Patriots QB Battle
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Is There a Legitimate QB Battle Brewing in New England?

After the Patriots signed Cam Newton last offseason, there was no QB battle in New England. When Cam Newton re-signed with the Patriots in March, it was widely suspected that his presence in the locker room was the main reason behind the signing, as the entire organization, including head coach Bill Belichick, took a liking to Newton despite some abysmal performances on his part.

While his presence was enough to keep Cam around for at least one more season, it was not enough to guarantee him a starting job heading into the 2021 season, as Belichick took Alabama signal-caller Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft to compete with him, though few believed Jones would be starting Week One.

Newton will likely begin the year as the starter, but by all accounts, Mac Jones has been extremely impressive as rookie minicamps and OTAs have gotten underway.

Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers said Jones throws a very catchable ball, and that he is “blessed to have the arm talent that he has,” per the Providence Journal. Rookies from last year, guard Michael Onwenu and linebacker Josh Uche, also showered Jones with praise. Both players saw Jones in person while at Michigan in the 2020 Citrus Bowl, where Alabama defeated Michigan 35-16.

“I think he looks good all around. I think he fits the personnel and the team,” Onwenu stated. Uche, who hit Jones several times during the Citrus Bowl, praised Jones for his toughness.

“He was a tough kid. I remember a couple times I hit him and said ‘I know he’s not getting up,'” stated Uche, but get up Jones did, as he threw for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns against his future Patriots teammates while leading Alabama to a bowl victory.

With the obvious support of the team behind him, could Jones be the starter against the Miami Dolphins in the first game of the season for the Pats? While it remains unlikely, the chances of Jones starting from the jump have definitely increased, and there is still a long summer to go.

If we know anything about Bill Belichick’s coaching approach, the best man for the job will be the starting quarterback, and unless Cam Newton drastically improves, it is very likely that Mac Jones is that best man. Regardless, unlike in 2020, Cam Newton will not win the job without a real QB battle.

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