An all-important late July and August awaits the New England Patriots.
Training camp and the preseason seemingly will dictate who leads the Patriots’ offense to start the 2021 NFL season. Head coach Bill Belichick has made it clear Cam Newton is QB1 in New England until he’s outperformed, and that could happen as early as the next two months.
As such, the uncertainty hovering over the quarterback position is the focus for ESPN’s biggest question still to be answered for the Patriots.
“Will (Mac) Jones challenge Newton for the starting job?” Mike Reiss wrote for ESPN.com. “There was a temptation to highlight whether the defense — with considerably more talent in 2021 — could return to form. But that seems to be overthinking it. So much centers around quarterback play, and when Jones had it going in spring practices, the Patriots’ offense looked the closest to what it had been over the majority of the past two decades from a timing, anticipation and accuracy standpoint. Newton also looked more comfortable.”
A recent report indicated Jones has lived up to the Patriots’ expectations thus far. That obviously should be taken with a grain of salt given the nature of OTAs and minicamp, but it’s enough to yield some optimism for the rookie signal-caller nonetheless.
Jones long has been tabbed as a great fit for New England’s offense, and those views could be proven correct earlier than expected.