Let’s just say Cam Newton is ready for the Mac Jones challenge
The New England Patriots veteran quarterback saw what his team did in the first round of the NFL Draft when they selected Jones with the 15th overall selection, and he knows what that means for his job security.
If his recent Instagram post indicates his approach, the 2015 NFL MVP isn’t backing down from the challenge. Newton channeled and quoted Kendrick Lamar in the post.
It wouldn’t be right to convey a Newton IG quote in any other font style than the one he has made his signature style of social media communication.
For what it’s worth, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has already committed to Newton as his starting quarterback when training camp begins.
When pressed about a time limit on his commitment to Newton as the starter, Belichick said he would be QB1 “until someone plays better than him.”
Some believe that could come sooner than later in Jones’ case.
Is Mac Jones the ‘Most NFL-Ready’ Rookie QB?
Jones has been lauded for his intelligence, work ethic, and ability to process information quickly. One former coach spoke highly of Jones in this regard and expressed his confidence in the 22-year-old being ready to make the quick jump to an NFL starter as a rookie.
“I’ve been on record saying this: I honestly think he’s the most qualified rookie quarterback to start in Year 1,” former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand on Monday.
Not everyone views Jones as the premier QB genius of this year’s crop of rookie signal-callers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter appeared on the Underdog Fantasy podcast and shared the San Francisco 49ers’ brain trust felt North Dakota State’s Trey Lance had the edge as the draft’s “smartest quarterback.”
“A lot of people thought, ‘Mac Jones is smart. He’s ready to play right away.’ Actually, the 49ers felt that Trey Lance was ahead of where Mac Jones was and is more ready to play. The Niners felt that Trey Lance was the smartest quarterback in this draft.”
We’re not going to know which of these players turns into the best quarterback or even which one has the most success as a rookie for several months.
The Situation is a Win-Win For the Patriots
No matter how you slice it, the Patriots are in a good situation. They have a starting quarterback that they are comfortable with in Newton. He’s seemingly fired up and ready to prove how good he can be with a year under his belt in the Patriots’ system and better weapons at his disposal.
That’s a formula for maximizing an opportunity.
If Newton fails, then the Patriots have a young quarterback who could step up and play in 2021. Let’s also not forget about Jarrett Stidham, who should be adding bulletin board material every night as he increasingly becomes the team’s forgotten man at quarterback.
We are headed for a highly competitive training camp and preseason if either of the two remains intact.
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