Jarrett Stidham is in line to be Tom Brady's successor as the New England Patriots' starting quarterback, even though who'll start isn't set in stone. The Patriots did bring back Brian Hoyer in an effort to give Stidham some competition, and he's a quarterback who has experience in the system.
There is at least one former Patriots player who believes Hoyer is going to be more than just competition in camp. Rob Ninkovich, who won two Super Bowl titles while playing for New England from 2009-16, feels Hoyer will beat out Stidham for the job.
"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 on ESPN's Get Up Friday. "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."
While Hoyer has spent four years in New England (in two separate stints, including a year under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in 2018), Stidham has a year's experience in the system. The Patriots had Stidham spend a year as the understudy to Tom Brady, attempting just four passes as the No. 2 quarterback.
Hoyer, on the other hand, has started 38 games in his career over 11 seasons. He has thrown for 10,274 yards with 52 touchdowns to just 34 interceptions, compiling a 16-22 record as a starter. Signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Hoyer has never started a game for the Patriots -- even though his experience as a starter in the NFL could provide as an excellent stop-gap until Stidham is ready to go.
"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," Ninkovich said. "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."