Pats Preseason: Catch-All Thread

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Eddie Jurak

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Ok. So has he ever confirmed a week 1 starter prior to the first preseason game even being played?
Not that I know if, but I would include his statement about Cam as not a confirmation that he is the Week 1 starter.

He's the August 1 starter. That's not meaningless, but it's not a guarantee of anything.
 

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I do wonder whether we will see games where both of them play, by design. Newton ran for almost 600 years and 12 touchdowns in a down year for the Patriots where opposing teams basically knew what was coming. Although job sharing at the QB position seems like it would be anathema to Belichick, maybe we'll see it this year.
If we've learned anything about Belichick over 20+ years, it's that he changes based on conditions on the ground and doesn't give a fuck what the media and fans think about his decision-making. If, for whatever reason, job sharing is what he thinks is best for the team and winning games, then that's what he'll do. This is a guy who has almost tried anything. 4-3, 3-4, bend-dont-break, cover-0 jailbreaks...not a big free agent spender, biggest FA spender of all offseasons, we could cite complete switches of philosophy on offense and defense all day. Nothing should surprise us about BFB anymore.
 

Captaincoop

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Ok. So has he ever confirmed a week 1 starter prior to the first preseason game even being played?

I suppose theres limited sample size, but I couldnt imagine that happening with any other player in 21 years.
I don't understand what you're trying to say. All he said is that Newton is the starter right now, in August, with no games for over a month.

The scenario you described certainly could play out, but nothing Bill said is unexpected or indicates much of anything about who will start game 1, let alone all year.
 

simplyeric

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If we've learned anything about Belichick over 20+ years, it's that he changes based on conditions on the ground and doesn't give a fuck what the media and fans think about his decision-making. If, for whatever reason, job sharing is what he thinks is best for the team and winning games, then that's what he'll do. This is a guy who has almost tried anything. 4-3, 3-4, bend-dont-break, cover-0 jailbreaks...not a big free agent spender, biggest FA spender of all offseasons, we could cite complete switches of philosophy on offense and defense all day. Nothing should surprise us about BFB anymore.
Wouldn’t surprise me if he thought he could actually figure out the wildcat, or just invent something new.
i still think he’s LOVE to turn QB potlstion into a more fungible role.
 

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I don't understand what you're trying to say. All he said is that Newton is the starter right now, in August, with no games for over a month.

The scenario you described certainly could play out, but nothing Bill said is unexpected or indicates much of anything about who will start game 1, let alone all year.
I disagree. The answer BB gave to the direct question posed goes a long way to informing us who the starter is.

When asked if he has an ideal time frame for naming a starter to get ready for the regular season, Belichick seemed to reject the premise of the question.

"No," he answered. "I mean, Cam's our starting quarterback. I think I've said that."
"do you have a timeframe for naming your starting QB for week 1?"

"Cams our starting quarterback. I've already said that."

I'm not sure how that can be confused. And after 20+ years of Belichick, I dont think it gets anymore direct than that.

He elaborated and basically said he would do what's best for the team based on performance. I think if you couple his treatment with Cam last season - never wavering once on him despite plenty of consternation as the season fizzled out - coupled with him repeating twice this offseason that Cam is the starter, I dont see anyway that Mac gets in this season unless Cam completely implodes.

Again, were giving opinions and trying to predict an uncertain longterm future. But for the short term? I think its pretty clear who starts game 1.
 

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Ok, I understand better what you're basing your position on now.

That being said, later in the same interview Belichick said:

"I'm sure it'll be a hard decision," he said. "We'll see how it goes. Let them play and try to do what we feel like is best for the team based on their performance.

That sounds very clearly like there is a legit competition going on.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I disagree. The answer BB gave to the direct question posed goes a long way to informing us who the starter is.

"do you have a timeframe for naming your starting QB for week 1?"

"Cams our starting quarterback. I've already said that."

I'm not sure how that can be confused. And after 20+ years of Belichick, I dont think it gets anymore direct than that.
What I see is BB doing what BB does: not answer directly. He's been doing it for 20 years.

