Since the draft, all we’ve heard from Bill Belichick is that “Cam (Newton) is our quarterback.”
Whereas other positions have long been considered a wide-open battle, the New England Patriots head coach has opted to declare Newton the guy, though occasionally couching his declarations by saying it will be a hard decision.
Of course, this is all despite the Patriots taking one of the most NFL-ready quarterbacks in the draft, Mac Jones, at 15th overall back in April.
Fast forward to Thursday, and teams around the NFL that have quarterback battles are beginning to name their starters. Belichick was asked if he had a timetable for naming his starter.
“I don’t have a timetable on that. Can’t tell you,” Belichick told reporters.
Wait, but isn’t Cam the guy? If he is, like Belichick has always said, shouldn’t the response once again be “Cam is our quarterback.”
Perhaps this is splitting hairs, as there was always some level of understanding that if Jones seriously outplayed Newton, it’s possible the job would be his. Newton hasn’t entirely played himself out of a job this August, however, his five-day absence due to a breach of COVID-19 protocols allowed for a great opportunity for Jones.
That’s what makes the timing of Belichick’s comments so fascinating. It comes after Newton missed a chunk of time due to a misunderstanding (that wouldn’t have happened if he was vaccinated) and after Jones had a really solid week taking reps with the first team.
Has the status of the battle changed?