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Jarett Stidham impressing teammates with command of Patriots offense

Jared Stidham’s knowledge of the Patriots offense has been impressive early on, so says Rex Burkhead.

Jarett Stidham of the New England Patriots throws a second quarter pass while playing the Detroit Lions during a game at Ford Field on August 08, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham has big shoes to fill following the departure of Tom Brady, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency this offseason. The second-year signal caller is in the running to start in 2020, and running back Rex Burkhead was impressed with his command of the Patriots offense last season.

“I think that is what struck me, how quickly he picked up the offense from the get-go,” Burkead told WEEI late last week. “He’s out there making calls, making adjustments in audibles like he has been in this system for a while. I’m excited for him. Excited for his opportunity. Whoever is at quarterback — whether it’s him, Hoy (Brian Hoyer), whoever — just ready to follow them.”

Stidham completed two of his four passing attempts during his rookie season for 14 yards with one interception. That’s a small sample size for a player who could be the face of a perennial title contender. He and Hoyer, who’s spent five season with the Patriots, are the frontrunners to start in Week 1.

Will the young upstart win the job, or will Bill Belichick go with the seasoned journeyman? That remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the Patriots seem confident that they can continue to compete at a high level.

“We’re looking forward to getting better whenever we’re back together. Bringing in the new guys and getting them accustomed to the Patriot Way and how we do things. I think we’re all excited and ready to get to work,” Burkhead said.