2021 top 12
Reporting on the impact of the coronavirus on the sports world
Jarrett Stidham isn’t Plan A, B, C, or D for the Patriots in 2021 as they’re looking for a long-term answer at Quarterback. That was the snack I had this week when Bill Belichick rolled into Buffalo on Monday night with Cam Newton as a starter. For the first time in a time when it feels like forever, the Patriots just play the track. After being banned from postseason competition last week, New England is proud to play the Buffalo Bills, who have won the AFC East for the first time since 1995.
As we’ve seen with some clubs in the past that haven’t reached the postseason with games left, this period becomes more of an assessment for the coaching team to determine which members of the squad are worth bringing along back. This season, Newton couldn’t really establish himself as a building block for New England in the time after Tom Brady with an average of 183. 2 yards per game and he has several touchdowns to complete in one game this season. Given the lack of promise that Newton is centered around, one would think that seeing what Jarrett Stidham, New England’s 2019 fourth round pick, would be beneficial to the Patriots’ prospects as they move into 2021 can make a couple of starts. After all, Stidham has yet to start his career.
If he shows the potential to possibly be the future for New England, it frees up the free agency, draft, or trading pool to get a quarterback and they could use their capital in other ways to build around him. If he’s stinking that joint in the last few weeks, at least you know it. What is there to lose? A game? These will no longer play a role in Foxborough for 2020.
While it was fairly easy for Belichick to go this route, he chose to start Newton on Monday and predictable results were seen. Newton completed only five of his 10 passes for 34 yards before giving way to Stidham at 8:20 to play in the third quarter. He rushed to touchdown in Newton’s favor, but the passing game was absent for almost two and a half quarters prior to the move during a 31-9 blowout.
That brings us to the bigger point: as we strive to see Stidham if he can be a long-term answer at the center, it’s possible that Belichick has already concluded that he saw that we ‘ I am not privy to it. Think of it this way: It took Buffalo a loss for Stidham to turn 16 in that game. Week against Buffalo saw the field that has absolutely no meaning for New England.
The hoodie’s mantra over the years has been that it will do whatever is best for the soccer team. If Stidham were the next Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, or a viable starting quarterback, there’s reason to believe Belichick wouldn’t stop him. He would play it. What he really said by sticking with Newton is that Stidham is not the answer. Not in 2020, 2021, and probably beyond, which makes the future at quarterback for New England all the bleaker in the off-season.
From a patriotic standpoint, J. . C.. . Jackson was the noticeable nudger when the Pro Bowl roster was announced this week. At the beginning of the 16th. Week, the 25-year-old corner took second place in the league in interception and has been strong in coverage for New England for much of the season. While there’s no denying that Miami’s Xavien Howard, Marlon Humphrey of the Ravens, Tre’Davious White of the Bills, and Jackson’s Patriots teammate Stephon Gilmore all deserve their nods this year, Jackson had a hell of a good case. Even some of his colleagues in the league were confused about the nudge.
« I really don’t care, man. To be honest, I’m focusing on Buffalo right now, « Jackson said this week when asked about the nudge on MassLive. com. « I have to end my season well for myself and my team-mates. It will all fit together. I know what i can do. I know I am a pro bowler in my eyes and it is what it is, man. How, who cares? «
Even without the Pro Bowl award, Jackson’s advancement this season was a ray of hope for New England. It’s also one of the easier off-season decisions the Patriots have to make. The restricted freelance agent is likely to get an initial bid as New England works to keep it for the long term, possibly as its No.. 1 corner.
« J. . C.. . is a very instinctive player, « said Belichick. « He’s got a good talent for covering his man and still watching the ball. He gets some good breaks and makes some good games on the ball. He does a great job of finding the ball, when he turns around, when his back is towards the ball and turns around and can find and locate it. He has very, very good skills in this area. So he has improved well every year and I think he still has a lot of good football ahead of him. «
While Jackson may not have received the Pro Bowl award, the Patriots were represented by Gilmore, Punter Jake Bailey, and specialty team captain Matthew Slater.
Cam Newton made a heartfelt social media post to Patriots Nation after New England lost to Miami, which pushed the Patriots out of postseason competition for the first time since 2008. An interesting nugget from this post that largely highlighted how they were looking for better production in 2020 was Newton, who said, « This locker room is full of people wanting to be part of the solution, including me. «
Cam Newton on the 2020 season after the Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs. Noted that “this locker room is filled with people who want to be part of the solution, including me. picture. Twitter. com / CqxTaEb5NL
Is this the starter of the Patriots for 2020, who is campaigning for another rift in 2021? When asked about this comment on this post this week, Newton did not elaborate on what he meant by that.
« I think the biggest part is I’m just trying to maximize the things I know I have to prove, » Newton said of WEEI. com. « And that starts with Monday. It is easy. I play this game for a reason and that is only to win. And we have the opportunity to win on Monday. Let’s see how it works. «
Anyway, Newton is set to be an unrestricted free agent this off-season, and given his 2020 game, it’s hard to see a number of clubs knocking the door down to become their week 1 starter next year do. It’s possible that his best shot at the start of next season in New England will be due to his experience in the system. Still, Newton should hardly be the No.. Be the patriot. 1 option at the position of this off-season.
The Patriots will need a new quarterbacks coach in 2021 as it was announced this week that Jedd Fisch of the University of Arizona has been hired as their new head coach, replacing Kevin Sumlin. The 2020 season was Fisch’s only season with New England that he had previously spent time with the Los Angeles Rams.
When it became known that Fisch was on his way to the college ball, Bill Belichick was quoted in the official press release praising the assistant coach for his work in New England.
« Jedd Fisch is one of the most outstanding coaches I have ever worked with and has been an excellent addition to our staff this year, » said Belichick. « Jedd has a wealth of experience in numerous organizations, college, and the NFL and is ready to lead the Arizona program. While we will miss his contributions here, we wish Jedd and Amber all the best at the University of Arizona, where two of the greatest patriots, Tedy Bruschi and Rob Gronkowski, as well as our current Wildcats, Nick Folk and J, live. J. . Taylor. «
Patriots captain and special team ace Matthew Slater earned his ninth Pro Bowl of his career, which is the record for a special teammer. When Belichick was asked about him on Tuesday, believing he was one of those special-team players that the league has seen, he wasn’t shy about giving Slater the greatest of all time.
« It has to be upstairs, » he said. « I can’t imagine anyone who has done more than him and who has done it over a very consistent period of time at an extremely high level, in addition to all the other qualities he brings off the field – leadership, just doing the right thing, just the person and the person he is. But because of his competitiveness in the field, he’s a great team-mate – just excellent in all areas. I find it difficult to imagine that someone is walking in front of him.
« We’ve had some great players here, and I’ve had some great players in my career – in Cleveland, back to the Giants – but he’s definitely the best I’ve ever seen and the one we had to play against. His consistency is excellent, but he takes a lot of games into account. «
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New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, NFL, Monday Night Football, Bill Belichick, Cam Newton, Josh Allen, AFC East
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