Cam Newton and Mac Jones have been battling it out in the Patriots’ preseason games to come out on top. But Bill Belichick is still firm on Newton being the starter come Week 1.
Newton had a rough first season in Foxborough. As a passer, the Auburn alum completed 66 percent of his passes but threw for only eight touchdowns. With 10 interceptions, he finished the year with a negative TD: INT ratio for the first time in his career.
With Mac Jones having a strong training camp, a lot of fans have been questioning Newton’s starting spot. Both QBs performed well in New England’s second preseason matchup against Philadelphia on Thursday. Newton completed 8-of-9 passes for 103 yards with a touchdown. Jones finished 13-of-19 for 146 yards, leading three scoring drives.
— NFL (@NFL) August 23, 2021
Bill Belichick says Cam Newton is way more comfortable in Year 2
Mac Jones has been impressive, and seems to fit Josh McDaniel’s offence better. But appearing on WEEI Monday, Belichick revealed what the rookie Jones would have to do in order to leapfrog Newton on the depth chart.
“The fact that Cam started last year, and he’s here, somebody would have to play better than him. Training camp is all about competition.”
The head coach for the Patriots also made note of how much more comfortable Newton looks within the offense this offseason compared to last year. “First of all, offensively, we have a much better-balanced team. We’ve added some players that bring an explosive element to our offense … Cam is way more comfortable.”
Bill Belichick: “First of all, offensively, we have a much better balanced team. We’ve added some players that bring an explosive element to our offense … Cam is way more comfortable…”
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 23, 2021
Speaking to the media on Sunday, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked if he knows who the Week One starter will be and if there’s a timeline to make that choice. But McDaniels essentially stated the same as Belichick.
“I know this is going to sound silly, but I haven’t really worried about it,” McDaniels said, via Ryan Hannable of NESN. “I think that decision from Bill [Belichick] will be made when the time is right to make it.”
“Cam certainly is the starter now, and he has done a good job. He has gone in there, he played well the other night. He’s practiced well. But, I know those guys are really competing hard and we’re giving them an opportunity to compete and play a lot of football.”
Cam Newton has the confidence of HC Bill Belichick which is great for him. But if he did have another string of bad performances, Newton could have played his final snap as an NFL starter. The Patriots QB situation should be very interesting to see in 2021.