Patriots Talk: Cam Newton damaged his case this week. How much?

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NBC Sports Boston 24 August, 2021 - 07:22pm 18 views

Why Cam Newton isn't playing?

Patriots Camp Live: Newton to miss practice due to 'misinterpretation' of NFL COVID rules. FOXBORO – Cam Newton will miss most of this week's Patriots practices due to a misinterpretation of NFL rules regarding COVID-19 testing. The Providence JournalPatriots Camp Live: Newton to miss practice due to 'misinterpretation' of NFL COVID rules

Given the recent developments with incumbent Cam Newton and his "misunderstanding" of COVID-19 protocols, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry wonder if rookie Mac Jones has an opportunity to win the starting job in Newton's absence this week.

"Cam had a chance to build off two really good days last week," Curran said. "That's gone."

Perry said that those two days -- one a joint practice with the Philadelphia Eagles, the other a preseason game -- should still be a part of the overall evaluation of Newton, but agrees that any momentum Newton had built up is gone.

Should Jones supplant Newton atop the depth chart, will missing practice time due to a breach of protocols qualify as an excuse?

Curran rattled off a laundry list of other excuses that have been made for Newton during his stint in New England, including his shoulder, (lack of) weapons, contracting COVID-19 early last season, etc.

"This, to me, provides the latest excuse for him in the Cam Newton excuse generating machine," Curran said.

When Newton is eligible to return to practice Thursday, Perry said he'll be "very surprised" if he is still QB1, noting that it's not like he was automatically receiving the majority of first team reps even before this week.

"Given what we know about this team, that dependability is more important than ability," he said. "Everybody needs to establish their level."

Curran said that it's the perfect time for the Patriots to make the move to Jones.

Also discussed in the new episode: Is not being vaccinated a legitimate reason for demotion? Perry also shares his thoughts on how Jones has looked at practice without Newton the last two days.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: 

Read full article at NBC Sports Boston

Rich Eisen: Unvaccinated Cam Newton “Not Doing Everything to Win” for Patriots | The Rich Eisen Show

The Rich Eisen Show 25 August, 2021 - 08:30am

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New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels may have put an end to the discussion of who is going to be the starting quarterback for the team Week 1.

Both veteran Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones have been impressive through two games of the preseason, which is why head coach Bill Belichick hasn’t announced who will be under center when the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins. During a video conference call on Sunday, McDaniels was asked if he knows who will start and when the decision will be made.

"I think that decision from Bill [Belichick] will be made when the time is right to make it," McDaniels said via audacy.com. "Cam [Newton] certainly is the starter now, and he has done a good job. He has gone in there, he played well the other night. He’s practiced well. But, I know those guys are really competing hard and we’re giving them an opportunity to compete and play a lot of football."

McDaniels said that he is focused on the offense’s improvement.

"We need to be able to play consistently well. We need to communicate well. We need to make good decisions. We need to throw the ball accurately. We need to protect the football and not give it away," McDaniels explained. "To me, I look at those guys in the same light in regards to what we’re trying to accomplish. Ultimately, when any decision is made based on who is going to play more or less on our team, those decisions will be made when the time is right and we’re going to go forward and try and play the best we can."

McDaniels added that he’s been happy with the effort put forth by the quarterback position. He realizes that there’s still a long way to go, but he is pleased with the progress and improvement being made.

"Everything isn’t perfect. We still have a long way to go and things we can work on and improve and make better, but I think the desire to do it, the way we want to do it to the standard that we’re trying to hold them to I think is right where we want it to be," McDaniels said.

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Patriots Training Camp: Cam Newton's Absence Opens Door For Mac Jones

NESN 25 August, 2021 - 08:30am

Will he begin the season with Newton under center? Or will he move the rookie to the top of the depth chart by Week 1?

Belichick obviously maintains the final say on what happens with everything football-related in Foxborough. But thanks to his incumbent starter, it might not be so difficult for him to make a decision about who deserves the QB1 role. And if Jones takes advantage of Newton’s costly off-field mistake, the Patriots should be considered a legitimate threat to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 56.

Once Belichick made Jones the 15th player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, the clock started on Newton’s tenure as the Patriots’ starting quarterback. Coming off a season in which he threw only eight touchdown passes, the 2015 MVP must prove he still deserves to sit atop the depth chart. While the veteran has performed well in training camp and New England’s first two preseason games, that doesn’t mean Newton can rest on his laurels.

After all, he has to fend off a promising prospect who profiles as a picture-perfect fit for the Patriots’ quick-hitting passing attack.

