Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore talks up Jarrett Stidham after Tom Brady exit

Tom Brady’s successor will have enormous shoes to fill. Leaving behind a 20-year legacy with six Super Bowl rings, four Super Bowl MVPs and 14 Pro Bowl selections, Brady set the bar as high as possible.

But Patriots cornerback Stephen Gilmore is showing some faith in Jarrett Stidham, Brady’s likely replacement at quarterback. Gilmore says New England’s 2019 fourth-round pick made him work harder in practice last season.

“He came in and worked hard and got better and better as the year went on. He has a strong arm,” Gilmore told ESPN of the 23-year-old Stidham. “He makes some tough throws. Definitely made it hard on me in practice each and every week, going against whoever I was covering, making some great throws. It allowed me to get better in practice to prepare for the games.”

Eleven-year veteran Brian Hoyer and USC product Cody Kessler are also in the Patriots’ quarterback mix.

Gilmore, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, said he wasn’t surprised when the 42-year-old Brady announced his departure from the organization, ultimately signing with the Buccaneers.

“Not surprised,” he said. “A player like him, playing somewhere that long, you never can see it, but it shows you that in the National Football League, it can be anyone going somewhere. It’s a business, and that’s how you have to look at it.”

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