If we would have told you during preseason camp that Mac Jones would be the Patriots‘ starting quarterback for Week 1 and Cam Newton wouldn’t even on the team, few would have believed us. But such are the circumstances in New England entering the 2021 season.
Jones, who has yet to throw a pass in an actual NFL regular-season game, will lead the Patriots’ offense this season. He won over Bill Belichick and the New England coaching staff in a hurry and sparked the Patriots’ decision to get rid of Newton. It was bound to happen eventually, but no one could have anticipated it happening this quickly.
Jones didn’t just win over Belichick and the coaching staff, though. He started gaining respect from his teammates early on during preseason camp. That support grew in a hurry, thanks to Jones’ commitment to the game and his improved play ahead of Week 1.
Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith had plenty of praise for Jones during his press conference on Monday.
“He’s earned it,” Smith said of Jones. “A great guy off the field. We’re ready to ride with him.”
Jonnu Smith on Mac Jones: “He’s earned it. A great guy off the field. We’re ready to ride with him.” pic.twitter.com/FCKAeB8N29
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 6, 2021
Mac Jones allows the Patriots to do what they want on offense. Cam Newton didn’t. It boiled down to Jones’ abilities compared to Newton’s.
The former Alabama star drives the ball downfield and does so with accuracy. That alone should elevate the Patriots offense which struggled with Newton under center last season.
Jones and the Patriots begin the 2021 season this Sunday, Sept. 12 against the Miami Dolphins at 4:25 p.m. ET.