HomeSportsBill Belichick evaluates Patriots quarterback situation: 'We all have a lot of...

Bill Belichick evaluates Patriots quarterback situation: ‘We all have a lot of things we got to work on’

For the first time in what feels like an eternity, the possibility of a summer quarterback battle is brewing in Foxborough. That much was evident once the Patriots re-signed last year’s starter Cam Newton prior to the start of free agency and followed that up by selecting Alabama’s Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. That position battle will likely take months to truly develop, but that didn’t stop folks from asking Bill Belichick about it on Thursday leading up to New England’s OTA session. 

“I think all the quarterbacks are working hard and again, it’s this starting over process for everybody,” said the head coach when asked about what he’s seen thus far from Mac Jones. “So, some of them have been here, some of them haven’t, they’ve had various levels of opportunity to work in our offense but really, we’re starting everybody at the same point like we always do this time of year. 

“So, Mac dove into the playbook and continues to do that and like everybody out there, we all have a lot of things we got to work on and that includes everybody and so that’s what he’s doing. That’s what everybody’s doing.”

Of course, Belichick wasn’t revealing any state secrets in that answer as it relates to his rookie quarterback and merely highlighted an overall philosophy for the team, which was to be expected. It’d be pretty remarkable if he had concrete answers and a definitive timetable about Jones and when he may be able to ascend to QB1 on the depth chart (Even if he did, he wouldn’t tell us). At this stage in the offseason progress, this is truly a learning period as Jones tries to learn an offense that now-retired Patriots receiver Julian Edelman once described as calculus. In other words, mental reps are just as important as the physical reps Jones will be going through over these next few weeks and months leading into training camp. 

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As for Newton, he was also on the field Thursday and led off every period with Jones coming in behind him. 

“Cam’s been here all the way through,” said Belichick. “He was here at the beginning and has been a consistent participant, continues to give us the usual leadership and energy that they bring to the field and to the workouts and to practice, so Cam’s very professional and I’m sure that he’ll continue to work hard and do his best out there like he’s always done for us. It’s never been anything but that from the day he got here.”

Naturally, the quarterback position is set to be a topic of conversation all summer in New England will likely continue as we head into the regular season. It wouldn’t be surprising — and is most likely probable — to see Newton begin the year as the starter with Jones patiently waiting for his opportunity if it presents itself. Of course, time will tell how all of this ultimately unfolds, but things are starting to ramp up as we put this position battle in heightened focus going forward.