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The Patriots quarterback competition has been anticipated since the departure of Tom Brady in free agency and was only vaulted into hyperdrive once New England decided to sign Cam Newton, adding the former MVP into the mix with second-year man Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. So far, the competition between the quarterbacks has really been nonexistent as the initial waves of training camp have been engulfed with COVID-19 testing and more individual drills in shells along with learning the playbook.  

Monday was the first full-padded practice for New England and prior to that significant mile marker being reached in Foxborough, Bill Belichick gave a status update to the quarterback competition during an appearance on ESPN Radio. With Stidham and Hoyer already having some experience in the Patriots system, Belichick noted an emphasis for Newton to get caught up to speed with the terminology. 

"All the quarterbacks have been good," Belichick told the "Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin" program, as transcribed by WEEI. "Brian Hoyer's got the most experience of any of our quarterbacks in our system. Jarrett Stidham is really coming on here in Year 2. He got a great year last year in terms of learning and personal and technique development at the position. And Cam has been a late addition, but he's brought a lot of energy and, obviously, playing experience to our room. For him, it's catching up on the specifics of the Patriots system, terminology and so forth, which he's worked extremely hard at. Brian Lewerke is a college free agent quarterback that is also in the room and is a developmental-type player. It's a good group.

"... They've all been great. I'd say, Cam, I just haven't had experience working with Cam. But he works extremely hard. He puts a lot into it, as do Jarrett and Brian. So it's a really hard-working, competitive group."

Because of the OTA-style sessions that have gone on since the start of camp, Belichick highlighted that the Patriots "really haven't had any" competitive situations, but that does change now with fully-padded practices underway. This is where things should start heating up between the quarterbacks, specifically with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham. Those two are seemingly the ones fighting for Tom Brady's former throne, while Hoyer, who is on his third stint with the club, is a valuable backup. 

What will be interesting to monitor is how quickly someone starts to separate themselves in this competition. Because of the limited full-padded practice and zero preseason games this summer, it will be important for New England to get whoever the starter will be ready for the regular-season opener against the Dolphins, which is less than a month away. Identifying Brady's ultimate successor sooner rather than later should help New England get on the ground smoother in 2020.