Poll: Cam, Mac, Brian or?

Who's your preferred Pats starter at QB?


  • Total voters
    337

bankshot1

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As we approach the second exhibition game tonight it appears Cam has the edge to start the season at QB. He has experience, BB's public confidence, is a snappy dresser, and along with some new offensive tools to work with and a decent defense could lead the Pats into a shallow play-off run. That is to say an improvement over last year's 7-9, maybe 9-8, or 10-7.

I think we have a fair amount of low-scoring 20-17 games in our future, and a probable road loss in wk 1 in the post-season. In short we'll be sort of middle of the pack mediocre +.

There has been some speculation that Cam will get the first 4 games (the 4th being Tampa @ Foxboro and Gronk's return) and depending upon the results that BB may make a switch. Or if the Pats get off to a decent start early BB may stay the QB course.

Now not to pin the team's successes or short comings all on Cam, I think I'd rather roll the dice with Mac and see what he can do, as I think the long-term upside is a higher, and the more experience given to Mac the better, even if it means rookie mistakes.

Who's your choice and if you feel like it, why?
 

Saints Rest

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I'm not sure how to vote, based on the existing verbiage. I think Mac will ultimately be the best QB for the Pats, but I think it may be in his best interest in terms of his growth, to sit and watch for a few games. So I woudl vote for Cam Week 1; Mac Week 17. Not sure exactly where the crossover is.
 

Bergs

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I voted for Mac. I don't know what his rookie-season ceiling is, but I do know that Cam can't throw a fucking football.

Also, there's no apostrophe in Pats.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I'm happy to trust BB to make the call on when Mac will take over (and I do believe its a question of when, not if, this season). But of course I want to see Mac under center. I'm really just curious to see whether Mac is any good - its a huge source of uncertainty that has massive implications for the near term future of the franchise.
.
 

Kliq

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Newton sucked last year. Bring on McCorkle. I think "sit and learn" is kind of overrated. Jones will learn by far the most if he is playing this year. He might make more mistakes than if he sat for a while, but I'd rather have him out here and doing and I don't think this team can really win anything with Cam at QB anyways.
 

Bergs

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As I'm referring to their QB, wouldn't a possessive apostrophe be used?
If you were going possessive, it would be "Pats' starter", but in your question, the possessive isn't needed.

Foregoing the abbreviation for illustrative purposes, would you go with "who's your preferred Patriots starter?" or "who's your preferred Patriots' starter?" - for me it's the former.
 

fairlee76

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As I'm referring to their QB, wouldn't a possessive apostrophe be used?
Good poll. I voted Mac because, as others have said, Cam appears to be done.

And I think it is Pats' quarterback but this is why my employer has style editors.
 

Sille Skrub

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I took out the apostrophe in "Pats" in the poll question. Sorry, pet peeve.

And it's Mac for me. I've seen enough of Cam. Let's see what the kid can do.
 

Dogman

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Thanks Skrub.

Only on this site will a poll about a starting QB turn into a lesson on possessives.

You all know who I voted for.
 

Jungleland

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In an ideal world, I'm rooting for Cam to lead them to a playoff spot this year. 1, because I like him, and potential antivax status aside has been a good soldier for bare minimum $$, and 2, because I'm a believer in the clipboard year being helpful in the development of newcomer QBs and potentially beneficial for the team's success in 2022 and beyond.

Based on what we've seen so far, however, I think Mac looks like he'll give them a better chance to win as early as week 1, and voted for him as such. I'm still pulling for a Cam resurgence, but I think the chances Mac gets the ball right out of the gate are significantly higher than they were as recently as early July.
 

DJnVa

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I voted Mac, but have no problem with Cam starting the season.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I am quite certain there has never been an informed debate around the proper use of an apostrophe at Chiefs Planet.
 

ShaneTrot

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I am sure BB knows what to do. I am leaning toward starting Cam. He had no weapons last year. He has always been good when healthy and provided with a decent TE. I am worried that if they throw Mac into the fire, what happens if he shits the bed? How do you fix that?
 

Captaincoop

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Reading all the camp coverage it seems clear now that Mac has been better overall. The only question seems to be whether it would benefit him to be eased in as the starter instead of taking over for week one.

I say throw him in, Cam has no upside value so let's take whatever lumps we have to take with a rookie under center.
 

