Bill Belichick won’t rule out playing both Cam Newton, Mac Jones
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has yet to name a Week 1 starting quarterback, which is hardly a surprise. After Cam Newton and Mac Jones both played well in last week’s preseason win over Washington, some are wondering if the Patriots could use a two-quarterback system. Belichick is not ruling it out.
Belichick was asked about the possibility of a quarterback platoon during a Monday morning appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” He did not shoot it down.
“I am going to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Belichick said. “So, if that’s playing a guard in the backfield, then we’ll play a guard in the backfield. If it’s putting 10 defensive backs on the field, if that’s what it is, maybe we’ll put 10 defensive backs on the field. I am not going to rule out anything. If I think something would help us win, I would consider it.”
That is a classic Belichick answer, so we wouldn’t read too much into it. He never speaks in absolutes, and his thoughts on New England’s QB situation are consistent with that. Though, the coach seemed to acknowledge that Newton has the upper hand.
“Well, I think the fact Cam started last year and he’s here, somebody is going to have to play better than him,” Belichick said. “We’re not going to take a job and say, ‘OK, here, this is gift-wrapped for somebody.’ But, training camp is all about competition. There’s an element of who the starter is, but there’s also the competition and in the end the competition is going to decide how things go in any given year.”
Belichick obviously wants Newton to play well enough to earn the starting job. The Patriots have a complicated offense. While Jones seems to be picking it up quickly, Belichick is the type of coach who would much rather have a rookie sit on the bench and learn. That said, he’s not going to stand by and do nothing if Newton plays as poorly this season as he did in 2020.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gave a big hint about the QB competition on Saturday, but Belichick is not going to announce a decision before he has to.