I do think it is fair to infer that, all things equal, Cam will be starting game 1. It's not an even competition, in other words. But like anything else Belichick says it is subject to change. Cam can play his way out of the job during camp and Jones can potentially play his way in.
 

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Through all the apparent obfuscation and avoidance, I think it is safe to say that BB's overriding philosophy, his backbone behind all his decisions, is "do what's best for the team." My sense is that in his heart, he sees Cam as the starter until Mac can prove, in all situations, that he is gives the team the better chance to win. When that happens, there will be a change. I don't think we will really have a sense that this might change until the 2nd preseason game.

Speaking of, in the recent past, it has become pretty much accepted wisdom that the third PS game is the one that gives the most run to the Game 1 starters, with the 4th PS game being a game of rest for all those who are assured of making the roster. So with only 3 PS games, will the first 3 go as they have gone in the past and that final PS game, which tends to be really about discovering guys who might make the practice squad, be eliminated? Or will PS-2 be the new PS-3 and PS-3 become the practice squad competition game?
 

54thMA

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Through all the apparent obfuscation and avoidance, I think it is safe to say that BB's overriding philosophy, his backbone behind all his decisions, is "do what's best for the team." My sense is that in his heart, he sees Cam as the starter until Mac can prove, in all situations, that he is gives the team the better chance to win. When that happens, there will be a change. I don't think we will really have a sense that this might change until the 2nd preseason game.

Speaking of, in the recent past, it has become pretty much accepted wisdom that the third PS game is the one that gives the most run to the Game 1 starters, with the 4th PS game being a game of rest for all those who are assured of making the roster. So with only 3 PS games, will the first 3 go as they have gone in the past and that final PS game, which tends to be really about discovering guys who might make the practice squad, be eliminated? Or will PS-2 be the new PS-3 and PS-3 become the practice squad competition game?
I would think they'd stick to the old schedule and game three is the one that gives the most run to the game one starters; there is a two week gap between the last preseason game and the first game, so that will give teams two weeks to make final evaluations and get the team ready,

I can't see them going from one series in game one for the starters, then the first half and the first series in the second half to the starters in game two, then all the players fighting it out for jobs in game three.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the way I see it.
 

Shaky Walton

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I don't see Bill's answer as being complicated.

As of now, Cam is the starter. But it's not as if it's Tom Brady and Rohan Davey in the QB room. Given Mac's promise and how he has performed thus far, Bill's line about it being a "hard decision" and, simply put, there is something to decide, tells us that Cam is in the pole position right now, but the race is not over.

I doubt Bill feels the need to make THE decision by the end of training camp. That is, of course, a natural time to decide, but as others have pointed out, Bill will always do what he thinks is best for the team. That could mean that he makes a decision at that position, and moves from Cam to Mac as the starter, at really any time.

To me, what's noteworthy about all of this is not that he clearly said that Cam is the starter. He had indeed already said that. It's that he acknowledged that it will be a hard decision at that position. If I was Cam Newton, that admission would concern me more than the starter comment would make me happy.

Then again, Cam knows that with Bill, everything is always subject to change, and that knowledge would temper my upset.
 

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Through all the apparent obfuscation and avoidance, I think it is safe to say that BB's overriding philosophy, his backbone behind all his decisions, is "do what's best for the team." My sense is that in his heart, he sees Cam as the starter until Mac can prove, in all situations, that he is gives the team the better chance to win. When that happens, there will be a change. I don't think we will really have a sense that this might change until the 2nd preseason game.
I also think that he knows how he has feasted on rookie QBs- even really good ones (see Herbert, Justin... a 43.7/9.2 rating/QBR against the Pats last year) , and really wants to avoid putting his team in the situation of counting on a rookie QB .
 

Harry Hooper

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I also think that he knows how he has feasted on rookie QBs- even really good ones (see Herbert, Justin... a 43.7/9.2 rating/QBR against the Pats last year) , and really wants to avoid putting his team in the situation of counting on a rookie QB .
Plus, he might want a rookie QB to actually experience some actual NFL games up close from the sideline before sending him out onto the field.
 

