AN UNIDENTIFIED NFL scout expressed the frustration felt throughout the NFL since … well, the beginning of this century.

”How the (bleep) do they always do this? Kid falls right into their laps and looks like the second coming,” the scout told Bleacher Report. “It’s like Bill (Belichick) and Josh (McDaniels) undid all the damage Auburn did to him.”

The “kid” the scout was talking about is Jarrett Stidham, the fourth-round draft choice out of Auburn who officially ended Brian Hoyer‘s stay in New England when the Patriots decided to go with two quarterbacks –- the second a rookie –- and let Hoyer go on NFL cutdown day Saturday.

Hoyer had $1.5 million guaranteed money coming in the third and final year of his contract. One would also think starter Tom Brady would be comfortable having an aging backup as opposed to a brash kid behind him –- you know, all that talk about Brady’s future that dominates the news these days.

But in the end, the Pats needed the roster spot and Stidham showed more than enough to show he belongs getting the regular backup reps in practice.

Stidham played the entire preseason finale, another sign Hoyer might be done. As WEEI’s Ryan Hannable tweeted, “Worth noting with Jarrett Stidham going wire-to-wire, in 2014 when the Patriots kept just Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, his rookie year, he too played the entire fourth preseason game. Ryan Mallett was traded two days later. “

Afterward, Stidham said he was ready for whatever was next.

”I think whatever decision is made, whatever my role is on this team, that’s what I’m going to do,” Stidham said when asked if he’d be ready to be No. 2 QB. “Whatever it is, I’m going to continue to work as hard as I possibly can to do that and to help the team in whatever way I can, so that’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”

Stidham was 61-for-90 (67.8 percent) for 731 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, throwing to a 102.6 passer rating, in the preseason. He also ran 17 times for 81 yards –- and Saturday he learned he is in fact No. 2.

Brady is 42 and rarely misses a play. Now, there’s a rookie behind him.

Cut-down day really didn’t produce many other surprises in Foxborough, with all eyes focused on the QB situation.

Tragedies strike

As we start our weekly look around the sports scene, we have to talk about two major stories this week that really had nothing to do with the games themselves.

When we watch these men and women do what they do best athletically, we can forget that they’re human beings.

It hits us when we get news like what happened to Tampa Bay prospect Blake Bivins, a Double-A righty whose wife, baby and mother-in-law were all murdered, allegedly by Bivins’ brother-in-law.

“Nobody is thinking about baseball,” Montgomery Biscuits manager (and former major leaguer) Morgan Ensberg said. “I have no idea what we’re going to do in five minutes. When the five minutes is up, we’ll figure it out then.”

Stunning.

Then came the news Friday that Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in a Texas hotel room in May, died of a mixture and nasty drugs and alcohol (we don’t need to be more graphic).

There was word an Angels employee was being investigated for supplying the drugs. Regardless, we had a 27-year-old guy seemingly on top of the world who had a drug problem. Pain, both physical and mental, had to be involved.

Again, we tend to forget that these athletes are human.

Which brings us to two other off-field bits of news.

DeMarcus Cousins, who has always been … well, difficult, had an arrest warrant issued on him in LA — on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge that involved harassing communications with the mother of his 7-year-old child.

Then, Wally Backman, another member of the 1986 Mets to get in trouble off the field, was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Looking around

The Red Sox escaped with a 15-inning win in Anaheim Friday night as Mookie Betts became the second player ever to homer in both the first and 15th innings of a game (the Sox’ Vern Stephens was the other, in 1951). But way back in the ninth inning, manager Alex Cora decided not to put Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, move Betts to right and sit J.D. Martinez down while protecting a two-run lead. Naturally, a Martinez fielding error tied the game. …

Regardless of the result, the Celtics figure to be the big winners in the current international tournament. Four Celtics are on the U.S. team, with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart getting used to playing with Kemba Walker. That has to help. …

That team has been maligned because so many stars aren’t playing, but Walker told ESPN, “We have great chemistry, I think. We’re getting along really well. We want to play for each other, and that’s the biggest thing.” Said coach Gregg Popovich: “They’ve become close in a short period of time. The camaraderie has blossomed, and I think that will bode well for us.” …

One man’s opinion: I like Rob Ninkovich on television. …

Thanks to the great Bill Chuck for pointing out that LA’s Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw were both 9-0 at home this season before losing to the Yankees last weekend. …

One man’s opinion II: The Red Sox play in too big a market to have two games in Denver called by two voices no one knew — Tom Helmer and former Sox infielder Todd Walker. Dave O’Brien was off doing football, but there had to be a better way to do it. …

As the A’s continue to fight for a wild card berth, they get former ace Sean Manaea back today for his first appearance since last Aug. 24. The lefty, who pitched a no-hitter against the Red Sox last year, has been out with left shoulder surgery. …

How was your Friday night? Freshman Brandon Talton kicked a last-second 56-yard field goal to give Nevada a win over Purdue. After the game, Talton got the game ball – and then got a scholarship, both from his coach. …

The NHL announced it will not choose to re-open the current CBA with the players, who have until Sept. 15 to do the same thing. The guess here is that they will but don’t think for a second this means future work stoppages forced by Gary Bettman and Co. won’t ruin another season. …

OK, preseason football stinks and can bore you to tears, but the Pats’ four preseason games all won their local ratings battles. …

