One day after being designated by the New England Patriots as backup quarterback for veteran signal-caller Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham expressed readiness to play his new role for the team and learn from the greatest NFL quarterback of all time. After learning that he beat Brian Hoyer for the No. 2 quarterback spot, Stidham expressed excitement but said he’s putting in more work to help the team and Brady. “I’m getting back to work and working as hard as I ever have and trying to do everything I can to help out this team and to help Tom out. That’s my job,” said Stidham, the Patriots’ fourth-round pick out of Auburn.

Stidham also thanked Hoyer for helping him adjust and get accustomed to the Patriots system ever since he joined the team’s organized team activities and training minicamp. “He was here every day for me and helping me in every way that he could. He’s a true veteran, a true pro, and I couldn’t be more thankful for him,” said Stidham, who earned the backup job by outplaying Hoyer in the preseason.

Stidham has tough task ahead

Stidham went 61-of-90 for 731 yards and four touchdowns with one interception and ran for 88 yards on 19 carries for the Patriots in four preseason games while Hoyer went 18-for-22 for 202 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in two games. The 33-year-old Hoyer did not play the last two preseason games against the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants.

As of now, Stidham has a tough task ahead of him as he studies Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whom the Patriots will face in Week 1 at Gillette Stadium. Also, Stidham needs to be always ready in case something happens to the 42-year-old Brady, who will enter his 20th season in the NFL since being taken No.

199 in the 2000 NFL Draft. Stidham also needs to be on his toes as Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hinted that he plans to bring Hoyer back at some point in the regular season. It’s a long season, so we’ll see what happens,” Belichick said in an interview. As of now, six teams are interested in Hoyer’s services, including the Indianapolis Colts, who recently lost their starting quarterback Andrew Luck to retirement.

Patriots sign several players to practice squad

After trimming their roster to 53 players, the Patriots have signed several players to their practice squad. According to multiple reports, the Patriots signed tight end Stephen Anderson, offensive tackle Tyree St.Louis, defensive linemen Nick Thurman and Ufomba Kamalu, linebackers Calvin Munson and Terez Hall, defensive end Gerri Green, offensive tackle Dan Skipper and fullback Jakob Johnson. The Patriots can use these players to fill up some positions as the season goes along.