Although Jones won’t blow anyone away from a height-weight-speed perspective, it’s clear the 6-foot-3, 216-pound rookie has the tools needed to succeed in New England. The 22-year-old has shown impressive command of the offense for someone who joined the organization less than six months ago. Jones may not have a touchdown pass on his preseason resume, but his accuracy and poise in the pocket have stood out during his first two official appearances in an NFL uniform.

Needless to say, Belichick has a difficult decision to make that carries major ramifications for his team.

With the team’s top draft pick nipping at his heels, Newton can’t afford to have any setbacks this summer.

Unfortunately for the 32-year-old quarterback, his costly off-field mistake just opened the door for Jones to steal his job.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Newton will remain away from the team until Thursday due to a “misunderstanding” on COVID-19 tests conducted away from NFL facilities. The Patriots released a statement regarding the matter.

“He received daily Covid tests, which were all negative. Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility,” the statement read.

With Newton unavailable, Jones has a chance to cement his case as QB1. Instead of having to take a backseat to the veteran in practice, the talented rookie should see the majority of the reps with the first-team offense until his teammate returns. If Jones takes advantage of getting to work with starting-caliber weapons and a stellar offensive line, he could make Belichick think long and hard about sticking by Newton.

Considering how well the rookie has played while mostly operating with backups and fringe NFL players, it’s exciting to think about the prospect of him throwing to the tight end tandem of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith and New England’s new wide receiver duo of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Jones has a golden opportunity to convince the Patriots he deserves to unseat Newton over the next few days, and that could change the entire outlook of New England’s upcoming season.

Belichick obviously has a ton of respect for Newton. Perhaps that has to do with the fact he knows he didn’t set the veteran up for success in 2020. After all, anyone who watched New England’s offense a season ago could see Newton didn’t have enough starting-caliber weapons.

However, by going all-in during free agency, Belichick made significant upgrades to a talent-deficient unit.

And that’s exactly why he needs to hand the keys to his rookie quarterback.

Newton may offer “upside” as a runner, but he’s nowhere near the same athlete he was during his days with the Carolina Panthers. He still shows bouts of inconsistencies as a passer, and his skill set doesn’t exactly align with what the Patriots have done on offense for the last two decades.

Meanwhile, Jones looks smooth, confident, and fully capable of running the same system that helped bring out the best in Tom Brady. He doesn’t have elite skill players to throw to like he did at Alabama, but he has a solid group of pass-catching options that includes Henry, Smith, Agholor, Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers. Plus, the Patriots have a ridiculously deep collection of running backs and a starting offensive line that features the talented tackle tandem of Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown and the imposing interior trio of Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, and Shaq Mason.

So, even though Jones doesn’t have a DeVonta Smith-type receiver to rely upon in New England, he does have a strong supporting cast, an excellent offensive coordinator, and the greatest coach in NFL history on his side.

Even though it might pain Bill Belichick to keep Cam Newton on the sidelines, the Patriots need to roll with their rookie quarterback if they want to maximize their potential on offense.

And if Mac Jones reaches his ceiling, the Lombardi Trophy might make its way back to Foxborough sooner than later.

Will he begin the season with Newton under center? Or will he move the rookie to the top of the depth chart by Week 1?

Belichick obviously maintains the final say on what happens with everything football-related in Foxborough. But thanks to his incumbent starter, it might not be so difficult for him to make a decision about who deserves the QB1 role. And if Jones takes advantage of Newton’s costly off-field mistake, the Patriots should be considered a legitimate threat to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 56.

Once Belichick made Jones the 15th player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, the clock started on Newton’s tenure as the Patriots’ starting quarterback. Coming off a season in which he threw only eight touchdown passes, the 2015 MVP must prove he still deserves to sit atop the depth chart. While the veteran has performed well in training camp and New England’s first two preseason games, that doesn’t mean Newton can rest on his laurels.

After all, he has to fend off a promising prospect who profiles as a picture-perfect fit for the Patriots’ quick-hitting passing attack.

Although Jones won’t blow anyone away from a height-weight-speed perspective, it’s clear the 6-foot-3, 216-pound rookie has the tools needed to succeed in New England. The 22-year-old has shown impressive command of the offense for someone who joined the organization less than six months ago. Jones may not have a touchdown pass on his preseason resume, but his accuracy and poise in the pocket have stood out during his first two official appearances in an NFL uniform.

Needless to say, Belichick has a difficult decision to make that carries major ramifications for his team.

With the team’s top draft pick nipping at his heels, Newton can’t afford to have any setbacks this summer.

Unfortunately for the 32-year-old quarterback, his costly off-field mistake just opened the door for Jones to steal his job.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Newton will remain away from the team until Thursday due to a “misunderstanding” on COVID-19 tests conducted away from NFL facilities. The Patriots released a statement regarding the matter.

