After his team selected quarterback Mac Jones in round one of April’s NFL draft, Bill Belichick was quick to remind anyone and everyone that veteran Cam Newton would be the Patriots’ starting signal caller. Now with training camp underway, Belichick’s leaving the door open for a quarterback competition, saying: “it’s a clean slate.”
In a media session prior to the first day of camp on Wednesday, the head coach addressed New England’s quarterback situation in typical Belichickian fashion: “Until we go out there, it’s pretty much a clean slate.”
The Pats’ quarterback depth chart includes the rookie Jones, Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, all of whom will try and establish themselves as the opening day starter.
Question (via @IanSteeleABC6): Will there be an open competition for starting quarterback?
Bill Belichick (deflecting): "Every one of us has to go out and establish our level of performance in whatever our role or capacity is. It's a new season. … That includes all of us."
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 27, 2021
When pressed by the media about the perceived open quarterback competition, Belichick unsurprisingly commented on what he expects from the entire team, not just the QBs: “Every one of us has to go out and establish our level of performance in whatever our role or capacity is. It’s a new season. We’ve done some things in the spring, but this is really the start of our season in terms of the team-building part in training camp. We all have a lot of work here. That includes all of us.”
The coach, who has won six Super Bowls, then doubled down on the team talk: “We’ll go out there and continue, as I said, the process we started in the spring and see how all the players and our team comes along and see how it fits together.”
Odds would seem to favor Newton getting the nod for Week One. The last rookie quarterback to start for a Bill Belichick team was Jacoby Brissett in 2016.