Silverdude2167

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I really like Cam and think he can be an Okay to Average QB for the Pats but I voted Mac because I think he could easily run the Brady 2001 offense and I think this team could go far running that offense this year.
 

5dice

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I am wishing for this to be a bold BB moment as we have seen for decades of making tough decisions on youth over vets if that is what is "best for the football team," so I voted Mac. Mac Jones has done nothing but fit in, practice well and we will see how he adds to the body of game work tonight. I can't picture what Newton could be doing better for the football team, but I am admittedly biased, looking for a player that let's them continue the offense that has defined them and lets them game plan for individual defenses so well. A mid-year switch indicates a losing situation, which would be disappointing, given the investments on all 3 sides of the ball they have made after the cap hell year was over. I'm probably wrong and Cam starts the whole year.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Mac already looks like a halfway decent QB at least. You know who isn't a halfway decent QB? Cam Newton. Watching him literally fumble his way through last season was painful. I completely understand that there were circumstances last year that some people want to give him a pass for but my eyes tell me he's cooked. He's not even much of a dual threat anymore. I want to see the kid.
 

Big McCorkle

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I'm happy to trust BB to make the call on when Mac will take over (and I do believe its a question of when, not if, this season). But of course I want to see Mac under center. I'm really just curious to see whether Mac is any good - its a huge source of uncertainty that has massive implications for the near term future of the franchise.
I don't think it's that much of an uncertainty, nowhere near the uncertainty present in other prospects like Lance or Wilson. Jones is much more like Fields*, in that we know pretty much what we can expect out of him, at least as a rookie. Everything we've seen out of him so far, both in the first preseason game and in reports from camp, is pretty much exactly what you'd both expect and realistically hope for when projecting him out of college: inconsistent arm strength ranging from average to plus, plus to plus-plus accuracy and ball placement, limited/worst-of-the-first-round athleticism but good mobility inside the pocket and certainly nowhere near the "majestic gazelle" that was Tom Brady, and a seemingly quite good grasp on the mental aspects of the position. There's certainly still some uncertainty, especially in that last category which is the hardest thing to judge from the broadcast angle, but I think there can be some high level of confidence in what we're going to see out of him. Basically, where are the big question marks?

But being agnostic about Jones entirely, Cam is a somewhat older, somewhat more broken down version of who he has been for the last half decade. There is no reason to think that that is good enough for the Patriots to credibly compete for the Super Bowl. Is that worth starting over a rookie whose ceiling could very well be substantially higher?

*With Fields, in short: tremendous arm talent, tremendous athleticism, and I believe the highest or second highest average time to throw in CFB last year with a penchant to just hold the ball... hold the ball... and hold the ball as he waits and scrambles for something to get open (even when shorter checkdowns are already open). What I saw out of him in the first preseason game is exactly what I saw out of him in college. Favorably, one could liken this playstyle to that of Wilson and Rodgers, but it's worth noting that Wilson's proclivities in this regard are absolutely harmful to the team and are the biggest weakness in his game, and that before Rodgers stopped with that playstyle last season en route to an MVP season, he had posted year after year of ultimately average production whilst taking an ungodly amount of sacks despite playing behind what has been the best offensive line in football over the last decade.

I am quite certain there has never been an informed debate around the proper use of an apostrophe at Chiefs Planet.
The best way to understand it is to view the "Pats" in "Pats quarterback" as the equivalent to something like "German," "American," or "Chinese." Tom Brady is the Buccaneers quarterback; Kylian Mbappe is the French forward. (And on the flip side: Tampa's quarterback is Brady, France's forward is Mbappe.)

(I tried to work in a joke about the German blitz here but couldn't quite get it to work.)
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I don't think it's that much of an uncertainty, nowhere near the uncertainty present in other prospects like Lance or Wilson. Jones is much more like Fields*, in that we know pretty much what we can expect out of him, at least as a rookie. Everything we've seen out of him so far, both in the first preseason game and in reports from camp, is pretty much exactly what you'd both expect and realistically hope for when projecting him out of college: inconsistent arm strength ranging from average to plus, plus to plus-plus accuracy and ball placement, limited/worst-of-the-first-round athleticism but good mobility inside the pocket and certainly nowhere near the "majestic gazelle" that was Tom Brady, and a seemingly quite good grasp on the mental aspects of the position. There's certainly still some uncertainty, especially in that last category which is the hardest thing to judge from the broadcast angle, but I think there can be some high level of confidence in what we're going to see out of him. Basically, where are the big question marks?
I agree that he is largely "as advertised" in terms of traits based on what we have seen but there are still huge error bars around actual performance for any QB who hasn't entered the league. Until the bullets really start to fly and you're playing at regular season NFL speed against starting caliber NFL athletes and real defensive schemes rather than vanilla pre-season stuff, you just can never really know how a QB is going to perform. It's the hardest position to project from the draft into the NFL and a bunch of training camp reports don't really change that very much.
 

