Jarrett Stidham is the embodiment of an uncertain future for the New England Patriots. After Tom Brady elected to leave the franchise in free agency this offseason and the club’s subsequent decision to not address the quarterback position other than acquiring veteran Brian Hoyer, it would appear like Stidham is the future in Foxborough.
While he has the talent to be worthy of a fourth-round pick in 2019 and has drawn praise by various members of New England’s masthead including Bill Belichick, there’s still a mystery as to what he’ll do when given the keys to the kingdom. After all, he’s only thrown four passes in the NFL to this point.
Current Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, however, does see tremendous promise in the young Patriots quarterback, who he knows a bit better than most as the two share some history. While at Texas Tech, Kingsbury, who himself played for the Patriots in 2003, recruited Stidham as a high school prospect and, for a time, had him committed to join the Red Raiders.
“He was committed to me for about a year, and so I have always had a high regard of him as a player and as a person,” Kingsbury told WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday. “I know they are very high on him up there in New England. I am excited to watch him play. I cheer for Texas kids and I think he definitely has the ability.
“It is going to be hard to replace the greatest of all-time, but Josh (McDaniels) and those guys up there do a phenomenal job of developing QBs and if they feel confident in him, I feel confident in what they have going on. I am excited to watch him play.”
Stidham ultimately rescinded his commitment to join Kingsbury at Texas Tech to attend Baylor and eventually ended his collegiate career at Auburn. Despite that winding path to get to the NFL, Kingsbury notes that Stidham has intangibles to be a starting-caliber quarterback at the NFL level.
“Tremendous thrower of the football,” he said. “Really comes out clean. I remember watching him when he was 16 years old and the ball jumped out of his hand at that age. Very accurate. …
“He has a cool, calm confidence about himself. Doesn’t try too hard around the guys. They like that, they like being around him, they gravitate towards him. And that always struck me, just kind of how he carries himself.”
If Stidham is able to grab hold of the starting job in New England, Kingsbury will get to square off against him when he takes his Cardinals across the country to face the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Week 12.