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Patriots Unfiltered Q&A: Bring in additional competition at QB?

Fan questions answered in this week's Patriots Unfiltered Q&A mailbag.


If you had to choose between Josh Rosen and Mitchell Trubisky to compete with Stidham, who would you chose and why? –Gregorio Laderia

If Mitchell Trubisky has proven anything since entering the league in 2016, it's that he's not "the guy." Trubisky's ability to use his legs gave him some upside during the 2018 season, but his body of work in the NFL is enough to indicate that he's not a franchise quarterback. Josh Rosen is an interesting case. He didn't truly get a fair chance during his rookie season in Arizona. Once he was traded to Miami and beat out by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rosen was an afterthought. Now that the Dolphins have Tua on their roster, it will be near impossible for Rosen to have a starting role on the team. If the choice is between Rosen and Trubisky to compete with Stidham, Rosen is the obvious answer. He played well enough to be a top ten pick, perhaps he still has something left in the tank. - Megan O'Brien

With the NFL apparently changing the way it views Colin Kaepernick, do you think it is possible for the Patriots to bring Kapernick in for training camp? – Rosen Rashkov

Coach Belichick has stated that there is an open competition at quarterback in 2020. If Kaepernick can still play at an elite level, an NFL team should give him the chance to compete and earn a role on the team. Will that team be the Patriots? Time will tell. - Megan O'Brien

Could this year's offense be a bit better because Stidham is behind center or not? –Jeffrey Cobb

This is a topic that has been talked about quite frequently in Patriots circles. Unless Stidham is already an elite quarterback in his first year as a starting quarterback in the NFL, the Patriots offense will take a step back in 2020. The 2019 Patriots offense struggled to convert third and short throughout the season. The running game was anemic, and it lacked a deep threat. Stidham is being asked to produce using the same cast of characters on offense. Stidham is not Tom Brady, and as the Patriots transition to a new starting quarterback, the offense will likely take a step back. - Megan O'Brien

Can Damien Harris still live up to the hype he got coming out of Alabama or will he be the forgotten man in the backfield –Matthew Hollon

Damien Harris will certainly have every opportunity to make an impact. ESPN's Mike Reiss reported that Sony Michel underwent a foot surgery this off season. According to Reiss, Michel could start training camp on the PUP list. Michel's injury could give Harris the opportunity to step up. - Megan O'Brien

I know it's way too early, but the Pats will have a ton of cap room after 2020. What moves can you see Belichick making? He keeps tabs on everyone, so who do you feel would be great additions and possible game-changers? –Bill Cohen

Regardless of Stidham's future beyond 2020, this offense desperately needs to reload with weapons. Wide receiver seems like the position to start with. Depending on how the rookie tight ends turn out, perhaps tight end is a position to target as well. On defense, the Patriots could use some front seven reinforcements and target an every down linebacker. - Megan O'Brien

The lack of homerun ability with the running game stood out to me last year. I found myself wondering if the running backs had been just a step or two faster, the Patriots offense could have posed a homerun threat. Overall, I think the Patriots running backs lack speed. With that said I was surprised Matt Breida was traded for just a 5th round pick. This off season, the Patriots didn't make a move for a running back. What are your thoughts on the state of the running back position group? –Austin Evans

Austin, you and Fred Kirsch should sit together for games. You two share a frustration with the lack of homerun ability from the backs. I hear what you are saying about Matt Breida. The price seems reasonable, and Breida is a solid running back. After watching Michel last season, we learned that he runs best with a lead back. With David Andrews back perhaps the line game will improve, and maybe Danny Vitale along with the rookie tight ends will help Michel by blocking. As a positive spin, maybe the Patriots decision to not go after a running back like Breida shows great confidence in Damien Harris. I am excited to see what the second year back is able to contribute. - Megan O'Brien

Has the league come out and said if fans will be allowed at games in 2020 yet?–Richard Clayton

As of right now, the league has yet to make any announcement about whether fans can be in attendance for games in 2020 yet. - Megan O'Brien

With the virtual off season and the preseason being potentially shortened to just two games, I'm concerned about the potential for injury this year. What if anything will the league do to address it? –Gary Abrams

For older players, this off season could be beneficial. This gives players time for their bodies to recover. The league should learn a lot from this off season. If the quality of play doesn't diminish in 2020, and injuries are down, we could see a less physically aggressive off season program moving forward. It will be interesting to see because while some of the older players may benefit from the physical break on their bodies, some of the younger players may need that time. The 2020 season will answer a lot of our questions about how the virtual off season went.
- Megan O'Brien

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