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Plus, he might want a rookie QB to actually experience some actual NFL games up close from the sideline before sending him out onto the field.
You're both right about this part. I'd be shocked as all hell to see Mac before October, absent a Cam injury. Even if Bill is 100% convinced that Mac is a better thrower and knows the offense as well as Cam, the lack of experience reading pro defenses as a rookie is a frightening concept. Cam probably saw more pressure last year than Mac saw in his entire college tenure.

If Cam lays a bunch of eggs in weeks 1-4, Bill will certainly recalibrate. But I'm sure that the thought of handing his offense to a child worries him.
 
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I'd be pretty surprised - pleasantly - if Mac starts Game One, so I think the apparent consensus here is spot on. Cam opens the season. I'd be really surprised - and not at all pleasantly - if Mac red-shirts his rookie season. I think the combination of Cam's performance being similar-ish to what we saw last year and the fact that they'll want to see what they have in Mac will result in our seeing Mac for at least a quarter of the year. That's my best guess on August 1, anyway.

EDIT: Typos
 

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I'd be pretty surprised - pleasantly - if Mac starts Game One, so I think the apparent consensus here is spot on. Cam opens the season. I'd be really surprised - and not at all pleasantly - if Mac red-shirts his rookie season. I think the combination of Cam's performance being similar-ish to what we saw last year and the fact that they'll want to see what they have in Mac will result in our seeing Mac for at least a quarter of the year. That's my best guess on August 1, anyway.

EDIT: Typos
You’re very close to why I’m comfortable with the QB situation. If Mac plays, it will be because he’s done well enough in BB’s andJosh’s mind to warrant him beginning his career and not because Cam sucks. The reverse is a panic move by people who aren’t secure in their position. That definitely isn’t this crew.

A corollary to this discussion is this: does the old adage of “there’s no going back once you start Mac” apply to BB? If not, why?
 

Eddie Jurak

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I disagree. The answer BB gave to the direct question posed goes a long way to informing us who the starter is.

"do you have a timeframe for naming your starting QB for week 1?"

"Cams our starting quarterback. I've already said that."

I'm not sure how that can be confused. And after 20+ years of Belichick, I dont think it gets anymore direct than that.
I'm coming back to this because I've been thinking about it more.

I think BB's comment here should be taken as him stating the reality of the situation. It's hard for a rookie QB - even a highly drafted one - to win an starting NFL job in his training camp. Belichick's comment is an acknowledgment of that. Heck, during training camp 2001, BB surely already had an inkling that Tom Brady (then in his second camp with BB's Pats) was the guy he wanted at QB long term. Even though he brought in someone else to back up Bledsoe (Damon Huard), Brady won the backup job in that camp. But he didn't dislodge Bledsoe as the starter until Bledsoe's horrific injury.

The situations are not exactly the same: Bledsoe was a more established fixture in New England than Newton is, Newton has obvious limitatins in running the type of offense BB is used to, Jones was a high draft pick and more highly regarded rookie than Brady, although by Brady's second year Belichick had a lot more time with him in the system.

All in all, Jones has a long way to go to pass Newton, probably too long of a way to go in a single training camp. I think it is totally fair to read that into BB's remark.
He elaborated and basically said he would do what's best for the team based on performance. I think if you couple his treatment with Cam last season - never wavering once on him despite plenty of consternation as the season fizzled out - coupled with him repeating twice this offseason that Cam is the starter, I dont see anyway that Mac gets in this season unless Cam completely implodes.

Again, were giving opinions and trying to predict an uncertain longterm future. But for the short term? I think its pretty clear who starts game 1.
What I don't think BB was doing was giving any assurances or guarantees to Newton. BB didn't commit to Newton for week 1. I take his comment and his elaboration as meaning that if the season started today Cam would start, when the season does start for real it will probably be Cam. I took you as saying that BB was handing Cam the starting job rather than predicting the likely outcome of training camp. But that might not have been your point.

I would not rely too heavily on BB's not wavering on Cam last year, though. That could be viewed as more of a statement about his alternatives (Stidham and Hoyer) than a statement about Cam.
 

