Who will start for the New England Patriots at quarterback?
Well, it still won’t be Tom Brady. But that’s about all we know. Other than that, all we can presume is it’s between veteran Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones.
Coach Bill Belichick isn’t really saying, though. And that’s just the way Belichick always operates.
“We still have a lot of decisions to make,” Belichick told reporters after Sunday’s preseason finale, a win over the New York Giants.
If you’re looking for hints, Newton started the game, but Jones came in shortly after and played with the reserves. Jones was the No. 15 overall draft pick out of Alabama, so the Patriots have hopes.
He seems to, too. But he wouldn’t get caught up in any talk of starting.
“Like I always say, I’m focused on today. I think there’s a lot of stuff I can clean up. I held the ball a little too long at some points,” Jones said. “I’ll work on that … but I’m here to play any role I can play, help in any way I can, and I’m going to be ready whenever my time comes.”
Newton finished 2-of-5 passing for 10 yards and an interception. Jones received considerably more of an opportunity and finished 10-of-14 for 156 yards, with a touchdown and no INTs.
“I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to play, and I can improve on everything,” Jones said. I think just learning from [Brian] Hoyer, Cam, Jarrett [Stidham], and listening to [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] and his coaching, there’s a lot of work to do. I think I’ve made progress. But honestly, the only thing that matters is today.”
That’s not entirely true. “Today” isn’t really the only thing that matters. Belichick will undoubtedly consider the full body of work from both potential starting QBs.
But the coach isn’t ready to say who that man will be, and knowing the coach, he may not reveal his starter until the day of the first regular-season game.
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