There is a difference between hope and hype when it comes to a young player, especially in football at the quarterback position.
There is certainly reason to have hope that Patriots second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a fourth-round pick a year ago out of Auburn, has a bright football future.
Right now, with Stidham having thrown four passes (including a pick-6 interception) in 15 snaps of action behind Tom Brady as a rookie, the hope for the young quarterback has at times crossed over into hype.
But those who actually know and have coached Stidham continue to praise and support their former pupil as he faces the challenge of potentially replacing Brady in New England.
“He’s like a coach,” Malzahn told NESN.com. “He came in here, and he’s like a gym rat. He’s in the film room, he’s studying, he’s asking questions, protections, what-ifs. He’s that guy. The fact that he was able to learn under Brady for a year, I think is a great situation for him.”
Stidham’s offensive coordinator for two years at Auburn, current Troy head coach Chip Lindsey, has a similar view.
“I think what Jarrett does really well is he watches and pays attention,” Lindsey told NESN.com. “That year he spent last year doing that, I think it’s going to be extremely beneficial to him.”
While both coaches love Stidham’s “fit” in the Patriots offense and the work he’s putting in to take advantage of his forthcoming opportunity, they also realize the young passer will take his lumps at times.
“I’m sure he’ll make mistakes here and there as he goes like any first-year quarterback does,” Lindsey said. “The best that have ever played, the Peyton Mannings, the Tom Bradys and all of those guys had learning curves, as well. I think, obviously, he’ll have some of that. The best thing that I’ve seen that Jarrett does is he doesn’t repeat his mistakes. Once he makes a mistake, he learns from it and usually doesn’t repeat that. I think that’s going to serve him well.”