The Patriots selected Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round of the NFL draft with the understanding that if things work out, he could be Tom Brady’s eventual successor.
Now, it’s up to Stidham to soak in as much as he can from the 41-year-old to better himself as a player to potentially one day have what it takes to replace him.
What people don’t know is Stidham already has a head-start towards being like Brady because it’s been something he’s been working at since he transferred from Baylor to Auburn for his last two collegiate seasons (2017 and 2018).
Speaking with his offensive coordinator the last two seasons, Chip Lindsey, who is now the head coach at Troy, he recalled how during the summers he and Stidham would spend one day a week watching film of several NFL quarterbacks and Brady was one of them.
Stidham was able to take some aspects of Brady’s game and incorporate them into his own. It also went beyond just what Brady does on the field, as Stidham is a believer in the TB12 Method.
“I’ve read his book. I'm always trying to find something, whether it's nutrition or stretching or just little things outside of actually throwing,” Stidham said to reporters in June of last year. “The biggest thing that I've worked on now that I'm healthy is nutrition, and I've been trying to really get more [flexible] in the hips and really kind of loosen everything up in that area. And I've been really focused on my nutrition and my eating habits because it goes a long way."
Lindsey recalled Stidham using it more for his nutrition than anything else.
“He talked to me about it,” he said. “He talked about it a lot and his diet, trying to lean up a bit, things of that nature, but still be strong.
"He will be watching Tom very close to try and emulate him, for sure.”
Stidham also seems to have the same competitive nature as Brady does, not wanting to lose at anything, even something as simple throwing footballs into trash cans with his fellow quarterbacks.
“He’s very, very competitive,” Lindsey said. “Doesn’t like to lose."
Finally, it’s their work ethics as Lindsey raved about it -- pointing out all the work he did at Jordan Palmer’s QB program in the offseason.
“He took pride in working on his craft outside of the season,” he said. “I know he’s 100 percent in on trying to improve all he can year round.”
The Auburn product didn’t post some of the greatest numbers out of the quarterbacks in his class, but he is still viewed as one of the potential best QBs to come out of the class because of his potential. The 22-year-old can make almost all the throws a NFL quarterback is asked to make and is sneaky athletic. Some have said the system at Auburn didn't allow him to perform as well as he could have, and now with the Patriots things could be different.
While he’s not ready at the moment to take over for Brady, he’s not being asked to.
Who knows where he will be a in a few years from now -- after all, he’s got a pretty good heart start.