The hype and intrigue surrounding the New England Patriots quarterback’s situation heading into the 2021 season has been a classic case of “this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets a stationary object” .
On the one hand, Bill Belichick has never, ever shied away from pulling the trigger on what he thinks is best for the football team, whether it’s swapping a superstar, throwing a fresh out of college rookie or being aggressive in situations that I’d have most other coaches sharing their underpants. On the flip side, Bill supported Cam Newton through the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2020 campaign and not only saw fit to bring Cam back to New England for 2021, but also to give her a small raise of healthy salary. compared to last year’s minimum agreement to do so. It seems absurd that Bill is handing over the Patriots’ vastly improved offense so early on to a rookieâ¦ doesn’t it?
(side note, I had to reread the line “an unstoppable force meets a stationary object” 5 times for replay purposes, because over the weekend my brain crossed that line with “between the hammer and the ‘anvil’ and it came out of my mouth “it’s like when an unstoppable force meets a hard place” and my girlfriend looked at me for a second before she said “…… what ??” )
Thankfully, before packing for the holidays, MMQB’s Albert Breer dropped what he knew about the Patriots QB competition a few thousand words deep in his Monday column – right after a whole string of stories from Sean McVay and an Aaron Rodgers update (the NFL media jokes about where their bread is buttered are simply written), and seems to lean towards the perhaps obvious point that it doesn’t matter where you are drafted or how many Pro Bowls you’ve done, Bill Belichick is going to start the best man for the job, period, end of story.
While we’re on the subject of rookie quarterbacks, Mac Jones’ progress is worth noting. And the feedback I got about Jones is that he’s what the Patriots thought they got when they took him 15th, which is he’s an exhilarating field general, although a little physically limited. But I would like do not make much of who he’s lined up in the spring. More than a couple of people who are familiar with this program, both in reference to Jones and other guys, have mentioned to me how Bill Belichick works with reps at this time of year. And really, it reflects that the Patriots are not yet in a situation where they are “competitive” for jobs. Belichick uses May and June for teaching, fundamentals and conditioning, and mixes and matches players throughout. And he has never been above using open media sessions for his own purposes. The real test, for me, was always going to be in training camp, and especially when the pads go on. If Jones is out there with the first group off the offensive line, even if it’s just a percentage of those snaps, then I’d say we know something’s up. And my feeling right now is that Jones has done enough in the spring to deserve a real competition with Cam Newton in the summer.
Hey, at the very least, that’s a far more preferable method of determining your starting quarterback than the Bears and their Twitter Fingers before the draft, isn’t it?
Either way, despite Windy City’s social media practices, this assessment would certainly lean towards the idea that when the pads are on and, as RB Patriots coach Ivan Fears put it, “the bullets start flying, “if Mac Jones wins and turns out to be the best option, he wins. Again, this is just Breer’s reading of the situation based on what he’s heard, but even so, it’s heartening that the Patriots aren’t setting any sort of artificial timeline when they consider really to give Mac a legitimate chance to win the starting Work QB.
What do you all think of it? Would the Patriots give Mac Jones a real shot at winning quarterback competition, assuming there is one, or is Cam Newton the starter anyway?
Will the Patriots actually let Mac Jones compete for the starting quarterback?
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