Have the Patriots Found Tom Brady’s Successor?

Fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham finished his preseason debut with 179 passing yards and one TD

Tom Brady's Successor Jarrett Stidham?
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham of the New England Patriots. (Rey Del Rio/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / August 9, 2019 12:48 pm

Though he’s currently the third-string quarterback for the Patriots, rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham made a strong first impression for the Patriots.

Playing after backup Bryan Hoyer exited Thursday’s preseason opener against the Detriot Lions, Stidham seized control of New England’s office midway through the second quarter and played the rest of the way. He only threw for one touchdown (Hoyer had two, and the Pats won 31-3), but the fourth-round pick out of Auburn was very accurate and went 14-for-24 for 179 yards, numbers that would have been better had some pinpoint passes not been dropped by his teammates.

It wasn’t perfect, but Stidham’s performance did earn him some praise from his coach, as well as sparking chatter on Boston sports radio that the team might have found the successor for Brady they’ve been searching for since trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers in the middle of the 2017 season.

“The most important thing for a quarterback is not to turn the ball over, make good decisions, and throw accurately,” New England coach Bill Belichick said Friday. “He did all those at times.”

While Patriots fans were happy to Stidham play well, there appeared to be one New England supporter who was less than thrilled with his performance.

The player who caught Stidham’s TD pass, rookie wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, also had a hell of a night, ending his NFL debut with 69 yards and two touchdowns after snagging six passes on eight targets.

“I have to keep proving to my coaches that I deserve to be here,” Meyers told NBC Sports Boston after the game. “I’m not on the team yet. I’m trying to make sure I can stay here and continue to be here. That’s really who I’m trying to prove a point to, not really to people who didn’t give me the call.”

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