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Ok, I understand better what you're basing your position on now.

That being said, later in the same interview Belichick said:

"I'm sure it'll be a hard decision," he said. "We'll see how it goes. Let them play and try to do what we feel like is best for the team based on their performance.

That sounds very clearly like there is a legit competition going on.
FWIW, the "hard decision" comment was earlier in the interview (actually the question before), not later.

You’re very close to why I’m comfortable with the QB situation. If Mac plays, it will be because he’s done well enough in BB’s andJosh’s mind to warrant him beginning his career and not because Cam sucks. The reverse is a panic move by people who aren’t secure in their position. That definitely isn’t this crew.
I agree with this. I think we saw last year, not just at QB but at other positions (TE, WR), he's not going to change things up just because the starter is struggling and he wants to change things up; the backup has to show something during the week to suggest he might be better.
 

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Based on what I am seeing, am I overstating it to say that Quinn Nordin has a legitimate chance at winning the starting kicking gig? Feels like a 50:50 situation ?
 

Harry Hooper

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Based on what I am seeing, am I overstating it to say that Quinn Nordin has a legitimate chance at winning the starting kicking gig? Feels like a 50:50 situation ?
Bedard thinks he's looked awful to date. From yesterday, "Quinn Nordin is not making the team over Nick Folk. I would be more than stunned."
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I'm OK with being on an island on this one. In fact, I hope I'm wrong.

I've made clear since halfway through last year that I was over the Newton experiment. I dont think the overall offense was as bad as people thought, but that team could not get into a hole and survive. I thought it would be fun to see how a new offense played after so many years of Brady. The first few weeks were fun, and then it wasnt.

This offense, however, is now tailored to Cam. Like, they literally spent the offseason building it for Cam.

A fucking MONSTER offensive line. Decent depth at RB. Big TE targets that can block, catch inaccurate throws, but also feast in the middle where the inaccuracy should be less of an issue. A deep threat who will probably not have a ton of yards, but will get enough looks to command help over the top, opening up those tight ends more.

This offense was made for Newton. The back 7 is going to have to turn their backs to cover the seams and the top of the defense. Itll have to spread to the sideline to protect against James White, crossing slot receivers like Bourne, and out/option routes by the tight ends.

Hes going to have room to scramble and improvise. Alot. Of course, all of those things are useful for any QB. But even more so for a guy that leans on primary options and then improvising.

All of that is to say, the Patriots spent alot of time and money creating a flexible offense that sure seems tailored to someone like Cam. 1st option, RPO, spread the field - horizontally and vertically - for space to improvise.

Between the offseasons roster construction, BB never wavering last season, bringing him back (and even though he probably wasnt highly desired, it says something that he came back to continue to build back his reputation), stating emphatically twice - once when directly asked about naming a week 1 starter - that Cam was the starter...I dunno. I'm surprised that I'm the only one that's put these puzzle pieces together as a clear vote of confidence for Cam.

Again, if he sucks? Of course hes out. But they're going to give him plenty of rope on this. My bet is theyre competing for a playoff spot and Cam starts every game unless injured. If he stinks, I still dont think you see Mac until week 10+. I mean, we were all bullish on the Patriots offseason and potential playoff roster well before they drafted Mac. I think the Patriots were, too. Drafting Mac was never about this year.
 
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Captaincoop

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KFP, that's not a bad analysis of the situation, and it could be that it all plays out that way. But I think you're somewhat underestimating the odds that Cam completely sucks despite the upgrades and gets the plug pulled much sooner.

Bill stuck with him last year way beyond where most of us wanted, because the alternative options were not legitimate options. Mac is going to at least be an NFL caliber QB, probably from day one.
 

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Bedard thinks he's looked awful to date. From yesterday, "Quinn Nordin is not making the team over Nick Folk. I would be more than stunned."
Interesting. Other reporters have seemed impressed with him.