“He received daily Covid tests, which were all negative. Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility,” the statement read.

With Newton unavailable, Jones has a chance to cement his case as QB1. Instead of having to take a backseat to the veteran in practice, the talented rookie should see the majority of the reps with the first-team offense until his teammate returns. If Jones takes advantage of getting to work with starting-caliber weapons and a stellar offensive line, he could make Belichick think long and hard about sticking by Newton.

Considering how well the rookie has played while mostly operating with backups and fringe NFL players, it’s exciting to think about the prospect of him throwing to the tight end tandem of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith and New England’s new wide receiver duo of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Jones has a golden opportunity to convince the Patriots he deserves to unseat Newton over the next few days, and that could change the entire outlook of New England’s upcoming season.

Belichick obviously has a ton of respect for Newton. Perhaps that has to do with the fact he knows he didn’t set the veteran up for success in 2020. After all, anyone who watched New England’s offense a season ago could see Newton didn’t have enough starting-caliber weapons.

However, by going all-in during free agency, Belichick made significant upgrades to a talent-deficient unit.

And that’s exactly why he needs to hand the keys to his rookie quarterback.

Newton may offer “upside” as a runner, but he’s nowhere near the same athlete he was during his days with the Carolina Panthers. He still shows bouts of inconsistencies as a passer, and his skill set doesn’t exactly align with what the Patriots have done on offense for the last two decades.

Meanwhile, Jones looks smooth, confident, and fully capable of running the same system that helped bring out the best in Tom Brady. He doesn’t have elite skill players to throw to like he did at Alabama, but he has a solid group of pass-catching options that includes Henry, Smith, Agholor, Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers. Plus, the Patriots have a ridiculously deep collection of running backs and a starting offensive line that features the talented tackle tandem of Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown and the imposing interior trio of Michael Onwenu, David Andrews, and Shaq Mason.

So, even though Jones doesn’t have a DeVonta Smith-type receiver to rely upon in New England, he does have a strong supporting cast, an excellent offensive coordinator, and the greatest coach in NFL history on his side.

Even though it might pain Bill Belichick to keep Cam Newton on the sidelines, the Patriots need to roll with their rookie quarterback if they want to maximize their potential on offense.

And if Mac Jones reaches his ceiling, the Lombardi Trophy might make its way back to Foxborough sooner than later.

Patriots: Bill Belichick’s comments on Cam Newton situation seem fishy

Musket Fire 25 August, 2021 - 03:00am

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Accusing the New England Patriots of nefarious conspiratorial behavior is nothing new over the last 20 years, and it’s understandably frustrating for fans to have to hear and read about it so often.

We really hate to beat the dead horse, but we can’t help but question the bizarre situation surrounding Cam Newton. A “misunderstanding” has the former MVP away from the team until at least Thursday.

Newton traveled to a “Patriots-approved” medical appointment outside of the New England area, but the manner in which he conducted the COVID tests did not align with the NFL’s new protocols.

Really? One of the most calculated organizations that spend endless attention to detail couldn’t ensure this trip would go smoothly for Newton?

Mistakes happen. Human error is perhaps more prevalent than ever. But Bill Belichick? The Patriot Way? When do we see rudimentary stuff like this slip through the cracks? Again, no accusations here … but something seems off.

And now Belichick is offering some vague/bizarre commentary about the whole ordeal which has us thinking … conspiracy!

Why can’t we elaborate further on the “misunderstanding”? It sure is classic Belichick not to divulge any further into a topic regardless of its magnitude, but what’s equally bizarre is that he managed to speak loudly on the ripple effect Newton’s situation has on the QB competition.

So instead of providing some insight with regard to what happened with Newton, since the new COVID protocols are going to affect every NFL team all season long, Belichick goes ahead and stokes the QB1 flames and offers a window for rookie Mac Jones to make his presence known over the next few days.

You know what we’re getting at, but we’re not going to say it. The context clues are enough. The decision to speak on one of the two topics says a lot.

And not too long after this news broke, reports surfaced suggesting that the Patriots were “frustrated” with Newton over this situation, which kind of aligns with Belichick’s comments on Jones now having an “opportunity” with the veteran on the shelf.

The shelf they kind of, sort of put him on.

The Patriots don’t play the Giants until 6 p.m. on Sunday, but it’s unclear if Newton will be ready by then. For now, Jones has a few days to prove to the coaching staff he’s capable of handling starting duties … which might be what the team wants considering they drafted him after they signed Newton and have been supportive of the rookie all offseason long.

Is it possible the stench of Newton’s 2020 season has yet to dissipate with his performance in training camp and throughout August? Again, just posing a question, because a lot seems “off” here.

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