- Samuel Rodriguez
Patriots:The Rookie V.S The Vet
Foxborough- The New England Patriots find themselves in a tricky situation when it comes to the Quarterback slot.
We haven’t seen a QB battle in New England for a long time. The last time this happened was back when Tom Brady took over in 2001 for an injured Drew Bledsoe. After that the rest is history. This is the second year that the Patriots have been without Brady and now must find their new starting QB. Now we see the Patriots juggling two guys with starting caliber, first round pick Mac Jones and Veteran Cam Newton.
Jones in college had a great junior season at the University of Alabama. Playing under the great Nick Saben, Jones had 4500 passing yards, 41 touchdowns with a passing percentage of 77.4%. Leading the NCAA in passing yards, completion percentage and being number two in touchdowns.
Jones has gained a grasp of the playbook very fast and has been getting most of the OTA reps this offseason. Newton did not see more reps until the final day of minicamp. Jones still showed some rookie mistakes, but can you blame him? The Patriots system is not something you learn overnight; we have seen top tier players fail in this system. This makes it very exciting that Jones picked it up very quickly.
According to players in the Patriots camp, the Pats have thrown everything at jones, “Mac sees the game the way Josh McDaniel’s sees it.” A lot of players still believe Jones has a lot to prove which is a valid statement. Jones is still a rookie and has yet to see a real NFL down. Multiple players on the Patriots have stated that Jones is living up to his name and hype. “Good energy. Awesome guy. Can feel his leadership already.” Pats WR Kendrick Bourne had to say.
While Jones is showing great potential, Newton is not standing down. Newton had a rough season last year as he had no offense to help him. Learning a new playbook in a year after an injury is not an easy task, especially the Patriots system. According to media reports, the last day of camp Newton looked amazing and reminded players and coaches of who he was and still can be.
The question is how long will it take for Jones to become a starter if not right away? Most people believe Newton will be starting just off of the experience alone, but Jones is not that far behind.