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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Report: Patriots frustrated with Cam Newton over COVID protocol situation

Cam Newton

Cam Newton will miss what many consider to be crucial practice time this week due to a violation of COVID-19 protocols, and there are reportedly some people within the New England Patriots organization who are not happy with the former NFL MVP.

The Patriots announced in a statement on Monday that Newton will have to sit out five days due to a “misunderstanding” with the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. The quarterback was away from the team on Saturday for a club-approved medical treatment, but he did not follow proper testing protocols. Newton, who is unvaccinated, missed a day of testing even though he got tested away from the Patriots’ facility and tested negative. Daily testing is required for unvaccinated players at an NFL-approved facility.

According to Michael Giardi of NFL Network, there is some internal frustration with the Patriots over the Newton situation. One member of the organization, whom Giardi described as “important,” believes Newton’s absence will open the door for rookie Mac Jones to win the starting quarterback job.

The Patriots said Newton’s out-of-state medical treatment was approved by the team, so they should have clearly communicated the protocols to him before he left. If they did not, that is just as much on the team as it is Newton. If they did, you can understand why they’d be unhappy with the veteran.

Jones will now likely get most — if not all — of the first-team reps in joint practices with the New York Giants this week. Belichick offered his latest thoughts on the Patriots’ QB competition on Monday, but that was before we knew about Newton being ruled out for several practices. Time will tell if the situation has a significant impact heading into Week 1.

Cam Newton out five days due to ‘misunderstanding’ with COVID protocols

Cam Newton

Cam Newton is competing with rookie Mac Jones for the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback job, but the former NFL MVP is going to miss some important reps in practice this week.

Newton has been ruled ineligible to practice for five days due to COVID-19 protocols. The Patriots announced the news in a statement on Monday and explained that Newton traveled out of the New England area on Saturday for a team-approved medical treatment. As the Patriots described it, there was a “misunderstanding” about COVID-19 tests that are conducted away from team facilities.

Here’s the full statement:

The NFL only restricts travel for unvaccinated players. Newton has been asked by reporters if he is vaccinated but said it is a personal issue that he does not want to speak about publicly. The 32-year-old missed some time last season after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Patriots are holding joint practices with the New York Giants this week. Mac Jones will likely get most — if not all — of the first team reps while Newton is out.

Bill Belichick has not yet named a starter for Week 1. The coach offered some thoughts on the competition on Monday.

Bill Belichick won’t rule out playing both Cam Newton, Mac Jones

Bill Belichick

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.

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.

Patriots’ team plane flying to Haiti to provide emergency supplies

Patriots plane

The New England Patriots’ team plane has become a symbol for providing assistance to those in need around the world. They are at it again this weekend.

The Patriots’ plane was loaded up with emergency supplies on Saturday in preparation for a trip to Haiti. Here is video of the plane taking off on its humanitarian mission to the island.

Over 2,000 Haitians have died and over 12,000 are injured from a 7.2 earthquake that struck the island on Aug. 14. Flash flooding and mudslides as a result of a storm have further complicated matters.

The plane is carrying “close to 40 pallets of critical medical equipment, supplies, medicine, water and consumables that are desperately needed to treat trauma patients, including everything from hospital beds and suture kits to small generators.” The plane is also bringing two surgeons, three physicians and a nurse, according to TMZ Sports.

Build Health International coordinated the relief items, and the Patriots supplied their plane to transport things. The Kraft family, which owns the Patriots, is also donating supplies such as drinking water, surgical masks and personal protective equipment such as masks.

The Patriots’ plane has been used for several humanitarian missions over the last two years. It helped transport COVID-19 vaccines to Central America, and it was used to transport masks to the United States from China early in the pandemic when there was a supply shortage.

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.

Picture of Bill Belichick in weight room goes viral

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is probably more motivated than ever this season after he watched Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots and immediately win a Super Bowl. While no coach in the NFL spends more time studying film than Belichick, it is clear that the 69-year-old also does a great job of focusing on his physical health.

A photo of Belichick banging out squats in the weight room went viral this week. Boston Connor from “The Pat McAfee Show” shared the image with the caption “Super Bowl confirmed.”

We’re used to seeing Belichick overseeing the weightlifting rather than doing it himself. That said, he actually looks pretty good for his age and was once a great athlete who played both football and lacrosse in college.

An opposing player savagely trolled Cam Newton during joint practice this week, but we doubt anyone’s going to say anything to Belichick. The coach is intimidating enough to begin with, let alone when he’s all-in on getting ripped.

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.