Everyone is seemingly still trying to get Cam Newton away from the New England Patriots.
Bill Belichick selected Alabama’s Mac Jones with the No. 15 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, so he is obviously the guy earmarked as the Patriots’ quarterback of the future.
The future can’t come soon enough for some Patriots fans and members of the media. Despite the fact Belichick announced Newton is his starting quarterback, there is still a cry for Jones to start from Day 1.
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks went as far as to suggest the Patriots trade Newton, whom he believes has a personality so big and a physique so intimidating, that his presence may swallow Jones, thereby stunting his growth as a quarterback.
Think that’s an exaggerated interpretation? Here is Brooks’ quote from Daniel Jeremiah’s Move the Sticks podcast on Tuesday:
I will say this though, when Mac Jones shows up in the locker room hopefully he’s been working out a little bit. Because he’ll be standing next to Cam Newton, and it’s going to be hard. Now that’s going to be hard on him, ‘Hey, this is your new QB1.’ That’s going to be a thing, and also Cam’s personality. If Mac Jones comes in there and plays small, and is kind of like meek-mouthed or whatever, it could be a thing. It may be a situation where they have to get Cam out the building so Mac Jones can grow into being the QB1.
Is Brooks underestimating Jones all the while devaluing Newton, and the team’s chances to win in 2021?
Jones is Brimming With Confidence
We haven’t seen a ton of Jones as a pro, but the one thing he doesn’t seem to lack is confidence. Jones probably won’t beat many guys in a foot race; he doesn’t have the strongest arm of the top quarterbacks in this draft, but he does appear to have an unshakeable belief in himself.
What kind of confidence-lacking 22-year-old says things like this before the NFL Draft?
“For me, it’s just focusing on what I can control and that’s doing really well with my Zoom meetings and working out hard and throwing and stuff,” Jones said, via Brad Crawford of 247Sports (h/t Larry Brown Sports). “Honestly, it sounds like an Alabama answer, but it is what it is. They’re going to say what they’re going to say. If you watch the tape, it’s good tape.”
That’s not the voice of a kid who is going to be easily intimidated.
Newton Could Make Sure We See Very Little of Jones in 2021
While Jones will come in confident and as prepared as possible, Newton is a veteran, and he won the locker room over in 2020. Newton accomplished this feat amidst a dysfunctional year wrought with COVID-19 cases and subpar talent by Patriots standards.
Based on Newton’s increased experience with New England’s system, the addition of more weapons on offense and increased depth and talent on defense, it would be silly not to expect the Patriots to be a vastly improved team this season.
If Newton is healthy, plays well and the team is winning, Belichick will not make a change at quarterback, and this could turn into something of a redshirt year for Jones.
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