Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham ‘would absolutely love’ to start Week 17 against Jets

Jarrett Stidham took the field Monday night with 8:21 left in the third quarter.
If the second-year passer has his way, he’ll take the same Gillette Stadium turf with a full 60 minutes to play Sunday against the Jets.
Stidham expressed a firm desire to start after finishing his mop-up duty Monday against the Bills in what was the team’s worst home loss ever under Bill Belichick. He finished 4-of-11 for 44 yards and took one sack. The young backup was under pressure on more than half his dropbacks and unaided by a stalled Patriots’ running game.
“Yeah, I would absolutely love to have that opportunity (to start), but that’s not in my control,” Stidham said. “I’m not going to focus on it. It’s not going to change the way I prepare. I prepare like I’m the starter even going back to last year. That’s how I’ve always prepared each and every week.
“That’s not going to change my mindset, and I’m going to keep grinding and get better next week.”
This season, Stidham has completed exactly 50% of his passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. As a rookie last year, he finished 2-of-4 with a pick.
In practice, the former fourth-rounder has primarily served as the Pats’ scout-team quarterback and seen precious few reps with the starting offense. Belichick rebuffed questions in recent weeks about whether Stidham would start an upcoming game by repeatedly declaring Newton the team’s starting quarterback. It’s unknown who will start Sunday’s regular-season finale versus the Jets.
Last Saturday, Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said he has a good grasp of where Stidham is as a passer.
“I’ve seen plenty of Jarrett in practice. I see him every day. I’ve seen him for two years. I’m confident that I understand where Jarrett is at in his development. But I also know that our job is to try to go out there and win two football games that we have left,” McDaniels said before later adding: “Those choices are Bill (Belichick)’s. Whatever he chooses, that’s what we’re going to do, and I feel confident going in with the plan that we have right now.”
Given the youngster’s lack of playing time this season — a year in which the Patriots have consistently struggled to pass the ball — it seems safe to assume the coaching staff does not view him as a viable starter. Naturally, Stidham would love to increase his playing time, which he knows he must do by maximizing whatever opportunity he’s given next.
“For me, I take a lot of pride in understand our offense and knowing what we do. Knowing the intricacies of what we do, so whether or not I get (practice) reps or not, that’s out of my control, and I can’t look at it as ‘I didn’t get enough reps’ or this or that. I don’t look at it like that,” he said.
“I look at it like I know how to execute this offense, and I know what we’re trying to do. If I get that opportunity, I need to go in there and execute.”

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