Are the New England Patriots about to deploy a quarterback-by-committee?
Probably not, but Bill Belichick on Monday morning left the door open for enacting such a strategy.
Appearing on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick was asked about potentially platooning Cam Newton and Mac Jones, both of whom have played well during the preseason.
“Those specific questions like that are really hard to answer,” he said, as transcribed by WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “I mean, here’s what I will always say: I will always say I am going to do what is best for the team. I am going to do whatever I can to help the team win. So, if that’s playing a guard in the backfield, then we’ll play a guard in the backfield. If it’s putting 10 defensive backs on the field, if that’s what it is, maybe we’ll put 10 defensive backs on the field. I am not going to rule out anything. If I think something would help us win, I would consider it.
“The goal is not to have this happen, or have that happen, it’s to work through our system and ultimately do what we feel like is best for the team. And that’s at every position, every game, all the way across the board.”
Yes, that answer was quintessentially Belichick, but it also offered the latest example of the Patriots head coach not ruling out Jones playing as soon as Week 1.
Ultimately, New England’s quarterback competition likely will be determined by the performances of Newton and Jones — should they play — in Sunday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants, as well as the ensuing two weeks behind closed doors.