Examining the New England Patriots Quarterback Roomby Charlie Parent May 7, 2021 0 comments
It has now been over a week since the New England Patriots selected quarterback Mac Jones out of Alabama with the 15th pick in the NFL Draft. Since then, fans have been scrambling to figure out what the Patriots will do in their quarterback room.
Bill Belichick has already announced that the job is Cam Newton‘s to lose. However, he said that when Jones is ready to challenge him, he will get his chance. Obviously it appears Jones will be groomed for a while, but some questions do arise from the situation as a whole.
What Year One Will Look Like
For starters, what if Newton doesn’t work out as planned this year? Belichick showed some serious faith in Newton last year and rarely benched him even when he was playing at his worst. It is unlikely, but if Newton were to be terrible this year, what would happen? If struggles come early, Belichick would most likely turn to former fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham.
That said, if these struggles occurred later in the year, the head coach could turn to Jones, but it doesn’t seem like the true Belichick thing to do. Let’s be honest, Belichick isn’t going to give the fans what they want in Jones. Instead, he will give them the best man. Obviously, Stidham is more well-versed in this offense and could see the backup spot for the whole year. In terms of this season, if something were to happen to Newton it looks like it will be the Stidham show unless Jones exceeds expectations early.
The Future of the Quarterback Position
Another common thought amongst fan regards what the overall timeline for Jones would be. With Newton currently on a one-year contract, the rookie could see the field as soon as the 2022 season. It’s really all about how he performs in practice, however. We know NFL teams are comfortable sitting their first-round quarterbacks for over a year (see Jordan Love). If Newton were to depart in free agency next year, one would expect Jones to win the job in 2022. We already know that he is a smart football player, and it is obvious he learns offenses to the letter. If he can continue this trait in New England, he’ll certainly be ready for 2022.
Was This Truly Belichick’s Guy?
The final talking point is the idea of whether Belichick was hooked on picking Jones or if it was more of a forced marriage. The Patriots did not trade up to select a sliding Justin Fields, much to many fans’ dismay. Instead, New England stood pat and selected the future of their franchise without having to make any trades. This made it seem like the Patriots were heavily interested in Jones. To further support this point, Belichick only went to one pro day, personally. That pro day was Jones’ at Alabama.
Speaking of Alabama, how about the relationship between coach Belichick and Nick Saban? This is probably the most well-known relationship between two head coaches in all of football. There is almost no doubt that Saban sold Belichick on this pick. To fully answer the aforementioned question, yes, Belichick definitely wanted this pick. It was not something that the rest of the organization forced on him. It was the pick he seemed to have wanted most, as he now gets to groom the guy to lead the final run in his coaching career.
Full Steam Ahead
When the commissioner called Jones’ name on draft-day, the future of the quarterback position for the Patriots was solidified. After a year of speculation on how they could ever come close to replacing Tom Brady, Belichick has found his guy. Jones will not play right away, but his time will certainly come and Patriots fans can finally breathe again knowing their team’s future is secure.