Kliq

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The final games of last season were so completely horrible where the Pats offense became so one-dimensional, they had to run a record number of trick plays with WRs throwing the ball to get around the fact that Cam was a terrible QB. I never want to see that ever again, and unless Cam REALLY shows something in these next two preseason games, I don't see how Mac can't be the starter. What would Jones even learn while watching the Pats run a completely different offense with Cam?
 

Bowhemian

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I voted Cam. I know Cam will probably not be good, but I'd prefer for MJ to get some more development time.
 

Big McCorkle

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I agree that he is largely "as advertised" in terms of traits based on what we have seen but there are still huge error bars around actual performance for any QB who hasn't entered the league. Until the bullets really start to fly and you're playing at regular season NFL speed against starting caliber NFL athletes and real defensive schemes rather than vanilla pre-season stuff, you just can never really know how a QB is going to perform. It's the hardest position to project from the draft into the NFL and a bunch of training camp reports don't really change that very much.
Everything you said here is true; I should have put in a more clear caveat that I was speaking relative to rookie QBs in general, who often have huge error bars around their tools and traits, nevermind around their performance and production. I do think those huge error bars are actually a big reason to start Mac over Cam even to start the season. Whatever their average or median outcomes for this season are, it would not be remotely outlandish for a realistic best-case season from Jones to be significantly better than a realistic best-case season from Newton, and this team is probably not nearly good enough to compete with teams like Kansas City, Buffalo, or Tampa without getting a best-case season out of the quarterback position. (Probably not good enough. I have some inkling of a thought that the defense has the potential to be an elite unit, and I'm not overly bullish on Buffalo anyway.)
 

BaseballJones

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I voted Mac, but have no problem with Cam starting the season.
This is where I'm at, and it's what I think will happen. It's always dangerous throwing a rookie out there right off the bat. But in the end, I think Mac Jones will be much better than Cam. Though it must be said that I don't know that Mac's ceiling will ever be what Cam's ceiling is. Cam did, after all, win an NFL MVP award (and deservedly so). At his peak, Cam Newton was a frigging beast. He's just not THAT anymore.
 

E5 Yaz

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My "preferred starter" is Mac. But I don't have an issue letting him start the season watching for a game or three.
 

Jimbodandy

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I agree that he is largely "as advertised" in terms of traits based on what we have seen but there are still huge error bars around actual performance for any QB who hasn't entered the league. Until the bullets really start to fly and you're playing at regular season NFL speed against starting caliber NFL athletes and real defensive schemes rather than vanilla pre-season stuff, you just can never really know how a QB is going to perform. It's the hardest position to project from the draft into the NFL and a bunch of training camp reports don't really change that very much.
This is what worries me. Mac certainly has the goods to be a solid to better QB, but you don't know yet how he's going to react to getting punched in the nose because it hasn't really ever happened to him. Bill Fucking Belichick knows how to construct a defensive game plan to torture rookie QBs, and he's not the only one. Brady sat for a year, getting bigger and stronger and watching NFL film with NFL coaches. That's why Brady could run the Brady 2001 offense.
 

tims4wins

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This is what worries me. Mac certainly has the goods to be a solid to better QB, but you don't know yet how he's going to react to getting punched in the nose because it hasn't really ever happened to him. Bill Fucking Belichick knows how to construct a defensive game plan to torture rookie QBs, and he's not the only one. Brady sat for a year, getting bigger and stronger and watching NFL film with NFL coaches. That's why Brady could run the Brady 2001 offense.
While this is all true, I would argue that rookie Mac was far more prepared to take over an NFL offense than rookie Brady, for many different reasons. It's entirely possible that rookie Mac is on a similar level as year 2 Brady.
 

