Bill Belichick may have a tough decision to make about his quarterback for the 2021 NFL season. Belichick re-signed Cam Newton after a rough season and drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones after a tremendous college season. They will likely be the top competitors in a group which also includes Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.
Belichick seemed slightly more certain about the quarterback competition when he drafted Jones in April. Belichick said “Cam is our quarterback.” On Tuesday, the day before training camp, Belichick seemed to have shifted his tone when asked about the competition.
“Until we go out there, it’s pretty much a clean slate,” Belichick said in a videoconference call Tuesday.
The Patriots coach chose to answer the question with general answers that spoke more to the competition around the entire team, rather than just at the quarterback spot.
“Every one of us has to go out and establish our level of performance in whatever our role or capacity is,” he said. “It’s a new season. We’ve done some things in the spring, but this is really the start of our season in terms of the team-building part in training camp. We all have a lot of work here. That includes all of us.”
Jones may end up following in the footsteps of the many first-round quarterbacks who start during their rookie year. That may be the expectation externally. Belichick said he’s “not really big on expectations.”
“We’ll go out there and continue, as I said, the process we started in the spring and see how all the players and our team comes along and see how it fits together,” Belichick said.
The Patriots hold their first training camp practice on Wednesday.