Recently-retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia offered up some interesting analysis and predictions regarding new Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham.
There’s no denying that Tom Brady and Jarrett Stidham are very different quarterbacks.
For starters, Stidham is nearly 20 years younger than Brady. He’s also an inch shorter and he weighs 10 less pounds.
Brady has played in 326 career NFL games, including the playoffs. Sitdham has played in three.
Brady was a sixth-round draft pick who came from Michigan. Stidham was a fourth-round draft pick who came from Auburn.
Brady got his first starting opportunity because the guy ahead of him on the depth chart, Drew Bledsoe, got knocked out of a game and injured. Stidham will get his first starting opportunity because Brady left the Patriots to join the Buccaneers in free agency this past spring.
The obvious commonality between these two guys is that they both have donned a New England jersey during their professional careers.
Projecting and predicting just what kind of success or failure Stidham will be in 2020 and beyond at replacing Brady — the G.O.A.T. and a living legend — is the hottest topic in Boston these days.
Dante Scarnecchia knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Pats
And at least one person with extensive knowledge of both players — not to mention extensive knowledge and experience within the Patriots organization — wasn’t too shy to offer up his two cents on some of the differences between these two QBs and what fans should expect from Stidham.
That person is retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who spent 34 years working for the New England organization. In an interview on Monday with Sirius XM NFL radio, “Coach Scar” spoke at length about the situation, per Sports Illustrated’s Devon Clements.
Here’s some of what he said:
"“(Stidham’s) a different guy in a couple of ways. No. 1, he doesn’t have the wealth of experience that Tom has. There’s no doubt about that, and you have to concede that. 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. But I would say this for Jarrett, too: He’s a bright kid, and he’s a guy, who when he doesn’t know, he’ll take off. 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 he better get down, because he knows better than to try to run through guys as well. 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. I wish him nothing but the best. If 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, 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 and 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.”"
The long and short of it?
Expect growing pains from Stidham in 2020 — which is normal for any first-time starting quarterback in the NFL.
That said, he has all the skills and intangibles you’d want from a guy in his position, and a vote of confidence from Scarnecchia obviously goes a long way.