That also sort of sucks as I was hoping desperately for an upgrade over a player I think was mediocre at best and fading
 

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I think there’s a case to be made that this offense is tailored for Cam, but all those points could apply to giving a rookie QB the beat chance to play game manager. And Mac appears to be able to be able to throw to the right side of the field.

I think Coop has is right. We know what Cam is. Can he be 25% better? Maybe, but he’s still a bottom third QB at this point. The only argument I can see for slow rolling Mac is if he needs time to develop so you don’t throw him to wolves too soon.
 

lexrageorge

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Interesting. Other reporters have seemed impressed with him.

That also sort of sucks as I was hoping desperately for an upgrade over a player I think was mediocre at best and fading
Bedard’s takes are not all that reliable anymore. All I can say is that Folk took all the kicks during the Friday practice I attended.
 

Harry Hooper

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Bedard’s takes are not all that reliable anymore. All I can say is that Folk took all the kicks during the Friday practice I attended.
FWIW, Bedard tabbed Nordin as one of the stars of minicamp but shaky in the more recent practices.
 

simplyeric

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I'm OK with being on an island on this one. In fact, I hope I'm wrong.

I've made clear since halfway through last year that I was over the Newton experiment. I dont think the overall offense was as bad as people thought, but that team could not get into a hole and survive. I thought it would be fun to see how a new offense played after so many years of Brady. The first few weeks were fun, and then it wasnt.

This offense, however, is now tailored to Cam. Like, they literally spent the offseason building it for Cam.

A fucking MONSTER offensive line. Decent depth at RB. Big TE targets that can block, catch inaccurate throws, but also feast in the middle where the inaccuracy should be less of an issue. A deep threat who will probably not have a ton of yards, but will get enough looks to command help over the top, opening up those tight ends more.

This offense was made for Newton. The back 7 is going to have to turn their backs to cover the seams and the top of the defense. Itll have to spread to the sideline to protect against James White, crossing slot receivers like Bourne, and out/option routes by the tight ends.

Hes going to have room to scramble and improvise. Alot. Of course, all of those things are useful for any QB. But even more so for a guy that leans on primary options and then improvising.

All of that is to say, the Patriots spent alot of time and money creating a flexible offense that sure seems tailored to someone like Cam. 1st option, RPO, spread the field - horizontally and vertically - for space to improvise.

Between the offseasons roster construction, BB never wavering last season, bringing him back (and even though he probably wasnt highly desired, it says something that he came back to continue to build back his reputation), stating emphatically twice - once when directly asked about naming a week 1 starter - that Cam was the starter...I dunno. I'm surprised that I'm the only one that's put these puzzle pieces together as a clear vote of confidence for Cam.

Again, if he sucks? Of course hes out. But they're going to give him plenty of rope on this. My bet is theyre competing for a playoff spot and Cam starts every game unless injured. If he stinks, I still dont think you see Mac until week 10+. I mean, we were all bullish on the Patriots offseason and potential playoff roster well before they drafted Mac. I think the Patriots were, too. Drafting Mac was never about this year.
I've been banging that drum for a while (or a pretty similar one)

(uncertain if that is any comfort to you)

BB has re-tooled this offense, yet again, this time based on a different set of skills and assets at QB. Even if it wasn't Cam, it wasn't going to be TB12 anyway. New assets, new strengths, new weaknesses. Last year was never going to be quite right...it was always going to be a bridge to this year, at least.

I'm excited to see how it all works. BB has had months to plan for this, and I think it has the potential to be something pretty interesting, if not quite "special". I feel like, regardless of how many games Cam or McCorkle or whoever actually QB's, we'll look back on the season to reflect on what BB was trying to do.
 

Eddie Jurak

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This offense, however, is now tailored to Cam. Like, they literally spent the offseason building it for Cam.

A fucking MONSTER offensive line. Decent depth at RB. Big TE targets that can block, catch inaccurate throws, but also feast in the middle where the inaccuracy should be less of an issue. A deep threat who will probably not have a ton of yards, but will get enough looks to command help over the top, opening up those tight ends more.

