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#pounditWednesday, December 1, 2021

Articles tagged: Cam Newton

Josh McDaniels gives big hint about Patriots’ QB battle

Josh McDaniels

The New England Patriots are unlikely to name a starting quarterback until just before Week 1, but all signs continue to point to Cam Newton keeping his job — at least for now.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels spoke about the team’s quarterback competition on Sunday, and he was quick to say that the decision to name a starter will be made by Bill Belichick when the time is right. However, he did make it clear that Newton is currently considered QB1 ahead of Mac Jones.

“Cam certainly is the starter now, and he has done a good job,” McDaniels said, via Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston. “He has gone in there, he played well the other night. He’s practiced well. But, I know those guys are really competing hard and we’re giving them an opportunity to compete and play a lot of football.”

McDaniels was also asked if he can envision a scenario where both Newton and Jones are part of the offense.

“My answer will be the same; I haven’t thought about it at all,” he insisted.

Newton and Jones both played well in Thursday’s preseason win over Washington. Belichick insisted Newton is his starting QB after the Patriots drafted Jones in the first round. The coach has since implied that there is an open competition, but Newton is still the heavy favorite to be the Week 1 starter.

Belichick almost certainly would prefer to start a veteran. That is one of the main reasons Jones is unlikely to earn the starting job out of training camp, but Newton will have to play a lot better than he did last year if he wants to hold off the rookie.

Cam Newton heavy favorite to win Patriots’ starting QB job?

Cam Newton

Mac Jones has impressed in training camp for the New England Patriots, but it appears unlikely that he’ll be able to win the team’s starting quarterback job.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote Saturday that “the evidence is in plain sight” that Newton will be the Patriots’ starter come Week 1. Newton has taken all the reps with the starters to open practices and has started both of the team’s preseason games. Newton may have clinched the job with his impressive performance in a preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.

Howe notes that Bill Belichick has yet to inform either of his quarterbacks who will start Week 1, but that barring injury, “it would be a stunner” if Newton isn’t the quarterback.

The Patriots will be happy with how this competition played out. Jones did a lot to impress, and certainly suggested he has enough about him to be the long-term future for the team at quarterback. Newton did enough to win the job now. It means if one trips up or gets hurt, there will be a strong backup option no matter what.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton had great response after trash talk from K’Von Wallace

Cam Newton

K’Von Wallace may have started the fight with Cam Newton, but Newton ended it.

The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots held a joint practice on Tuesday ahead of their preseason game Thursday. During the joint practice, Wallace zinged Newton by calling the Pats quarterback a “checkdown king!”

That was on Tuesday. On Thursday, Newton got the advantage by throwing for a touchdown in his Patriots’ 35-0 preseason win over Wallace’s Eagles.

After the game, Newton shared his response for Wallace. He said he called Wallace “glitter” because Wallace was on the sidelines cheerleading.

Boom, roasted.

You know you’re in bad shape when Newton’s roasting you. Cam looked good on Thursday, but he also is receiving some pressure from Mac Jones, who also had a strong outing.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Eagles player savagely trolled Cam Newton during joint practice

Cam Newton

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles have held joint practices this week ahead of their preseason game, and Cam Newton was on the receiving end of some serious smack talk during Tuesday’s session.

Eagles linebacker K’Von Wallace trolled Newton after the former MVP completed a couple of checkdown passes. Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media says Wallace called Newton “checkdown king!” at one point as Newton threw to his running backs on consecutive plays.

Newton has had shoulder problems in the past and underwent surgery a little over two years ago. While he insisted that was not a factor in his poor 2021 season, there were times where he looked incapable of throwing the ball downfield. If that continues this season, he probably won’t keep his job for very long.

It hasn’t been all tension and smack talk between the Eagles and Patriots this week. For evidence of that, just look at the exchange Bill Belichick had with one Eagles player on Monday.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton reveals what Bill Belichick has told him about starting job

Cam Newton

Bill Belichick hinted earlier in the offseason that Cam Newton is going to be the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback in Week 1, but he apparently has not shared that same message privately with Newton.

Newton told reporters on Monday that Belichick has not assured him he will be first on the depth chart heading into Week 1. The former MVP claims he knows no more about the situation than the media.

That is somewhat hard to believe. While Belichick probably hasn’t named Newton the starter behind closed doors, it’s safe to assume he has discussed the situation with the team at some point.

Mac Jones looked comfortable in last week’s preseason game against Washington. The rookie completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards and did not throw an interception. Newton didn’t play as much as Jones, which could be a good sign for the former. Cam did, however, share a cryptic Instagram post about loyalty after the game. He said Monday that the post had nothing to do with football.

