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Jarrett Stidham’s college coach confident he’s up to the task in New England

Nick Saban made comments that Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa will need to learn to protect himself in order to succeed. Florio and Big Cat debate whether he'll be able to do it.

As we get deeper into the offseason and the Patriots continue to stand pat at quarterback, it looks increasingly likely that Jarrett Stidham will be tasked with succeeding Tom Brady. Stidham’s college coach thinks he’s ready.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn says Stidham knows what it takes to lead a team in big games and can do it at the next level.

“It definitely helped him to learn under the best and see what that looks like, but he’s the kind of young man, too, this is what he’s been waiting on. I’ll tell you, the moment won’t be too big for him. He’ll be up to the challenge, that’s what I expect,” Malzahn told “Even when he got here, before he played his first game, you could just kind of tell he was a mature young man. Like a gym rat, always at the complex trying to learn, study film. When he got drafted by the Patriots [in 2019], I thought it was a perfect spot for him system-wise -- spreading the field. He’s so good with protections, changing protections, and scheme-wise everything that goes with it, and just the flexibility the scheme gives him. I think that really applies to his strength.”

The 133rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Stidham played only very sparingly as a rookie, totaling two completions on four attempts for 14 yards, with one interception and one sack. He’s poised to have a very big impact, one way or the other, in New England this year.