This offense was made for Newton. The back 7 is going to have to turn their backs to cover the seams and the top of the defense. Itll have to spread to the sideline to protect against James White, crossing slot receivers like Bourne, and out/option routes by the tight ends.
Literally all of this would be beneficial for Mac Jones as well as for Cam. An effective running game can be critical for a young QB. So can good receivers.
 

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Today's update

Numbers aside, this is good to see:

Jones then took over with the backup offensive line, noticed immediate pressure and hit Agholor on a quick hitch to the left side. More pressure a play later, and Jones strongly stepped up into the pocket, slid left and quickly took off to scramble for a gain when no one was open. Jones has shown off his quick feet and pocket mobility throughout the past week. He then hit Meyers on a slant against Bentley before hoping to find Olszewski on a longer-developing sideline route but saw more pressure and checked down to Bolden. Jones next cycled to what appeared to be his third read before hitting Agholor on a deep left out. Jones then led White too far on an option route before closing the period with a checkdown to Michel after more early pressure. Jones was an impressive 5 of 6 in the period, quickly diagnosing pressure before making the right throw. That was a good showing.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Literally all of this would be beneficial for Mac Jones as well as for Cam. An effective running game can be critical for a young QB. So can good receivers.
Of course, and I stated as much. But Macs strength is much more aligned to standard pocket QBs. Timing routes, progressing through his reads, etc. Is having good players around a QB a good thing? Of course. But they made all of these moves well before getting Mac, and it's easy to assume they did so with Cam in mind.

Edit: the above quote about his performance today highlights his strengths to a T.
 

Eddie Jurak

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But Macs strength is much more aligned to standard pocket QBs. Timing routes, progressing through his reads, etc. Is having good players around a QB a good thing? Of course. But they made all of these moves well before getting Mac, and it's easy to assume they did so with Cam in mind.
I guess I just look at it and think "BB thought his offense sucked so he went out and got better players." I don't see anything really QB-specific in the moves. For example, I think BB signed 2 TEs who can block and catch because he wants to be able to line up in those sets and be able to run or pass depending on how they are defended, as he has done in the past. Agholor and Bourne seem like guys who will work with any type of QB, and having a running game (and run blocking OL) is essential for Cam but would also be essential for a rookie QB.
 

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I guess I just look at it and think "BB thought his offense sucked so he went out and got better players." I don't see anything really QB-specific in the moves. For example, I think BB signed 2 TEs who can block and catch because he wants to be able to line up in those sets and be able to run or pass depending on how they are defended, as he has done in the past. Agholor and Bourne seem like guys who will work with any type of QB, and having a running game (and run blocking OL) is essential for Cam but would also be essential for a rookie QB.
Everything about this post is correct. Belichick is getting back to what works for this system. Pats TE and WR were ghastly last year. And before we hang that on Cam, most of those guys sucked before and will suck after. Competent "skill" position players are good to have whoever is throwing, and JMCD does Merlin shit with 12 personnel and TEs who can block and catch.
 

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I’m glad the Pats tailored their offense perfectly for a guy that can’t throw the ball, can’t get through progressions, doesn’t have accuracy and has to wait for guys to get open before he throws it and relies on a monster Oline and running game to get the Pats to a borderline playoff team.

I really hope I’m wrong about Cam as he seems like a great teammate but I just want to see a functioning offense and I’m not sure he can do it.
 

Harry Hooper

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I'm OK with being on an island on this one. In fact, I hope I'm wrong.

I've made clear since halfway through last year that I was over the Newton experiment. I dont think the overall offense was as bad as people thought, but that team could not get into a hole and survive. I thought it would be fun to see how a new offense played after so many years of Brady. The first few weeks were fun, and then it wasnt.

This offense, however, is now tailored to Cam. Like, they literally spent the offseason building it for Cam.
It may play out as you suggest, but someone in the Patriots braintrust was (anonymously) quoted after the flurry of FA signings along the lines of, "We didn't build all this for Cam."
 

