plus Stidham's inexperience at the pro level, explains why Scarnecchia expects some kinks will need to be worked out at the beginning of the season.
That said, Scarnecchia clearly sees Stidham as a capable heir to Brady's throne. If the Patriots can help the Auburn product feel comfortable and put him in a position to succeed, fans may be pleasantly surprised with the result.
Veteran QB Brian Hoyer will compete with Stidham for the starting job in his third stint with the Patriots. Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo are set to share the offensive line coaching duties in Scarnecchia's absence.