New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots Rookie QB Jarrett Stidham Impressing in Camp

Rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham went 8-for-8 Tuesday to cap a day where Tom Brady struggled in live team drills aside from a spectacular 30-yard touchdown to Phillip Dorsett.

Through 10 practices, Stidham’s completion percentage in those periods is 10 points higher than Brady’s: 68 percent to 58. But any conversation about quarterback succession is entirely premature, Andrew Callahan of Masslive reports.

But calling Stidham one of the early stars of New England’s training camp is almost overdue. Thursday’s preseason opener will mark two weeks since the Patriots first hit the field, and perhaps no one has shown more growth than Stidham.

“He could always really sling it. Now he’s grown as a QB, not staring down receivers,” Moore said. “He’s making it tougher on safeties.”

Added Dorsett: “He’s getting more comfortable. He has a live arm, can make any throw. I like Jarrett. It’s the National Football League, and he’s young. Coming in here is tough. A lot of stuff gets thrown at you really fast and changes on the move, so you have to be able to adjust. He’s doing all right.”

“He’s got good command. It’s tough being a quarterback on any team, especially on our offense,” running back James White said. “There’s a lot you have to know. He’s trying to put the work in, trying to learn as much as possible, and all of the young guys and us veterans are trying to make him feel comfortable and make some plays for him.”

As teammates have attempted to provide comfort, Stidham’s coaches have knowingly been compounding his problems.

Bill Belichick noted Tuesday that the first 10 practices of training camp are often the most difficult because of how the Patriots schedule daily installations of their offensive and defensive systems. Grasping one playbook would be hard enough, but for a rookie quarterback like Stidham, his plate is full with both executing new offensive play-calls and deciphering an ever-expanding menu of defenses. And yet he hasn’t choked yet.

Stidham has instead gone from surviving hiccups in practice periods to thriving throughout them. He’s built upon the hard-throwing prospect who attracted New England in the draft process to become a developing NFL passer.


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