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Literally all of this would be beneficial for Mac Jones as well as for Cam. An effective running game can be critical for a young QB. So can good receivers.
Cam's running game and McCorkle's running game are not the same. I would be shocked if BB is setting up a playbook with Cam, and just thinks "well, these will all be the same for McCorkle, because he's a young QB".
Not to say that the BB's personnel moves aren't beneficial to both...but I definitely think he made offseason moves based on Cam.

It may play out as you suggest, but someone in the Patriots braintrust was (anonymously) quoted after the flurry of FA signings along the lines of, "We didn't build all this for Cam."
This makes sense too. There's a shot-term and a long-term strategy. I guess "built for Cam" doesn't mean "built for Cam and only for Cam" and that's fair.
Eh...maybe he would have done all the same moves if he had Fitzmagic in there or something (...or Brady), I don't know.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Yeah. I mean, look, maybe I'm just fitting the narrative into the storyline I see fit. To a degree, that's what we all do. But I've basically ignored the "QB competition", and will do so the entire preseason. It's exciting to see how well Mac performs, obviously. And theres little doubt in my mind that Cam is in the unenviable spot of being sandwiched as "the rebound" after Brady and "in the way" of Mac (or whoever eventually succeeds at QB in New England).

But with the litany of reasons I gave, and all the other ones cited here as well (giving the keys to a rookie, leg up on playbook knowledge, lockerroom leader being displaced by a rookie, etc etc etc), I'd be absolutely shocked if anyone starts game 1 but Cam. And I'd be only slightly less shocked if Cam werent the starter in week 8.

In fact, if Cam performs exactly like last year, and Mac is lights out phenomenal in every minute aspect of performance in the preseason, I'd still bet on Cam starting game 1.

Hope I'm wrong.
 

Captaincoop

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I won't be surprised (but will be very disappointed) if Newton is starting Game 1. But I'll be very surprised (and even more disappointed) if he's still starting by game 10.
 

lexrageorge

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Cam is going to earn all of his NLTBE incentives this season. And then retire and join the Pats coaching staff to complete the transition to the Mac Era.
 

Jimbodandy

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It may play out as you suggest, but someone in the Patriots braintrust was (anonymously) quoted after the flurry of FA signings along the lines of, "We didn't build all this for Cam."
Yeah I'm confused as to who NPJ is responding to. Belichick rebuilt the skill positions on offense because they sucked. This would have been necessary if TFB, Cam, Mac, or Uncle Rico were under center this year.
 

simplyeric

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Yeah I'm confused as to who NPJ is responding to. Belichick rebuilt the skill positions on offense because they sucked. This would have been necessary if TFB, Cam, Mac, or Uncle Rico were under center this year.
Given that he was in the process of upgrading, do you think he put any thought into upgrading I’m a particular manner? Would he have upgraded in slightly different ways if it was Brady or Fitz or Jimmy G?
 

Eddie Jurak

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Given that he was in the process of upgrading, do you think he put any thought into upgrading I’m a particular manner? Would he have upgraded in slightly different ways if it was Brady or Fitz or Jimmy G?
Slightly different? Sure. But a 'slight' difference is very different from building a team for one specific guy.
 

cournoyer

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I'm OK with being on an island on this one. In fact, I hope I'm wrong.

I've made clear since halfway through last year that I was over the Newton experiment. I dont think the overall offense was as bad as people thought, but that team could not get into a hole and survive. I thought it would be fun to see how a new offense played after so many years of Brady. The first few weeks were fun, and then it wasnt.

This offense, however, is now tailored to Cam. Like, they literally spent the offseason building it for Cam.

A fucking MONSTER offensive line. Decent depth at RB. Big TE targets that can block, catch inaccurate throws, but also feast in the middle where the inaccuracy should be less of an issue. A deep threat who will probably not have a ton of yards, but will get enough looks to command help over the top, opening up those tight ends more.

This offense was made for Newton. The back 7 is going to have to turn their backs to cover the seams and the top of the defense. Itll have to spread to the sideline to protect against James White, crossing slot receivers like Bourne, and out/option routes by the tight ends.

Hes going to have room to scramble and improvise. Alot. Of course, all of those things are useful for any QB. But even more so for a guy that leans on primary options and then improvising.

