Bill Belichick Has Not Told Cam Newton He Is Patriots’ Week 1 Starter

'Everything y’all know, I know'


Aug 16, 2021

PHILADELPHIA — Multiple times over the past few months, Bill Belichick has asserted Cam Newton is the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback.

Each time, that statement has been followed by an unspoken “for now.”

Newton has taken first QB reps throughout the spring and summer, but the battle between him and first-round draft pick Mac Jones is both very real and hotly contested.

Want proof? Newton was asked after Monday’s joint practice with the Eagles whether Belichick has told him he will start in Week 1 of the regular season.

“Y’all sitting up here asking silly questions to me, and I am looking at y’all with the same thing,” Newton replied. “I don’t know what y’all want me to say. No! You know that. You know he hasn’t said that. So for you to just ask the question, you know, it is what it is. Every single day, I’m coming out here with the anticipation to just get better, and that’s the only thing I can do.”

He later added: “I just want you guys to understand, everything y’all know, I know. There’s no hidden motives or things like that. I do know those things like that, I can’t worry about. Because each and every day, I don’t necessarily care about who’s starting, I mostly care about making sure I put the best product out there for me, and I know Mac is feeling the same way, I know Brian (Hoyer) is feeling the same way and everybody else, going down each and every position.

“As far as Week 1, we’ve got so much to worry about prior to Week 1. And that’s where my focus is right now.”

Early in training camp, Belichick said he expected the ultimate choice between Newton and Jones to be a “hard decision.”

Jones, who took most of his reps Monday with New England’s second offensive line and against Philadelphia’s defensive backups, was asked whether winning the Week 1 starting job is a goal of his.

“For me, honestly I’ve always just been blessed to be part of the team,” the rookie replied. “You never know when your time’s going to come, so I’m just ready to keep working. Obviously, I have a lot of work to do. That’s very clear. But I’m going to keep working every day, and everything will just work out how it’s supposed to play out.”

Jones was the sharper of the two QBs on Monday, connecting on multiple early deep balls to receiver Nelson Agholor while Newton mostly relied on checkdowns. The Alabama product faltered during the final few periods of practice, however, before rebounding with a touchdown pass to N’Keal Harry on his final rep.

Newton was at his best during a late two-minute drill that included consecutive completions to Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. But that drive eventually stalled, finishing with two incomplete passes into heavy traffic in the end zone. The second was intercepted by linebacker Eric Wilson, ending Newton’s day on a sour note.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton
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