Wednesday, January 26

Who will win the Patriots QB competition? Bill Belichick gives a great hint with Cam Newton, says Mac Jones

How can you know that you have come up as a coveted Patriots player for Bill Belichick? The coach makes it personal.

The only certainty about New England’s quarterback competition heading into June is that Cam Newton re-signed and 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones will fight in late summer. For each team facing a similar situation, the starting tie is for the veteran, until there is enough preseason evidence to accompany the rookie.

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Belichick, speaking to local reporters Thursday, had some interesting opening comments about Newton and Jones. In his typical way of speaking, he might not have sounded like Belichick had said much. But there was a big difference in the two answers to the Patriots’ central question.

First, this is what Belichick said about Newton:

“Cam has been here the entire time. He was here in the beginning and has been a constant participant, continuing to provide us with the usual leadership and energy that he brings to the field and to practice and practice.

“Cam is very professional, and I’m sure he will continue to work hard and do his best as he always has for us. He has never been anything other than that since the day he arrived here.”

And this is what the Patriots coach had to say about Jones:

“I think all the quarterbacks are working hard and again it’s a process of starting over for everyone, so some have been here, some have not. They have had various levels of opportunity to work on our offense, but we really are. starting everyone at the same point as we always do at this time of year. “

“Mac immersed himself in the playbook and continues to do so, just like everyone else. We all have a lot of things we have to work on. That includes everyone. So that’s what he’s doing. That’s what it’s all about. the world is doing. “

It’s no secret that Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are huge Newton fans. They adjusted to him with a more engineered quarterback running last season to build an offense that had limited potential for the passing game.

Belichick mentioned Newton by name a couple of times and was specific about his positive attributes. With Jones, he grouped him with the rest of the young or new players with more generic comments.

Newton’s post-Tom Brady “battle” with Jarrett Stidham was never last year, despite Newton joining the team in late June. He has the advantage of having absorbed the Patriots’ playbook in his second offseason. Jones is a smart quarterback, but even as a quick study, it will be difficult for Belichick to trust him with the keys to the offense three months later, in Week 1 of the regular season.

Of the five first-round quarterbacks in 2021, Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (Jets) are blocked to start. Justin Fields (Bears) also has a good chance. Trey Lance (49ers) is a slight favorite to sit on. As for Jones, unless he can blow the gates in training camp, he’s a hefty bet to start his banking career.

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