Bill Belichick has made it clear that Cam Newton remains the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback even after they drafted Mac Jones. That is easy for the coach to say months before the start of the season, but it is fair to wonder how long he can stick to it.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald shared some observations after watching both Newton and Jones take part in organized team activities on Thursday. While it is far too early to draw conclusions about the quarterback competition, she said there is already a feel that it is playing out. And at least for one practice, it sounds like Jones looked like the better option.
Newton has been working on his mechanics this offseason, and Guregian notes that he appears to have made progress with his delivery on short throws. However, Newton displayed some issues throwing to his right and had deeper passes sail on him. He also had some issues with accuracy during drills.
Jones, on the other hand, is “clearly polished on the finer points of playing the position,” according to Guregian.
“There was one drill where the quarterbacks would make a play-fake before delivering the football. His fakes were smooth, despite playing mostly from the shotgun at Alabama,” the reporter said of Jones. “And all the pre-draft hype about him throwing a ‘catchable ball’ were on target. He leads receivers and puts the ball in the perfect spot.
“He has a nice release, is accurate and gets rid of the ball quickly.”
Again, we’re talking about OTAs. Belichick probably does not want a rookie starting Week 1, but Jones is going to do everything he can to force the coach’s hand.
Jones showed that he is thrilled with where he ended up with the message he delivered to Roger Goodell at the draft (video here). That is likely because the No. 15 overall pick knows how Newton played last season. If Cam doesn’t show drastic improvement, it will only be a matter of time before he loses his job to the rookie.