Neither Cam Newton nor Mac Jones seems to have surprised Bill Belichick in the opening days of New England Patriots training camp.
The Patriots head coach frankly assessed the play of New England’s two leading quarterbacks Monday in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio’s Jim Miller. Since the Patriots opened training camp Wednesday, Newton, the veteran and presumed starter, has performed on and off the field as Belichick has come to expect.
“Yes, Cam’s been very consistent,” Belichick said. “What he is this year is what he was last year, and what he was in December is honestly pretty much what he was in August. So he brings it every day, is ready to go, has good energy. He’s very professional. He’s one of our more consistent players from that standpoint.”
Meanwhile, Jones, the Patriots’ top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and presumed quarterback of the future, remains a work in progress, according to Belichick.
“As you know, Jim, better than anybody — as good as anybody — it’s a big jump from college to pro, I don’t care where you come from, who you are, what system you’ve been from or which one you’re going into. So, you know (in the NFL) more coverages, more fronts, more adjustments, more plays, more everything, and a higher level of skill, obviously, on our side of the ball and on their side of the ball. Like any rookie, he’s making a lot of progress, he’s got a long way to go, he’s working through it, and we’ll just take it day by day.”
Newton and Jones are in competition for the starting job, but all signs indicate at this point the former will be under center in Week 1, while the latter continues to hone his craft.
Belichick’s comments come as little to no surprise after less than one week of training camp, but it will be interesting to see how his views and statements on the QBs change over the course of the campaign.