James White says Patriots are confident in Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer at quarterback

James White won three Super Bowls with Tom Brady as his quarterback, but the running back isn’t worried about the New England Patriots moving on under center. Or at least that’s what he’s letting on publicly, telling NFL Network on Thursday that the team is fully behind Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as starting options for 2020.

“Expectations don’t change,” White said, per Michael Giardi. “We’re confident in Stidham. We’re confident in Hoyer.”

Going from Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion and one of the greatest to play the game, to Stidham and Hoyer would obviously be enough to change any reasonable person’s expectations. Stidham, a fourth-round draft pick of the Pats in 2019, has thrown four career passes. Hoyer, meanwhile, is barely a week into his third stint with New England and has been on six different teams over the last six seasons. But this is the company line right now; White isn’t the first Patriots player to throw support behind the potential Brady replacements.

There could be reason for it, too. The Athletic reported this week that, barring unforeseen circumstances, Stidham is very likely to open the 2020 season as New England’s starting QB. Re-signing Brady, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was the Pats’ “1A” plan for the offseason, Jeff Howe reported, but rolling with Stidham was the fallback option. As such, the Pats have reportedly shown no interest in bigger-name alternatives at the position, namely available veterans like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton.

Even if the Patriots land another arm in the 2020 NFL Draft, it’s possible Stidham and Hoyer could be pitted against each other atop the depth chart in training camp and the preseason. Hoyer, 34, has spent five separate seasons serving as a backup for the team.

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