The turning point that really tipped things in favor of rookie Mac Jones was the three consecutive practices veteran Cam Newton missed last week due to COVID-19 protocols.
FOXBOROUGH – The head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, always said that he would seek consistency and production over time, when evaluating quarterback competition between Cam Newton and Mac Jones.
Newton was cut this Monday and Jones, selected in the 15th overall turn of this year’s draft, has been designated as the starter. He had been consistently closing distances with respect to Newton during training camp. The news put Jones among the favorites to win the award as Offensive Rookie of the Year, and makes him one of three former passers Alabama that are projected to start in Week 1, along with Jalen hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami dolphins.
The Dolphins open the visiting campaign against the Patriots next September 12.
The turning point that really tipped things in favor of Jones It was when he took over reruns with the first team during last week’s three practices. that Newton was lost due to a “misunderstanding” regarding the COVID-19 protocols.
Players responded positively to the 2020 Heisman Trophy finalist. Low offense Jones looked very “to the Patriots“, with empty backfield formations, rhythm changes and line of scrimmage alterations that were common when the Tom brady I was at the controls. And, providing a touch of irony, the transition to Jones was somewhat similar to what happened in 2001, when Brady he stayed with the job of Drew bledsoe.
Bledsoe was the starting quarterback of the Patriots, but Brady came hard and played the position in a way that pleased the most Belichick, with precision and good decision making. Those close to the club said it was a matter of time before Brady assumed, and an injury to Bledsoe opened the door earlier than anticipated.
The door opened wide to Jones during a joint preseason practice with the New York Giants. That day, a significant moment shift was felt, and Jones –who got into a “party flow” to burn the Giants– he was ready to load the torch.
The main question that remained for the closing of the preseason last Sunday was whether Belichick He felt it was too early to throw the 22-year-old rookie into the regular-season fire.
That would have been the main reason for staying with Newton, protect Jones. And it would have been understandable if Belichick take that direction, balancing the long-term development of Jones with the short-term goals of winning the games that count.
But, through a methodical and consistent strategy, Jones proved to Belichick that the risk did not outweigh the reward. He can handle that, and perhaps nothing evidenced it more than those three practices without Newton.
Is not that Jones I would not have made mistakes. He has done it, quite a bit, as all rookies do. But it’s the way he’s responded to them that has earned him the respect of teammates and coaches. By correcting them and, for the most part, not re-committing them, he allowed the Patriots continue to build and run an offensive that gradually resembled the one he led Brady.
Rarely, at best, did he look like this with Newton, which is not surprising given that it is not his game. So play with Newton it would have required a different strategy.
Jones, whose qualities also include precision and decision making, seized his opportunity when Newton he was absent due to the “misunderstanding”.
Could have won the job anyway.
But, it certainly didn’t hurt him.