Sportress of Blogitude

Jarrett Stidham remains confident despite Cam Newton’s presence

Cam Newton has all but been anointed as the presumed starting quarterback of the New England Patriots after the team signed him this offseason. Jarrett Stidham isn’t giving up on himself just yet, though.

Once Tom Brady departed the Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, Stidham was expected to be the six-time Super Bowl champion’s heir apparent. Newton’s arrival of course threw a wrench in the plan, but Stidham refuses to give up the starting job without putting forth his best effort.

As things stand, the Patriots’ quarterback room consists of Stidham, Newton and veteran Brian Hoyer. While the pecking order as training camp gets underway is unclear, Stidham intends to put his best foot forward in the competition.

“I’m definitely ready. I’ve put in a lot of work this offseason to really improve mentally, physically, in a lot of different areas,” Stidham said, per Mike Reiss of ESPN. “At the end of the day, I’m extremely excited to compete with Cam and Hoy [Hoyer] as we go forward in training camp and get into the season. I’m really looking forward to the competition. I love competing in whatever it is.”

Stidham insists he welcomes the competition from Newton, and his openness to the former MVP’s arrival to the roster has demonstrated as much.

“What a great opportunity to compete with another great player … Ultimately all of us together, it’s a really great room,” Stidham said. “… I’m just excited to get to learn with these guys.”

Newton enters his first Patriots camp with an enormous chip on his shoulder thanks to how he languished on the market after the Carolina Panthers cut him loose. He has also made every effort to connect with his new teammates despite the limitations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It does appear that Newton has a leg up on Stidham given his experience and résumé. Given how Belichick expressed complete confidence in Stidham in recent months, though, perhaps it’s premature to completely count him out of the quarterback competition. Stidham certainly isn’t doing so.