Patriots praise Jarrett Stidham after preseason debut: 'You can see why the staff wanted to have him'

Rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham impressed in his preseason debut with the Patriots on Thursday, drawing praise from coach Bill Belichick and several of his teammates. 

Stidham, who had already started turning heads in camp with his growth, took over for Brian Hoyer in the second quarter Thursday. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 179 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in the Patriots’ 31-3 preseason win over the Lions. The rookie also rushed four times for 16 yards. 

“You can see why the staff wanted to have him here,” veteran tight end Ben Watson said (via the Boston Herald). “(Quarterback) is a very tough position, especially in this offense. So to be able to come in day in and day out, take the corrections, and bring it to the field, that’s what we’re all trying to do. And that’s definitely what he’s done.

“He’s worked hard in camp. Like all of us, he’s got a long way to go toward building. But it’s always good when you come in and you’re able to run the offense efficiently.”

During his first possession, Stidham threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jakobi Meyers.

“Jarrett, he’s good,” receiver Maurice Harris said. “We’ve got to continue to work and do better. But Jarrett did a really good job tonight for it being his first time.”

Belichick gave Stidham credit for his ability to think on his feet and for how he scrambled to extend plays.

“The most important thing for the quarterback is not to turn the ball over, make good decisions, and throw accurately, so he did all of those at times,” Belichick said.

The fourth-round pick out of Auburn said after his preseason debut that he has “grown so much” and is trying to learn everything he can from veteran Tom Brady. 

“The more I’m just doing it, the more comfortable I feel,” Stidham said (via MassLive.com). “Josh [McDaniels, offensive coordinator] has been extremely good in the meeting room. He’s a great teacher,” he said. “I’m just trying to take as much from him, from Tom and Brian and Mick [Lombardi, assistant quarterbacks coach] as I can. I’m really just trying to improve every single day.”