With two preseason games under his belt, including an impressive performance in his Week 1 debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it appears that New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett is poised to be the heir apparent to the Patriots offense.
Mallett, drafted this year after an excellent record at the helm for the Arkansas Razorbacks, began his Patriots career as the third-string quarterback behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer, but now appears to be clinching the No. 2 spot.
His performance against the Jaguars in Week 1 is the of the sort any rookie quarterback dreams of, as he completed 12 of 19 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown.
In Week 2, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he had less success, with nine completions in 14 attempts for 71 yards and an interception. By rookie standards, however, it was not a dreadful showing.
Considering that Brady has a number of playing years ahead of him, developing Mallett into the eventual Patriots starter seems to be the wisest option for the team and for the quarterback.
He will have the unique privilege of playing behind, and learning from, arguably the best quarterback of his time, while honing his already considerable skills and maturing both as a player and as a person.
Patriots fans have a lot to be excited about heading into the 2011 season; with Mallett, they are assured to have a reason to stay excited for seasons to come.