Patriots: Mac Jones may have edge in QB battle after anonymous revelation

Patriots QB Mac Jones and OC Josh McDaniels (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)
Patriots QB Mac Jones and OC Josh McDaniels (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports) /

When the New England Patriots used their first-round pick on Mac Jones, many fans expected he would be eased in as a rookie. What do we mean by that?

Well, Jones, assuming Cam Newton entered the season as the starter, would win the backup job during training camp, but would otherwise hold a clipboard and don a headset until the Patriots were ready to hand him the keys of the offense.

In a shocking turn of events, however, it seems like New England has already taken off the kid gloves regarding their management of Jones.

Per the latest buzz, Jones and Newton are set for a true competition for the starting job once training camp gets underway in a few weeks.

Not only that, but, according to an anonymous teammate, the way Jones reads the game aligns with that of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

If that doesn’t give Jones a leg up on Newton, we’re not sure what will.

Here’s what NFL Network insider Mike Giardi had to say about Jones and how much he’s impressed the Patriots’ coaching staff this offseason.

"“But after an uneven campaign with Newton under center, a legit competition is on tap for the summer of ’21, especially after what we witnessed this spring, with rookie Mac Jones looking every bit the part of the first-round draft pick he is.“The 22-year old out of Alabama was fast-tracked during the course of OTAs and mandatory minicamp, on a number of occasions getting more reps than the incumbent Newton and, up until the final day of minicamp, looking better than Cam.”"

It’d be unfair not to mention that Newton was battling a hand injury at the start of minicamp, so perhaps the former MVP’s mechanics were on the fritz while he was underperforming. However, the fact Jones is garnering praise for his ability to pick up the playbook proves he’s not only still in the fight, but he might have the lead after the first few rounds.

The only hiccup concerning the Alabama product during OTAs and minicamp is that he’s been trying to speed up the game. That’s normal for a rookie quarterback, but once Jones starts letting the game come to him, Giardi believes he could really threaten for the starting job.

However, Newton won’t go quietly into the night. We’re talking about one of the most fierce competitors the NFL has to offer and the 31-year-old star proved that on the final day of minicamp, when he enjoyed arguably his best practice in a Patriots uniform.

There are just so many factors to consider. However, following the quote that claimed Jones and McDaniels see eye to eye in terms of how they read the game, fans would be hard-pressed to believe the the 22-year-old won’t give Newton all he can handle during training camp.