"It definitely helped him to learn under the best and see what that looks like, but he's the kind of young man, too, this is what he's been waiting on," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said of Stidham, per Mike Reiss of ESPN. "I'll tell you, the moment won't be too big for him. He'll be up to the challenge, that's what I expect."
Stidham spent two years as the starter at Auburn, leading the team to 18 wins in this stretch, including a memorable 2017 upset over eventual national champions Alabama.
He was drafted by New England in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, which was apparently an ideal destination based on his skill set.
"When he got drafted by the Patriots, I thought it was a perfect spot for him system-wise—spreading the field," Malzahn added. "He's so good with protections, changing protections, and scheme-wise everything that goes with it, and just the flexibility the scheme gives him."
Brady left the organization after 20 years, and the Patriots chose not to replace the six-time Super Bowl champion in either free agency or the draft, only re-signing journeyman Brian Hoyer and adding undrafted free agents Brian Lewerke and J'Mar Smith.
It could provide Stidham an opportunity to show what he can do as an NFL starter in 2020.