Bill Belichick reiterated earlier this month that Cam Newton would lead the charge. New England Patriots’ starting quarterback — a position he held throughout the 2020 season despite the veteran’s struggles. The situation has changed this summer, however, with the arrival of first-round rookie Mac Jones making it less clear who New England’s QB1 would be.
Jones will be there one day. It remains to be seen when that day will come, but Belichick also predicted it. “hard decision.”
It seems, however, that so far, none has been made.
Following Monday’s joint training camp practice with the Philadelphia EaglesNewton was asked if Belichick had said anything about Newton. His answers were predictable.
“You know the answer to that question,” he said after a short pause.
He doubled his efforts after a follow up.
“Y’all sit up here asking silly questions to me and I’m looking at y’all with the same things. I don’t know what y’all want me to say. No! That’s what you know. You know he hasn’t said that,” Newton added.
“So, for you to just ask the question… it is what it is. Every single day I’m coming out here with the anticipation of just getting better and that’s the only thing that I can do. I can control that, but as far as somebody else’s analogy or interpretation of what Week 1 is — I’m trying to focus on what tomorrow brings or even the adjustments for tonight’s meetings.”
Newton started 15 of the Patriots’ 16 games last year, missing one after testing positive for the Coronavirus. While the circumstances did not favor him — he arrived late, missed time due to Covid-19 and had to play with a sub-par receiving cast — Belichick publicly reaffirmed Newton as his team’s starter on numerous occasions.
He did the same in training camp and Newton has taken top quarterback reps all summer. However, Jones’ presence and solid performance has created a different dynamic.
It also brought along questions about Newton’s standing on the depth chart.
“I don’t take it personal. I just want you guys to understand, everything y’all know, I know. There’s no hidden motives or things like that. I do know those things like that, I can’t worry about,” the 32-year-old said on Monday.
“Because each and every day, I don’t necessarily care about who’s starting, I mostly care about making sure I put the best product out there for me, and I know Mac is feeling the same way, I know Brian [Hoyer]Everyone else is feeling the same, and everyone else is going down in each position. So as far as Week 1, we’ve got so much to worry about prior to Week 1. That’s where my focus is right now.”
As far as Newton’s competition for the starting role is concerned, the same basic answer was given on Monday. Mac Jones answered Monday’s question about whether starting would be a personal goal.
“For me, honestly I’ve always just been blessed to be a part of a team,” the rookie said. “You never know when your time is going to come. So, I’m just ready to keep working. I have a lot of work ahead of me. That’s very clear, but I’m going to keep working every day and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to play out.”