Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have expressed confidence in second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham but two-time Super Bowl champ Rob Ninkovich believes his former team will go with a more seasoned signal caller in Week 1.
Ninkovich said Friday that he believes that Brian Hoyer, who previously spent three seasons in New England before being signed again in the offseason, will get the starting job over an inexperienced Stidham.
"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 told ESPN. “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."
All eyes were on Belichick during the 2020 NFL Draft after Tom Brady moved on to the NFC South after 20 seasons with the Pats but the head coach didn’t make a move on any quarterbacks.
“Stid worked really hard last year,” Belichick said earlier this month. “He was our backup quarterback the entire season, and I know he’s working hard in the offseason. I know he’s made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding opponent defenses like all players do from Year 1 to Year 2.”
But Ninkovich still thinks that Hoyer’s experience in the “system” outweighs Stidham’s potential.
“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.”