All of that is to say, the Patriots spent alot of time and money creating a flexible offense that sure seems tailored to someone like Cam. 1st option, RPO, spread the field - horizontally and vertically - for space to improvise.

Between the offseasons roster construction, BB never wavering last season, bringing him back (and even though he probably wasnt highly desired, it says something that he came back to continue to build back his reputation), stating emphatically twice - once when directly asked about naming a week 1 starter - that Cam was the starter...I dunno. I'm surprised that I'm the only one that's put these puzzle pieces together as a clear vote of confidence for Cam.

Again, if he sucks? Of course hes out. But they're going to give him plenty of rope on this. My bet is theyre competing for a playoff spot and Cam starts every game unless injured. If he stinks, I still dont think you see Mac until week 10+. I mean, we were all bullish on the Patriots offseason and potential playoff roster well before they drafted Mac. I think the Patriots were, too. Drafting Mac was never about this year.
This is what I've been saying all along. Even if Mac outplays Cam through training camp/preseason, it doesn't matter. This is Cam's team, and I'll go as far as to say that I think he has a strong year. It's built to his strengths, and he'll have plenty of rope to succeed. Everything else is just noise, and I get that people like the shiny new thing but this offense is going to hit opposing teams in the mouth. That's the way this team is designed, and I don't see them pivoting week 4.

Edit: fully reading through the rest of the replies, I don't disagree that Mac would succeed in this offense. I just see Cam playing better this year and I don't think he'll lose the job at any point.
 
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Kenny F'ing Powers

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Slightly different? Sure. But a 'slight' difference is very different from building a team for one specific guy.
I feel like you're being a little obtuse here.

Of course I'm not implying BB exclusively built a $200m roster around a shaky QB with a noodle arm who may be on his last legs.

What I am saying is that he got flexible pieces in the offseason that have the ability to enhance Cams strengths. Yes, they can still run routes, catch passes, and make blocks for other QBs. But they essentially built a power offense that focuses on running and tight ends.

Our WRs sucked last year. We knew it and BB knew it. Agholor forces corners and safeties to stay back. Bourne takes advantage of underneath shit. They werent looking for a well rounded WR to do it all (Kenny Golladay, Corey Davis) or an elite route runner (Emmanuel Sanders, Marvin Jones). They were looking to fill specific roles. Both of those WR types enhance a gameplan built around the run, play action, and short passing space. They had a very targeted gameplan and spent very early in free agency on WR. The talking heads were saying BB miscalculated the WR market. As if it's completely in BBs nature to panic splurge and not have a plan of attack and aggresively execute it.

Again, do deep threats help every QB? Duh. So does well rounded receivers like Corey Davis. But what did BB aggressively target extremely early in the offseason? Bulking up the line (Trent Brown). Tight ends. Very specific WR types. Built "exclusively" for Newton? Of course not. But Newtons strengths certainly align with the roster construction.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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This is what I've been saying all along. Even if Mac outplays Cam through training camp/preseason, it doesn't matter. This is Cam's team, and I'll go as far as to say that I think he has a strong year. It's built to his strengths, and he'll have plenty of rope to succeed. Everything else is just noise, and I get that people like the shiny new thing but this offense is going to hit opposing teams in the mouth. That's the way this team is designed, and I don't see them pivoting week 4.
Balanced take during the offseason? Not forgetting that Mac Jones fell for a reason? That the majority of the board did NOT want Mac Jones until the minute he was drafted?

Get this man a membership.
 

cournoyer

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Balanced take during the offseason? Not forgetting that Mac Jones fell for a reason? That the majority of the board did NOT want Mac Jones until the minute he was drafted?

Get this man a membership.
Thanks KFP. I understand we're in the minority with this line of thinking, and I think Mac will end up being a solid quarterback at some point. That being said, I think the only way we see Mac this year is if Cam gets hurt or Cam is even worse than last year (I don't think he will be). Do I hope Mac is the next great starter? Who doesn't. However, throwing a rookie QB into a starting role on a team that I feel should win at least 10 games this year is not a recipe for success.
 
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