Though Mac Jones has pushed him this summer, all signs point to Cam Newton starting Week 1 for the Patriots.
The veteran was given all of the starter’s reps in the first two preseason games, has led off every practice drill, and played really well in Thursday’s 35-0 thumping of Philadelphia. On a Sunday afternoon conference call, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked whether he had an idea of who would start the opener against Miami.
“I know this is going to sound silly, but I haven’t really worried about it,” McDaniels said. “I think that decision from Bill (Belichick) will be made when the time is right to make it. Cam certainly is the starter now, and he has done a good job. 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.
”That position to me is obviously extremely valuable to our team. We need to be able to play consistently well. We need to communicate well. We need to make good decisions. We need to throw the ball accurately. We need to protect the football and not give it away. To me, I look at those guys in the same light in regards to what we’re trying to accomplish. Ultimately, when any decision is made based on who is going to play more or less on our team, those decisions will be made when the time is right and we’re going to go forward and try and play the best we can.
”I am very pleased with the effort that we’re putting in at the quarterback position, the improvements we’re making and the way that we’re attempting to run the offense. Everything isn’t perfect. We still have a long way to go and things we can work on and improve and make better, but I think the desire to do it, the way we want to do it to the standard that we’re trying to hold them to I think is right where we want it to be.”
For the second time this summer, McDaniels also dismissed the idea of a quarterback tandem a la the New Orleans Saints.
“I haven’t thought about it at all,” McDaniels said. “Honestly, our focus is on trying to get them to do everything that they are practicing or doing in the games to the best of their ability, and seeing them improve and focusing on the things where maybe this is an area we need to get better at. I have not stopped for one second to think about how to utilize multiple people in the same game.”