New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 21: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the Buffalo Bills in the game at Gillette Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

With Tom Brady officially a Tampa Bay Buccaneer after two decades in New England, life will a new quarterback is officially upon the Patriots, and with Jarrett Stidham appearing to be the likely heir to Brady’s throne in Foxborough.

It’s a daunting task for anybody. Perhaps especially so for a quarterback who threw all of four passes in 2019, and with one of those pass attempts intercepted by the opposition. But the 23-year-old Stidham does seemingly have a backer in the Patriots’ top defensive talent, All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, as explained to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

“[Stidham] came in and worked hard and got better and better as the year went on. He has a strong arm,” Gilmore told Reiss. “He makes some tough throws. Definitely made it hard on me in practice each and every week, going against whoever I was covering, making some great throws. It allowed me to get better in practice to prepare for the games.”

Considering Gilmore’s status as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, that’s some noteworthy praise for Stidham.

Stidham will not win the starting gig without some competition, however, as Brian Hoyer is back for a third tour with the Patriots while Cody Kessler remains on the roster after serving as New England’s No. 3 quarterback last year.

Stidham, drafted by the Patriots with the 133rd overall pick last year, completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 731 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception in four preseason appearances last summer.

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