The pressure is on for the New England Patriots to perform next season but veteran wide receiver Matthew Slater has faith that quarterback Jarrett Stidham has the “qualities” to fill the void left by Tom Brady.
Slater sounded optimistic when speaking to reporters Monday, saying that he believes the Patriots had “a great opportunity” coming off the heels of Brady’s departure.
“We have a lot of good football players. We have a tremendous coaching staff. … We have to go into the season expecting more from ourselves than anyone outside the building expects from us,” he said, according to ESPN.
Among the tools for success is second-year quarterback Stidham.
“Certainly, he has a lot of great qualities that can make him a good player at the quarterback position,” Slater said of the 2019 fourth-round draft pick.
“Coach Belichick and his staff wouldn’t have brought him in here if they didn’t think he had those qualities. At that position, almost more than any other, it’s going to be the intangibles that get a guy to a successful position.
Slater described the young player as “a great kid” who brings positive energy to the squad.
Stidham, 23, was drafted by New England after playing two years as a starter at Auburn. He signed a four-year $3.15 million contract.