BOSTON (CBS) — Nobody is expecting Jarrett Stidham to step into the starting quarterback role in New England and perform like Tom Brady in his prime. But what exactly should fans expect out of Stidham?
To help answer that question, retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia offered up his scouting report on Stidham in an interview on Sirius XM. It wasn’t a negative review by any means, and Scarencchia was quick to pount out Stidham’s strengths. But there also wasn’t a whole lot of substance to inspire a tremendous level of confidence in the second-year QB out of Auburn.
“This is a different guy in a couple of ways, all right?” Scarnecchia said of Stidham compared to Brady. “Number one, he doesn’t have the wealth of experience that Tom has. There’s no doubt about that, and you have to concede that number one. Yes, there’s going to be some things where he’s going to hold the ball longer than you want it to be held, but that’s all about growing up in this league. And you know that as well as I do. You know, those young guys, they take some time.”
As for strengths, Scarnecchia pointed to Stidham’s ability to escape the pocket and scramble in situations where he’s not sure where to throw.
“I would say this for Jarrett, too. He’s a bright kid, and he’s a guy that when he doesn’t know [where to throw], he’ll take off,” Scarnecchia said. “And he showed in the preseason last year that he’s got some skills and he knows when to get out of there and where the escape points may be. And when he gets out of there, he also knows when he better get down, because he knows better than to try to run through guys as well. Because you’re not running through many guys in this league. So there’s going to be some growing pains. There’s no doubt about it. But the guy does have skills, he’s got a great mind, he cares, he shows up early, he goes home late, and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Former Patriots O-Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia discusses the team's transition from Tom Brady to Jarrett Stidham….
"There's gonna be some growing pains, there's no doubt about it" #GoPats
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— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) June 22, 2020
Now retired after 19 years as the Patriots’ offensive line coach and 34 seasons overall coaching in New England, Scarnecchia shared how he would coach up his linemen if he still held his old role.
“If [I was] still there, I would just say, ‘Hey, listen fellas, we’ve got to do everything we can to make this guy as comfortable as we can,’” Scarnecchia said. “And I’m sure the guys that are going to coach those guys this year are saying exactly that. ‘We’ve got to be as good as we can be every down and give this guy all the support we possibly can to let him get comfortable and build confidence and be the kind of player that we want him to be and that he wants to be, more importantly.'”