By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
After weeks of staunchly defending Cam Newton as the team’s starter, Bill Belichick is starting to sound more open to the idea of a quarterback change. With the Patriots now eliminated from the playoffs, could we finally get an extended look at Jarrett Stidham?
During his Monday morning conference call, Belichick was asked if the final two games could be used as an opportunity to get some younger players who haven’t seen the field experience, while giving the team a chance to assess their full roster.
“We can evaluate what the opportunities are,” Belichick replied. “I mean, we’re still going to prepare and try to play as well as we can on Monday night. But, we’ll see how that all shakes out. It could be a possibility in a certain situation.” Asked specifically if Jarrett Stidham would fit into one of those ‘certain situations,’ Belichick referred back to his previous answer.
When asked what Newton has done to theoretically justify keeping the starting job down the stretch, Belichick noted that the Patriots’ struggles aren’t solely a quarterback issue.
“We have a lot of team questions we need to answer, so I think that will be the overriding thing,” he explained. “We’ll talk about that today, tomorrow – we have an extra day this week – and then start from a bigger picture standpoint. Obviously, haven’t played the run well the last two weeks and haven’t been able to score a touchdown the last two weeks, so I don’t think this is about any one individual.”
Don’t expect to get an update on the quarterback situation any time soon though. With the extra day to prepare for the Bills, Belichick plans on taking his time.
“We haven’t set any timeframe on that,” Belichick explained. “I don’t really see it going that way. We’ll go through our normal weekly process and make the decisions that we feel are best for the game in everything.”
Given how mum Belichick was on the quarterback position during training camp – not naming Cam Newton the starter until the week before the opener – don’t be surprised if there isn’t another update until at least late this week, if not into the weekend.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.