Super Nomario

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Everything you said here is true; I should have put in a more clear caveat that I was speaking relative to rookie QBs in general, who often have huge error bars around their tools and traits, nevermind around their performance and production. I do think those huge error bars are actually a big reason to start Mac over Cam even to start the season. Whatever their average or median outcomes for this season are, it would not be remotely outlandish for a realistic best-case season from Jones to be significantly better than a realistic best-case season from Newton, and this team is probably not nearly good enough to compete with teams like Kansas City, Buffalo, or Tampa without getting a best-case season out of the quarterback position. (Probably not good enough. I have some inkling of a thought that the defense has the potential to be an elite unit, and I'm not overly bullish on Buffalo anyway.)
"Error bars" implies a wide range of outcomes for rookie quarterbacks, and I suppose that's true, but the bars basically range from incredibly awful to average at best. Burrow (5.72 ANY/A) and Tua (5.40) were not really better than Cam last year (5.44), and more predictive numbers like Y/A were even less favorable. Kyler (5.55) and Daniel Jones (5.38) were in the same range the year before, ditto Darnold (5.24) the year before. Lamar (5.99) was a little better, but still not good. Josh Allen (4.37) and busts like Rosen (3.53) and Haskins (4.25) were a lot worse. Only Baker (6.77) and Herbert (6.84) were much better, and they were 14th and 15th respectively in their rookie seasons. I checked back a few more years and saw similar patterns out of those classes. The ceiling on a rookie performance is about average and there is basically no floor.

The final games of last season were so completely horrible where the Pats offense became so one-dimensional, they had to run a record number of trick plays with WRs throwing the ball to get around the fact that Cam was a terrible QB.
The passing offense was definitely horribly dysfunctional, but how much was Cam and how much was the wretched receivers is still unclear. The passing offense was not really any better in 2019 with Brady, and down the stretch it was probably worse. They added four pass-catchers in the offseason for a reason.

I never want to see that ever again, and unless Cam REALLY shows something in these next two preseason games, I don't see how Mac can't be the starter. What would Jones even learn while watching the Pats run a completely different offense with Cam?
It's not a completely different offense. The passing concepts would be similar. The bread-and-butter run concepts would be similar. Mac would not get the designed QB runs, and he might actually get more boot stuff (Cam is not accurate throwing on the run), but I would think it would be 70-80% overlap at least.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Everything you said here is true; I should have put in a more clear caveat that I was speaking relative to rookie QBs in general, who often have huge error bars around their tools and traits, nevermind around their performance and production. I do think those huge error bars are actually a big reason to start Mac over Cam even to start the season. Whatever their average or median outcomes for this season are, it would not be remotely outlandish for a realistic best-case season from Jones to be significantly better than a realistic best-case season from Newton, and this team is probably not nearly good enough to compete with teams like Kansas City, Buffalo, or Tampa without getting a best-case season out of the quarterback position. (Probably not good enough. I have some inkling of a thought that the defense has the potential to be an elite unit, and I'm not overly bullish on Buffalo anyway.)
Completely agree with everything here. In particular, it would be a big strategic mistake to go 3-5 under Cam (or similar) only to make the switch and discover that Mac can give you significantly better performance, since you're hoping for a Wild Card at best by that point.
 

BroodsSexton

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If you were going possessive, it would be "Pats' starter", but in your question, the possessive isn't needed.

Foregoing the abbreviation for illustrative purposes, would you go with "who's your preferred Patriots starter?" or "who's your preferred Patriots' starter?" - for me it's the former.
It would actually be “Who’s your preferred Patriots’s starter.” The team is “The New England Patriots,” not “The New England Patriot.” Hence, you use the ‘s after Patriots.

The New England Patriots’s starter, not the New England Patriots’ starter. There is only one team.
 

stp

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I voted Mac, but expect it to be Cam to start the season with Mac taking over at some point. From everything I've read, Mac seems to learn from and bounce back from his mistakes without getting too down on himself, so he may as well learn on the field.
 
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bigq

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I voted Cam because I think BB will make him the starter and he has the best view and judgment. I am hopeful that Cam significantly improves relative to last season and that he is on a short leash if he plays like shit.
 

Jimbodandy

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It would actually be “Who’s your preferred Patriots’s starter.” The team is “The New England Patriots,” not “The New England Patriot.” Hence, you use the ‘s after Patriots.

