Dante Scarnecchia: There will be growing pains with Jarrett Stidham
The past four seasons, Dante Scarnecchia’s unit blocked for Tom Brady. Now, Scarnecchia is retired (again), and Brady signed with the Buccaneers in free agency.
That leaves a new offensive line coach and a new quarterback for the Patriots.
Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo will share the offensive line duties, while second-year pro Jarrett Stidham is competing with veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting job.
The Patriots repeatedly have expressed support of and faith in Stidham, who threw four passes as a rookie backup to Brady. It’s why they didn’t sign a veteran starter or trade for one.
“He’s a different guy in a couple of ways,” Scarnecchia said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. “No. 1, he doesn’t have the wealth of experience that Tom has. There’s no doubt about that, and you have to concede that. Yes, there’s going to be some things where he’s going to hold the ball longer than you want it to be held, but that’s all about growing up in this league, and you know that as well as I do. You know, those young guys, they take some time. But I would say this for Jarrett, too: He’s a bright kid, and he’s a guy, who when he doesn’t know, he’ll take off. He showed in the preseason last year that he’s got some skills and he knows when to get out of there and where the escape points may be and when he gets out of there, he also knows he better get down, because he knows better than to try to run through guys as well. You’re not running through many guys in this league.
“So there’s going to be some growing pains. There’s no doubt about it. But the guy does have skills. He’s got a great mind. He cares. He shows up early. He goes home late. I wish him nothing but the best. If still there, I would just say, ‘Hey, listen fellas, we’ve got to do everything we can to make this guy as comfortable as we can, and I’m sure the guys that are going to 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 and let him get comfortable and build confidence and be the kind of player that we want him to be and that he wants to be more importantly.”