The Arizona Cardinals’ Week 12 game against the New England Patriots remains far off. If the season progresses as scheduled, head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s team won’t visit Foxborough, Mass., until Nov. 29.
Who knows who will be the starting quarterback for the Patriots in the post-Tom Brady era by then?
Even though second-year pro Jarrett Stidham is one season and four passes into his NFL career, Kingsbury can take the projected starting quarterback seriously.
“I’ve actually known Jarrett Stidham a long time,” Kingsbury told WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni and Fauria last week.
“He was committed to me for about a year, and so I have always had a high regard of him as a player and as a person. I know they are very high on him up there in New England. I am excited to watch him play. I cheer for Texas kids and I think he definitely has the ability.”
Stidham came out of Stephenville, Texas, in 2015 as as four-star recruit. At the time of his commitment to Texas Tech, he was considered the highest-rated quarterback to commit to the Red Raiders.
Although then-TTU quarterback Patrick Mahomes was only seven games into his career, Stidham decommitted from Kingsbury’s program, eventually attending Baylor before transferring to Auburn.
Obviously, things worked out for Kingsbury and Texas Tech.
Mahomes blew up as a sophomore in 2015 and solidified his stock as a top-tier NFL Draft prospect his junior year.
Stidham did well at Baylor as a freshman, completing 69% of his passes and throwing 12 touchdowns to two interceptions. He transferred to Auburn after Baylor head coach Art Briles lost his job amid a sexual assault scandal involving his players.
At Auburn, Stidham threw 36 touchdowns to 11 interceptions over two seasons before New England selected him in the fourth round of the NFL Draft in 2019.
With one year working under Brady, Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer could compete for the Patriots’ starting job. Reading the tea leaves of New England’s offseason, Stidham appears to be the future.
“It is going to be hard to replace the greatest of all-time,” Kingsbury said, “but (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) and those guys up there do a phenomenal job of developing QBs and if they feel confident in him, I feel confident in what they have going on. I am excited to watch him play.
“Tremendous thrower of the football. Really comes out clean. I remember watching him when he was 16 years old and the ball jumped out of his hands at that age.”