Belichick labeled Newton his starting QB after the Patriots drafted Jones in the first round. The coach has since implied that there is an open competition.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton has interesting Instagram post after first preseason game

Cam Newton

There has already been a lot of talk about Mac Jones beginning the season as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback, and that narrative did not change after the team’s first preseason game. Cam Newton may have had a subtle response to all of that talk.

Newton played less than Jones in Thursday night’s win over the Washington Football Team. The former NFL MVP completed just 4-of-7 passes for 49 yards before being replaced by Jones late in the first quarter. On Friday, he shared some photos on Instagram with a caption (in his token font) that read, “I’m far from perfect … but loyalty, I deserve it.”

Jones looked comfortable in his first live NFL action. He completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards and did not throw an interception. His stat line would have been even better had Bill Belichick challenged an obvious bad call.

Newton is likely going to begin the season as the Patriots’ starter. However, there’s no question he’ll feel the pressure of Jones waiting to take over. If he plays as poorly as he did last season, it won’t be long before the rookie gets a shot — no matter what Newton says on social media.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Bill Belichick shares hint about Patriots’ QB situation

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick was quick to say that Cam Newton is the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback after the team drafted Mac Jones in the first round, but it sounds like that is less of a sure thing now.

Belichick spoke with reporters at the start of training camp on Tuesday, and he was asked if there will be a quarterback competition in the coming weeks. He said everyone has a “clean slate.”

That’s a big change from what Belichick said immediately after the draft. He conceded that Jones and Jarrett Stidham would have a chance to compete but called Newton “our quarterback.”

Newton is still the favorite to start in Week 1, but there have been numerous reports that Jones could push him for the starting job. The Patriots have improved their supporting case by signing tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. They’ll likely give Newton a chance to improve upon his abysmal 2020 season with those new skill players, but there will be plenty of pressure to make the switch if Newton struggles.

Even Newton has had very high praise for Jones. One anonymous Patriots player also had a very telling comment about the former Alabama star recently. Belichick has always said that he will do whatever he can to put the team in the best position to win. If that means playing Jones, that is what he will do.

5 NFL players in a contract year who need to step up

Cam Newton

Most NFL players reach a point in their career where they’re seeking a long-term contract, but things simply aren’t working out. Sometimes that situation corrects itself, and sometimes it doesn’t.

However, consistent quality play will often pave the way for those players to sign long-term deals — especially during a contract year. As we head into 2021, these five players find themselves in contract years and lacking long-term security. Now they’ll need to step up if they want that big deal.


Cam Newton offers optimistic outlook for his 2021 season

Cam Newton

New England Patriots fans have very low expectations for Cam Newton heading into the season, which is understandable when you look at how the former MVP played in 2020. While Newton is not quite ready to tell people to get their popcorn ready, he seems like he expects much better results this year.

During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show” on Thursday morning, Newton spoke about what has changed for him between his first and second years in New England.

“I don’t want to get so caught up in promises and things like that, but I can guarantee you that there’s been a shift in comfort of knowing more,” Newton said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “And I think that’s added value in itself.”

There were many, many factors working against Newton last season. He was signed late in the offseason, and there were a number of restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. That limited the amount of time players were able to spend working out with their teammates. Newton then contracted COVID-19 during the season and was out for a while.

The Patriots also had arguably the worst collection of skill position players in the NFL last season. They have since added star tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry as well as wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor.

While the new weapons should help, Newton clearly knows he will be under a microscope this year.

“I know who I am. At times, I do remind myself people forget who you are, and what you’ve done,” he said. “So now I’m a position now where I need to be my best self. It’s really put-up or shut-up time.”

The Patriots used the 15th overall pick in the draft on Mac Jones. Based on everything we have heard about the former Alabama star this offseason, Newton may need to play very well to keep his job. Bill Belichick has repeatedly said that Newton is the team’s starter, but there is virtually no chance it stays that way if the 32-year-old struggles the way he did in 2020.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton holds improbable title with veteran RBs still unsigned

Cam Newton

Cam Newton had the worst season of his career with the New England Patriots last year, but the former NFL MVP still leads all active players in one major category — and it has nothing to do with throwing the football.

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk made an interesting observation about the current list of active NFL players with the most career rushing touchdowns. Newton, who has 70 scores on the ground, is at the top.

Granted, that could change before the 2021 season even begins. Newton ranks fourth in rushing scores among players who were active last year. Adrian Peterson (118), Frank Gore (81) and LeSean McCoy (73) all have more rushing touchdowns than Newton. All three are free agents and want to play this season, though there is no guarantee that they find work.

Newton probably isn’t too concerned with his place among the NFL’s rushing touchdown leaders. The Patriots’ Week 1 starting job is his to lose, but some of the things that have been said about rookie Mac Jones are noteworthy. Newton will have his hands full holding off the former Alabama star, and he has to prove he can be a much better passer — not rusher — than he was in 2020.