Will Hastings and Jarrett Stidham have a special connection, and the New England Patriots better use it properly.
Hastings tore his ACL in 2018. The undrafted slot receiver returned to the game in less than six months and his injury got bad, so he needed a second surgery.
Hastings and Stidham connected for 26 completions for 525 yards with four touchdowns during in 2017. They are together in New England. Hastings’ experience with the second-year quarterback may help him earn a spot on the roster.
Stidham and Hastings may make the best quarterback-wideout duo in the NFL.
“I thought those two guys, for whatever reason — and sometimes this happens with quarterbacks and certain wideouts — they just get to a good feel with each other,” former Auburn offensive coordinator and current Troy head coach Chip Lindsey told NESN.com this week. “I think also they had a close relationship, still do. So, the ability to communicate with each other, ‘Next time this happens, I’m going to do this, whatever adjustment.’ I think those two guys kind of bought into that. Jarrett was good with a lot of our guys like that. He was very personable and communicated well with them and encouraged guys on the sideline and all of those things. He and Will, they definitely had a special connection there, and hopefully that will continue.”
The very special connection Stidham and Hastings share is important for the Patriots
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said that Stidham had a bad season in 2018 due to Hastings’ injury and wide receiver Eli Stove’s ACL tear. Stidham was able to complete 66.5 percent of his passes with a 151 passer rating in 2017. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes with a 137.7 passer rating in 2018. Auburn was 10-3 back then and won the SEC West in 2017. In 2018, they had a 8-5 record.
“Oh, Eli Stove and Will Hastings were two of his best receivers,” Malzahn said. “They were two starters from the year before when we won the West. That’s a big blow for any team when two of your top receivers go down in the spring. That hurt us.”
So, this will be an interesting connection to watch for. The Patriots need all the talent they can get, and Stidham will definitely do well with a familiar face on the roster.