Tony Romo, who has found a home in the broadcast booth, is reportedly seeking $10 million a year to stay at CBS beyond this season. He’ll get it there or someplace else. …

From Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal: “Jimmy Garoppolo’s 1st preseason: 9/13, 157 yards, 1 TD; 6/12, 72 yards, 2 TDs; 9/12, 105 yards, 1 TD; 22/42, 284 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. Jarrett Stidham’s 1st preseason: 14/24, 179 yards, 1 TD; 14/19, 192 yards, 1 TD; 15/19, 134 yards; 18/28, 225 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT.” …

Andrew Luck‘s Twitter account of his wartime mail home to his mother is gone with his retirement, but Jacoby Brissett, the new starter, has picked it up, tweeting, “Dearest mother — Our unit’s commander has suddenly and permanently holstered his sidearm, just days before battle is set to commence. I have been tasked to be next in charge and lead the charge. I am anxious, but full of faith. I shall write you from the battlefields. — Jacoby.” …

This from stats guy Ryan Spaeder the other night: “Xander Bogaerts is batting .311/.385/.567 with 90 extra-base hits over his last 162 games played. He has 114 runs scored and 126 RBI during that span.” …

Max Scherzer has joined Tom Seaver as the only pitchers ever with eight straight 200-strikoeut seasons. …

Tom Terrific did it nine straight years. …

From MassLive’s Chris Smith, even before Friday night’s performance by (future closer?) Darwinzon Hernandez: “Red Sox lefty Darwinzon Hernandez’s fastball has averaged 95.2 mph. The opposition is batting .200 with a .292 slugging percentage vs. the pitch, per Statcast. Opposing hitters are batting .231 with a .346 slugging percentage vs. his slider (82.7 mph). …

We all know things have gotten way out of hand with position players having to finish games, right? Well. A rarity the other night: the Dodgers used catcher Russell Martin to pitch the ninth inning of a 9-0 WIN. And he threw 88 mph while protecting the shutout. …

From WBZ’s Dan Roche: “Congrats to Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy, winner of this year’s Ron Burton Community Service award. The award is named after Ron Burton, the original Patriot, philanthropist, humanitarian and proud father of our own Steve Burton.” …

If you’re the Red Sox, do you bring Brock Holt back on a new contract –- for at least insurance at second base with the Dustin Pedroia situation still at least somewhat up in the air? Says Holt: “I want to be somewhere where me and my family are happy. Obviously I love it here and I would love to stay here. But free agency is something I haven’t experienced and I don’t know what to expect. We’ll see what happens. I just want to be comfortable and happy.” …

Welcome to Sept. 1 – and the final year MLB teams can load up their rosters with extra players for the stretch run. Next year, rosters will be at 26 (not 25) all year and expand only to 28 on Sept. 1. There’s also talk of a 13-pitcher limit on the 26. …

From Fangraphs and Athletic’s Sung Min Kim the other night: “Aaron Judge has 100 career home runs. He’s hit 175 of them against the Orioles.” …

Friday was the 101st anniversary of Ted Williams‘ birth – but also marked the 39th anniversary of the Red Sox trading Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for Larry Anderson. …

More position players pitching, this from Royals PR pro Mike Swanson: “Courtesy of Elias Sports; Alex Gordon was the third position player since 1920 to bat fourth and pitch more than one inning in a game. The other two: Babe Ruth 6/1/1920 (4.0 innings as the starting pitcher) and Ted Williams on 8/24/40 (2.0 innings of relief). Not bad company.” …

Clay Matthews was stunned the Packers showed no interest in keeping him in Green Bay. None. “I was kind of taken aback because I thought I’d always be back there, whether it was at a cheaper price (or not),” Matthews, who signed with the Rams, told NFL.com. “So that was kind of a shock, because (my family) stayed out there and had our third child in the offseason, and I was hanging in town training there and everything. And yeah, that was kind of a surprise to me because I just figured I would be out there a few more years.” …

Bo knows: Perhaps the greatest two-sport athlete ever, Bo Jackson, who had to quit because of injury, backs Troy Aikman‘s support of Luck’s retirement. “I stand behind Troy Aikman and every word he said. Don’t criticize a man until you’ve worn his cleats. If you’ve never strapped on the pads you have no business commenting on something you know nothing about.” …

And from former NFL exec and current commentator Gil Brandt: “If you question the timing of Andrew Luck’s retirement, think about this: He called it quits AFTER the Colts broke training camp. Most players would prefer to skip camp altogether (some even spend it in places like Cabo). Luck gave the game everything he had.” …

Saw a new one Friday. The Cubs’ Victor Caratini was called safe at second by Tim Timmons –- and was actually out … TWICE, on the tag sliding in and then the overslide. Yes, the call was overturned. …

Mediocre? The Diamondbacks were at .500 for the 27th time this season before losing the next two –- and reeling off five straight wins to sit at 69-66 through Friday night’s second straight win over the Dodgers. …

Love the preseason games? My buddy Zig Fracassi of Sirius-XM tweeted Thursday, “Looking for a cheap night out? Vivid Seats has tix for tonight’s NFL preseason games as low as $2...which is $2 more than I would pay...carry on!” …

Finally, we’re a little late on this, but here are the names of the eight XFL franchises set to begin play in February: Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, St. Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons, Tampa Bay Vipers and Washington Defenders.

Just thought you needed to know that.

Oh, and QB Landry Jones is the first player to sign with the league.

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is shalinmike@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.