Jarrett Stidham

Jarrett Stidham’s Former Coach Believes He Can Handle New England Patriots Starting QB Job

Oliver VanDervoort - Author
By

Mar. 28 2020, Updated 1:26 p.m. ET

The New England Patriots have quite the conundrum at quarterback. Does the team go out and get a high-priced free agent? Do they make a trade for a talented passer who isn’t happy with his current team? Or do they go with their in-house option, Jarrett Stidham? If they do end up making the second-year player the starting quarterback in 2020, there is at least one person who believes he’ll handle the pressure just fine.

According to Yahoo Sports, Stidham’s former high school coach, Greg Winder, knows what the quarterback is capable of and that includes being a starting QB in the NFL. In order to get that message across, Winder told the tale of Stidham when he was still in high school and was being scouted by former Texas Tech and current Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

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“It was the real deal — quick release, drilled it and Kingsbury’s near the end zone. Kingsbury’s mouth was just like, ‘Oh wow.’ I knew then he was special.”

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That was back when the Patriots quarterback was one of the highest-ranked prospects in the state of Texas. That alone carries quite a bit of pressure and high expectations with it. His former coach added that Stidham was someone who was always very receptive and aware of the team’s game plan. Meetings in that regard were always productive and the QB picked it up quickly.

Those talents translated well as a true-freshman with the Baylor Bears in 2015. In 10 games, he completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. After sitting out the 2016 season, he transferred to Auburn where he threw for nearly 6,000 yards in two years. He also had 36 touchdown passes and just 11 interceptions.

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That performance made the New England Patriots draft Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. As a rookie, he didn’t see a ton of action, throwing four passes in three games. He managed 14 yards and had an interception.

Winder knows the spotlight is going to be on Stidham like it’s never been before. Not only is he in the NFL now, but he might be succeeding the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. There’s an added bit of pressure since Tom Brady didn’t retire, but simply moved on. Some Patriots fans are going to have a hard time accepting the team chose the second-year player over a sure-fire Hall of Famer.

Winder doesn’t think the extra pressure and extra attention will faze Jarrett Stidham.

“He’s been in a lot of different situations in his life with pressure and different circumstances on and off the field, he’ll respond,” Winder said.

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