Newton’s Gone; Mac Jones Earns The Job

Newton’s Gone; Mac Jones Earns The Job

It’s Mac Time

Ding dong. Cam is gone. 

I believe in second chances, but sometimes it is just too late. Cam Newton did not lose the job; he ran out of time. 

The Patriots announced that they released Cam Newton, making Mac Jones the starting quarterback. The 15th pick in this year’s draft will join Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson in being a Week 1 starter as a rookie. He did more than winning the job; he earned it. 

Mac Jones impressed coaches instantly in mini-camp. Then dominated the position battle throughout the preseason. He even did something Newton never did as a Patriot, throwing 16 straight completions against an opposing NFL defense. 

I had the privilege of being in the crowd for this day of their joint practice with the Giants. I sat back with my Dunkin’ iced coffee and enjoyed the show. Each visit, Mac and Cam kept improving and making each other better. Cam’s shoulder even looked as if it improved over the offseason. I was wrong. 

Mac Jones starting Week 1 shows fans that Belichick believes in the rookie, which means you should too. He consistently does the right thing and even has become a locker room leader in such a short time. He deserves a chance to continue his hot streak into the regular season. 

Should Belichick start Jones so soon?

Patrick Mahomes sat behind Alex Smith during his rookie year. Tom Brady did it with Drew Bledsoe. It is the usual way to usher in a rookie QB into the system. However, Belichick is not the one to follow a crowd. 

Jones impressed coaches at the start of rookie mini-camp; it carried over into the preseason. Jones gave Patriots fans a reason to love him every day of camp. I am still not over witnessing him throw 16 straight passes in practice, specifically a lob pass to James White for 15 yards.

But the story that stands out from camp comes via  Dont’a Hightower. He told reporters that Jones has not only learned the offense but the defense’s playbook too. The preparation for practice and games displays shades of the former leader of the offense. 

Does being coached by Nick Saban help Jones in the Patriots’ system?

Mac Jones spent his college years playing under legendary head coach Nick Saban. Saban runs a “Patriots Way” type system at Alabama. A system that Jones flourished in winning two national championships during his tenure. 

The Patriots system has been known as one that most players have difficulty playing in. However, Jones has flourished in only a few short weeks. He has no issue with voicing his displeasure to receivers, but most importantly, demands control in the huddle. He has fully immersed himself into the team’s culture.

It’s a new era in Foxboro. Fans packed the practice fields to witness their potential championship roster play together for the first time. Mac Jones won over the hearts of Patriots Nation in one month. The fanbase has become obsessed; they ran out of Mac Jones jerseys in the pro shop two hours after Newton’s release. 

It’s time for a change. Mac performed exceptionally in the preseason. Hopefully, it can launch his team back into the Super Bowl picture.

Pat Pitts

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