One former Patriot believes this unorthodox offseason will have Brian Hoyer under center when the NFL season starts up in September.
Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up, Rob Ninkovich said the veteran will get the benefit of the doubt because second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham is still so green.
“I think Brian Hoyer will be the starter Week 1 and I say that because the quarterback position is one of the most important for reps under center, seeing defensive looks, looking at coverage, understanding the offense,” Ninkovich said. “Look, they’re not practicing right now. There’s no minicamp, there’s no offseason, there’s no training camp. We don’t know when that’s going to happen.
“So if you have a veteran quarterback who has been in the system, understands what to expect what an NFL season is like, you’re gonna want to go with a guy who has the veteran leadership (and) also what it takes to be in that building. Look, when you’re a second-year player, you really don’t realize what a season’s like as a starter. You don’t understand what it’s going to take, and not having an offseason does not help. So, Brian Hoyer will be the starter Week 1.”
As expected, Bill Belichick was mum on his quarterback situation when asked at last month’s NFL Draft. He spoke highly of Stidham, but was ultimately noncommittal.
“Stid worked really hard last year, was our backup quarterback the entire season,” Belichick said. “I know he’s working hard in the offseason. He’s made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding opponent defenses like all players do from year one to year two. I’m sure he’ll get out there and be ready to go, be prepared, compete hard, and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Asked about heading into the 2020 season with Stidham and Hoyer, Belichick added undrafted free agents J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke to the group, saying he’s enjoyed all four players.
“That’s where we are, and you never know what’s gonna happen down the road. But yeah, we feel like we have four good players there… like to work with all those guys and we’ll see how it goes.”