BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots’ quarterback room includes Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, plus undrafted rookies J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke. Head coach Bill Belichick is happy with that situation … but he also doesn’t want to close the door to any possible changes.
Belichick was a guest on NFL Network’s schedule release show on Thursday night, and he was asked if the team is comfortable heading into the season with the aforementioned quarterback depth chart.READ MORE: Watch Live @ 8:30 am: Baker Visits Newburyport School's Pool COVID-19 Testing Program
“Yeah, well that’s where we are. You never know what’s going to happen down the road, but we feel like we have four good players there,” Belichick said. “Yeah. We like to work with all those guys and we’ll see how it goes.”
As for a look at what Stidham did on the practice field last year to inspire confidence in Belichick, the head coach leaned on good old-fashioned hard work.
“Stid worked really hard last year. He was our backup quarterback the entire season. I know he’s working hard in the offseason. He’s made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding and opponents’ defenses, like all players do from year one to year two,” Belichick told Rich Eisen. “So I’m sure he’ll get out there and be ready to go, be prepared, compete hard, and we’ll see where it takes us.”
As for the difference in preparing for a season without Tom Brady at quarterback, Belichick quickly pointed to the 2008 season (when Matt Cassel took over after Brady’s Week 1 injury) and the 2016 season (when Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett steered the ship during Brady’s four-game suspension) as evidence that the team can handle the change at quarterback.
“We’ll do what we always do, try to prepare the team as best we can, utilize our players and the skills that they have, and put ourselves in the best position we can to be competitive and win,” Belichick said. “That’s what we always do, and we’ll continue to do that.”READ MORE: 582 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks
No Nike appearance tonight, he’s working on the supplemental draft.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 8, 2020
Unfortunately for television viewers, Belichick’s sidekick — Nike the dog — only made an audio appearance and stayed off camera. Belichick assured everyone that after a successful draft, Nike has been applying a “no days off” policy.MORE NEWS: Friday Marks First Anniversary Of Boston Biogen Conference Super Spreader Event
“I think he’s … we went for a little walk today, I think he’s sleeping it off,” Belichick said of Nike. “But he’s working on the supplemental draft in July, so in case anything comes up, we’ll be ready to go.”