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Bill Belichick: We have a “pretty good feel” for Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer

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Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss Tom Brady's comments on his legacy in New England and whether he or Bill Belichick had a bigger part to play with the legendary Patriots.

Rex Ryan argued last week that Tom Brady was more important to the Patriots’ success than Bill Belichick. The ESPN analyst dragged Geno Smith into his argument, suggesting that if Belichick had Smith as his quarterback he would not have won any Super Bowls.

Belichick doesn’t have Smith on his roster, but he doesn’t have Brady anymore either.

The Patriots currently have journeyman Brian Hoyer and unproven Jarrett Stidham.

Hoyer, 34, has played for seven teams in 11 seasons, started 38 games, won 16 games and has an 0-1 mark as a postseason starter. Stidham, a fourth-round choice last season, played 15 snaps in three games as a rookie, going 2-for-4 for 14 yards and an interception.

Whether the Patriots add a rookie or a veteran to the mix, the team will have a quarterback competition for the first time since 2001 when Brady was in his second season. Drew Bledsoe won the job before Mo Lewis’ hit knocked Bledsoe out in Week Two, and the rest, of course, is history.

“Well, we’ve spent quite a bit of time with both Brian and Stid,” Belichick said Monday. “I think we have a pretty good – [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] and myself – certainly have a pretty good feel for both those players. The circumstances will be different this year, and we’ll see how everything plays out. But again, to start with, I think the main thing is to give everyone a chance to compete, to get people comfortable with the position and the skills that they’re playing, the communication that’s involved. We’ll evaluate the players as we get an opportunity to evaluate them. So, right now, the spring will be about teaching the best that we can. At whatever point we get a chance to get on the field and participate and play, then that’s what we’ll do. But, not sure exactly how that’s going to go. Once we figure it out, then we’ll work from there.”

Cam Newton and Jameis Winston remain free agents, and the Bengals still are shopping Andy Dalton. But the Patriots have so far shown no interest in any of the veteran quarterbacks available.

Whoever is the Patriots’ starter, Belichick will get a chance to show he can win without Brady as his quarterback.