Bill Belichick believes the New England Patriots’ quarterback competition is benefitting both of its contestants.
Speaking with Willie McGinest on NFL Network after Thursday’s training camp practice, the Patriots coach said he’s seen improvement from veteran Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones.
“Cam’s getting better every day. Mac’s getting better every day. They’re pushing each other,” Belichick told the Patriots Hall of Famer. “I think competition makes us all better. So it’s been healthy, and we?ll see how it goes.”
Newton remains the favorite to start New England’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 12, but Jones has come on strong of late. The first-round draft pick turned in strong practice performances Wednesday and Thursday while seeing significantly more 11-on-11 reps than Newton.
“Mac’s competing well,” Belichick told McGinest. “I’d say really all of our rookies are doing a good job. They’ve embraced the process. They know they have a lot to learn, a long way to go. They’ve worked hard. They’ve studied hard. They’re certainly not there yet, but they’ve gained a lot of ground from back when we started in the middle of May.”
Jones is one of many fresh faces at Patriots training camp. Belichick and his staff overhauled New England’s roster after last year’s disappointing 7-9 finish, handing out upward of $170 million in guaranteed money to more than a dozen veteran free agents.
“(We have) a lot of new faces, and it’s coming together day by day,” Belichick told McGinest. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m excited to work with the players that we’ve added to the team.”