With one week remaining in the NFL preseason, Cam Newton remains atop the New England Patriots’ quarterback depth chart.
Speaking Sunday in a video conference with reporters, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Newton currently is the Patriots’ starting QB but wouldn’t reveal who the team plans to start in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
“I know this is going to sound silly, but I haven’t really worried about it,” McDaniels said. “I think that decision from Bill (Belichick) will be made when the time is right to make it. Cam certainly is the starter now, and he has done a good job. He has gone in there, he played well the other night. He’s practiced well. But I know those guys are really competing hard, and we’re giving them an opportunity to compete and play a lot of football.”
Newton, who started 15 games for New England last season, is looking to hold off a charge from first-round rookie Mac Jones. Both quarterbacks excelled during Thursday night’s 35-0 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, with Newton completing 8 of 9 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown and Jones going 13-for-19 for 146 yards.
Though Jones has impressed this summer, Newton has taken the first QB reps in every practice and game since the start of spring workouts. Against Philadelphia, he played all three of his series with the Patriots’ starting offensive line. Jones worked with backups during his four possessions.
“That position to me is obviously extremely valuable to our team,” McDaniels said. “We need to be able to play consistently well. We need to communicate well. We need to make good decisions. We need to throw the ball accurately. We need to protect the football and not give it away. To me, I look at those guys in the same light in regards to what we’re trying to accomplish. Ultimately, when any decision is made based on who is going to play more or less on our team, those decisions will be made when the time is right and we?re going to go forward and try and play the best we can.
“I am very pleased with the effort that we’re putting in at the quarterback position, the improvements we?re making and the way that we?re attempting to run the offense. Everything isn’t perfect. We still have a long way to go and things we can work on and improve and make better, but I think the desire to do it, the way we want to do it to the standard that we’re trying to hold them to I think is right where we want it to be.”
The Patriots will hold two joint practices with the New York Giants this week ahead of next Sunday’s preseason finale at MetLife Stadium.