Dante Scarnecchia sets Patriots fans straight on expectations for Jarrett Stidham in 2020

Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images /

New England’s former offensive line coach wants fans to cut their young QB some slack.

If you’re a New England Patriots fan that’s the age of a recent college graduate or younger, you don’t recall a year in which “starting quarterback Tom Brady” wasn’t a thing. After two decades of historic success, however, the age of TB12 is over in Foxborough. That means all eyes will be on young Jarrett Stidham heading into the 2020 season, and the Auburn product stands to face a level of pressure that’s almost comically immense.

With that in mind, famously demanding Boston sports fans will have to be careful not to expect too much too soon from the unsung signal-caller. Per former Pats offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, it’s time to support Stidham during this critical period in his development.

New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia says fans will need to be patient and not expect the world of quarterback Jarrett Stidham in 2020.

“We’ve got to be as good as we can be every down and give this guy all the support we possibly can and let him get comfortable and build confidence and be the kind of player that we want him to be and that he wants to be, more importantly,” Scarnecchia told Sirius XM NFL Radio Monday.

That doesn’t mean the six-time Super Bowl champs ought to feel resigned to wallow in mediocrity (or worse) in 2020, however.

“You know, those young guys, they take some time. But I would say this for Jarrett, too: He’s a bright kid, and he’s a guy who, when he doesn’t know, he’ll take off,” Scarnecchia said.

It’s worth noting that Stidham isn’t a slam-dunk choice to start this season. He’s due to compete with Brian Hoyer for the No. 1 job, and a certain former MVP named Cam Newton is still lurking around in free agency. Perhaps the best course of Stidham’s development involves not starting as quickly as Week 1, but even if he does, count Scarnecchia among those insistent on keeping a long view and believing in the head the kid has on his shoulders.

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