For the second consecutive offseason, the New England Patriots are set on having an open quarterback competition at training camp.
While last year’s battle between Cam Newton and 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham didn’t have much juice — it was always expected Newton would win — this year has a much different feel after the Patriots used the No. 15 overall pick on Mac Jones.
Jones has been all the rage since the draft, impressing during OTAs and being the first player on the field for practice during minicamp.
This dedication fits right into the “Patriot Way,” and you better believe the coaching staff has taken note of it.
Like any rookie, however, Jones has flaws that will be exposed during training camp, ones that could potentially decide who wins the starting job. With that in mind, what exactly does Jones need to show if he stands a chance at supplanting Newton for the gig of a lifetime?
What does Mac Jones have to do to win the starting job?
3. Show Command of the Offense
Jones has received nothing but rave reviews from his teammates and coaching staff, suggesting he isn’t having a problem winning them over since the draft.
That’s great news. However, where quarterbacks really make their presence felt and start developing the respect and admiration of their teammates is during the pre-snap huddle and having a full understanding of the playbook. Translation: Jones must be confident.
Mac Jones’ confidence could be a turning point at training camp.
Walking into the most decorated franchise in the NFL can be a lot to handle for a rookie quarterback, even one that hails from Alabama’s prestigious program. If Jones doesn’t exude confidence and shows any form of apprehension, he’ll be doomed.
After all, this is where Newton thrives. For all his flaws as a passer, good luck finding a better motivator and leader at the quarterback position. The 32-year-old star has all the intangibles required to be a franchise QB and Jones can learn a thing or two from him.
From taking ownership of your mistakes or picking up teammates after a dropped pass, Newton passes all the leadership tests both on and off the field. If he runs circles around Jones in this regard during training camp, the No. 15 overall pick can kiss his chances of winning the starting job goodbye.