Patriots 2019 

Training Camp. 

Patriots Vs Detroit Preview: 

Tonight's The Night: 

Part III. 

By TOM

One of the things we know for sure is that the Pats really like Stidham. They see him as Brady’s final replacement (there have been too many to mention;). They see Brady as here for maybe two more years, while Brady thinks he can mentally propel his body to three more years. There will be trouble after this season as BB’s and Brady’s plans will start to intersect less and less.

Belichick explained a lot of how valuable Preseason practices are against other teams like Detroit and Tennessee, when asked about Stidham. “The first 10 days of camp are hard for everybody because there’s new material being installed all the time, and then the other side of the ball’s installing new material all the time. So exponentially, the multiples increase very dramatically. It’s not just one side of the ball putting in a few things. It’s that, times all the things that are in, plus all the new things the other side of the ball installs and so forth,” BB said. “So, things start to settle down a little bit now. It’s not everything against everything. It’s a smaller menu against the more specific things our opponent does, in this case that Detroit’s doing. I think the process actually narrows there. Competition picks up and the unfamiliarity of Detroit, relative to the familiarity that we have with our own team is more, so it’s emphasis in different areas.

“Yeah, the first part of camp is hard. It’s hard for coaches. It’s hard for players (the question was actually about Stidham;). You’re trying to make adjustments to everything that can happen. Not everything’s going to happen, but you have to cover it because eventually it will. On a week-to-week basis, you just don’t see the full spectrum of what you see over the course of the season, but when you install you kind of cover everything, so the volume’s high.” Stidham is going to be benefiting from these practices as well.

They like Stidham so much that they moved the QB they drafted last year, Etling, to WR. That is as clear an indication as I have ever seen that he is on the team for a long while . I had Stidham as a 1st Round pick in my 1st Player Ratings in November or December last year. He moved down as the season went on. He struggled last year.

Stidham spent practices a lot separated from Brady and Hoyer and the 1st team offense. So, let’s not get things twisted. He is a huge drop off from the Vets as the Number Three QB. He practiced on the opposite side of the field in half of team practices. He was working with the rookies and rookies from 2018 who were redshirted. He needs snaps. He needs reps. He needs to be on the field throwing. He did not look good. However, he looked like a normal rookie learning an NFL system for the 1st time.

BB knows if he wants to continue coaching Post-Brady, he needs a QB who can win in the NFL. “I think he’s become more familiar with what we’re doing. But now we’re doing it against a new team. [Stidham is seeing] different match-ups. And they do things differently than our defense does them. Than what he’s seen,” BB said. “There’s an adjustment period there too. Hopefully he’ll do better tomorrow and better Thursday and as he goes through the week. I mean, this is certainly a lot better to prepare for the game working against the Lions here in practice than it is trying to run plays off cards that simulate what they do. Of us trying to simulate what they do. It’s a lot easier to just go out and see them do it and see the players who are doing it do it.” This is a huge growth opportunity for Stidham.

Stidham is the 3rd player or so you need to watch tonight. Like Skipper, hopefully he won’t be needed during the Regular season. But Stidham, right now, is going to be the Pats Starting QB in three or four years. He should be a disaster tonight, as a rookie seeing his first real NFL action. But we can see if he can read his progressions, or does he lock onto one WR? Does he have an NFL arm? How quick is his release?

How accurate are his throws? Does he put it on the right shoulder, or does he allow the DB to have a chance to defend the pass? “He's got good command," James White said. "It's tough being a quarterback on any team, especially on our offense. There's a lot you have to know. He's trying to put the work in. Trying to learn as much as possible. And all of the young guys and us veterans are trying to make him feel comfortable and make some plays for him.” This is the first real look at Stidham's NFL potential.

Garnering any true opinions will be tragically unfair, but it is the beginning of seeing his potential as an NFL QB. "He's getting more comfortable. He has a live arm, can make any throw. I like Jarrett. It's the National Football League, and he's young," Phillip Dorsett said. "Coming in here is tough. A lot of stuff gets thrown at you really fast and changes on the move. So, you have to be able to adjust. He's doing all right." He will be slow and unsteady.

But he can make the right reads? “Oh man, there’s a lot to improve on, I think in every facet of my game,” Stidham said. “I’m coming into a new situation just trying to learn as much as I can. And try to stack days together. And not make the same mistake twice.” Can he come off his number one read and hit his second?

Can he come off his number one read and dump it off to the RB? Can he get to the third read? “Just little details,” Stidham said. “There’s a lot of stuff we do in our offense, obviously. So we’re just talking through the details, making sure I know what my job is, that way we can go out there and execute.” If he can show a few of things in his first semi-real action as a rookie, that goes a long way towards showing that they maybe right about Brady’s replacement.

