New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead is impressed by what Jarrett Stidham can do, even if he hasn’t been allowed to do it much so far in his NFL career. Burkhead appeared on WEEI sports radio on Saturday and said he liked what he saw from the young quarterback, even if Stidham didn’t get on the field all that much in 2019.
“Very impressed,” Burkhead said when asked about Stidham. “Last year, even though he didn’t step on the field that much, just seeing his improvement every day on the practice field, in meetings. He’s a very humble guy, and he came in eager to work right away and picked it up so quickly.”
Burkhead added the quarterback’s ability to pick up the offense was something that stood out.
The running back said it wasn’t just Stidham’s ability to run a play, but also to make changes at the line of scrimmage and adjust to what he saw from the defense. Burkhead also said he’s excited for the young signal-caller and what the future holds for him.
He then said he was excited for whoever is at the quarterback position when the regular season starts this year. He was careful to say whoever wins the job, whether it’s Stidham or Brian Hoyer, or one of the quarterbacks the Patriots signed after the draft, he’s looking forward to “following them.”
Burkhead also addressed comments that have popped up over the last few weeks that the Patriots are going to miss the playoffs in 2020. There have even been some analysts who believe the Pats are “tanking” to draft a top-flight quarterback like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence in next year’s draft.
After being asked if he believes the Patriots are a seven-win team at best, he responded that he thinks his teammates are “up to the challenge.” He added the team is going to do whatever it takes to win. He said he understands it’s a new era without Tom Brady, but doesn’t think a new era has to be one where his team is a losing team.
Burkhead said he thinks the team is excited to get after it and to welcome the new guys and show them how the Patriots do things.
As Justin Leger of NBC Sports pointed out, the consensus is that Stidham is going to get the first shot at winning the starting quarterback job. The only thing that could force a change there is if the franchise ends up signing someone like Cam Newton.