No one has enjoyed watching Brady quarterback this Franchise to record Super Bowl appearances and Super Wins than me. But as a dude that is old fat and slow, no one knows the ravages of time as much as I do. Gravity has its’ realities. Stidham will be quarterbacking this team when Brady is sailing off to Brazil in a couple years.

He has the arm. He has the experience. He was a starting QB in the SEC for two seasons. He was better in 2017 than 2018 (his QB rating was 13.3 points higher), when he had more weapons. His completion percentage was 5.8 points higher in 2017, and threw for almost 400 more yards. Ironically he had 18 TDs in both seasons, and had one more INT in 2017. He did loose Kerryon Johnson and Braden Smith, which really effected the offense early in the season.

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There are a ton of rookies to watch. Especially some passrushers, and I am having some suspicions that they might be moving to more of a 3-4 System. So watch for some odd fronts with Adam Butler at 5-Tech in front of the OLT. The Pats desperately need some edge guys to rush, like Winovich.

Winovich is a dynamic edge guy who showed that knack for hitting the quarterback at Michigan. “He's definitely got a high motor; that's for sure,” Hightower said. “He's one of the guys who works really hard. He's always asking questions and he obviously wants to do the right things all of the time.” He is an all-out all-the-time guy, who is excellent at attacking blockers arms and hands.

He has great bend to run the Arc. “You really couldn't ask much more from a guy that's willing to do whatever [you ask] and then with the way he does it,” Hightower said. “He acts like he's done it for a while and he definitely follows the role of whether it's (John) Simon, or Kyle (Van Noy), or Jamie (Collins) or whoever. Whoever he's working with, he does a good job of being a sponge.” He is learning from some truly great Veterans.

He was more D-end/Edgerusher at Michigan, not off the ball Linebacker. “He’s a rookie. He needs to work on everything. But Chase is tough. He runs well. He’s got good size (and) good power,” BB said. “He had a very productive career at Michigan. And we’re looking forward to seeing him out there in some game action, both on defense and in the kicking game. But like every rookie, he’s got a long way to go and a lot of things to work on. It’s a different game, and the competition’s very high. He’ll battle it and see how it goes.” He should be very interesting to watch rushing the QB tonight.

But they are also playing him as an off the ball Linebacker in training camp and he could see time inside tonight. But it is awfully crowded in their with the return of Jamie Collins, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and Christian Sam. He was a pure Edge guy at Michigan. He liked to put a hand on the ground but would also stand up. The problem is that he is 6-2.

I still think he is an edgerusher, because he has great bend running the Arc. “I think it’s fun. A lot of times guys are just lined up in one particular spot. But one of the things that we do here is you get asked to do one, two, three different things if possible,” Winovich said. “It definitely makes our defense unique and a lot different. It's just good to be able to cover back here, drop in zone here, blitz here, coordinate a rush over here. I think everybody kind of enjoys not knowing where you're going to be. Just waiting to hear the call.” It is easy to forget that they have a ton of linebackers coming back from last years Draft, with a year to studying the difficult mental side of the Pats system.

Bentley and Sam were making plays all week at linebacker. “I think it just helps us down the road,” Hightower said. “A lot of offense try to game plan for guys being in certain spots in situations. And whenever we're able to mix it up and line up different, or be in a different front, or blitz, or cover, or drop or whatever, nobody really knows where we're at. As long as we can continue to grow chemistry between ourselves and continue to learn the defense, we know we'll be alright.” Bentley was the best rookie in last year’s preseason.

He was a starter at the end of last preseason before he got hurt. “He's a young player but he's very smart. He's definitely been a sponge. All of last year he wasn't one of the guys that went home or whatever. He stayed around, was in on all of the meetings, taking notes and stuff,” Hightower said about Bentley. “Having guys like him around only helps not just our linebacker room, but the defense as well. Having a guy like that who knows the defense pretty well and is able to talk and help guys get lined up and make adjustments. Whenever you have all 11 guys on a page like that, that you can just simply look at them and say one thing and then be thinking the exact same thing definitely helps.” He was all over the field making tackles.

He also made plays in the passing game. “I think it's just him being a smart football player, whether we're looking at formations and him giving you a guess on what the play might be based on down-and-distance, or whether it's an adjustment with a motion or something, the way to help itself,” Hightower said. “That's been something that's really been good in our room this year, a lot of guys have different perspectives and they're able to get a different perspective from everybody. Everybody doesn't play the same. We kind of get taught the same thing but we all have different tools so it's always good to have different guys that can speak about different things.” I actually had Christian Sam rated ahead of him.

It is tough to remember. But there are nearly as many new Rookies from last year’s Draft as there are from this year’s Draft. Here is a link to some the players from last year’s Draft that we didn’t see last year. They are essentially the impact rookie this year, as BB will try to read-shirt the rookies from this year:

Quick Tape: Duke Dawson-Berrios-Sam-Bentley-Isaiah Wynn.  
 

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