The New England Patriots’s starter, not the New England Patriots’ starter. There is only one team.
There is only one team, but there is a collection of individuals. Each of these individuals is a Patriot. Collectively, they are Patriots. And we are discussing their starter, the Patriots' starter.

<insert RFK we are all Patriots speech here>
 

Big McCorkle

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"Error bars" implies a wide range of outcomes for rookie quarterbacks, and I suppose that's true, but the bars basically range from incredibly awful to average at best. Burrow (5.72 ANY/A) and Tua (5.40) were not really better than Cam last year (5.44), and more predictive numbers like Y/A were even less favorable. Kyler (5.55) and Daniel Jones (5.38) were in the same range the year before, ditto Darnold (5.24) the year before. Lamar (5.99) was a little better, but still not good. Josh Allen (4.37) and busts like Rosen (3.53) and Haskins (4.25) were a lot worse. Only Baker (6.77) and Herbert (6.84) were much better, and they were 14th and 15th respectively in their rookie seasons. I checked back a few more years and saw similar patterns out of those classes. The ceiling on a rookie performance is about average and there is basically no floor.
Well, It depends on the stat you use, but it's worth pointing out that, in ANY/A, of the three 1st round rookie QBs last season who saw significant playing time (Tua, Burrow, Herbert), each of them was either as good as or better than Cam. And, that of the QBs that were worse as a rookie than Cam was last year, they were/are just bad QBs, period, besides Allen (and maybe Daniel Jones, I'm not sure about him). Rookie Jones's competition isn't Brady, it's Cam.

In EPA/play, which includes rushing production, Cam was 25th in the NFL last year at 0.063. Tua, 26th, at 0.034; Burrow, 18th, at 0.136; and Herbert 12th, at 0.177. If you go farther back, you can obviously find very good rookie seasons, like 2012 with Wilson being the 5th best QB in the NFL by EPA (0.229), RGIII 6th (0.243), and Luck 18th (0.131). So the ceiling is absolutely higher than you say, but let's just take it to be true that the ceiling of a rookie, meaning the ceiling for Mac Jones, is that of an average NFL quarterback.

Cam Newton is not an average NFL quarterback. Out of all QBs with at least 320 snaps at QB between 2016 and 2020, he ranks 38th in EPA/play, at 0.051. If you pull up the minimum to 2000 snaps, he ranks 18th... out of 20, with only Joe Flacco and Eli Manning being beneath him. Reduce the minimum to 1500 snaps, and he ranks 27th, above the aforementioned two schmucks and Blake Bortles. 26th is Mitch Trubisky. 25th, Case Keenum.

I like Cam as a person (so far as you can like someone you've never met), and I would fucking love for him to have a career resurgence this year by being a league-average quarterback. I don't see much of a reason to think that's possible. We're talking a half decade of him ranking amongst the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. There are maybe mitigating factors like bad health (but is he actually healthy? Can he even be healthy at this point?) and bad players around him, but five years of being bad is five years of being bad; there's no way around it.

If there's a chance that Mac Jones is a league-average NFL quarterback this year, and I think there's a very good chance of that, then it's exceedingly difficult to make a case for starting Cam over Jones on the grounds of Cam having a higher floor, because a 2021 New England Patriots rolling out an "at his floor" Cam Newton is not going to make the playoffs.
 
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Mugsy's Jock

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I'm surprised they didn't name it Chief's Planet.
I actually went to check to confirm they didn't.

And while there, plucked the following posts objecting to the NFL's leaning into taunting calls, suggesting it's being put into place specifically to target model citizen Tyreek Hill:

Only Brooke Pryor and her 17 chins are offended by Tyreek’s “taunting”.
I hope Tyreek skull ****s a ref on the 50 yard line after catching a 90 yard bomb!!!
Can't show up the old blind part time get off my lawn set in their way dehydrated so they don't need to pee refs.
 

BroodsSexton

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There is only one team, but there is a collection of individuals. Each of these individuals is a Patriot. Collectively, they are Patriots. And we are discussing their starter, the Patriots' starter.

<insert RFK we are all Patriots speech here>
Sure. It could be each individual Patriot's quarterback. ("He's my quarterback!") But if you're talking about the team's quarterback, it's "Patriots's."
 

Bergs

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It would actually be “Who’s your preferred Patriots’s starter.” The team is “The New England Patriots,” not “The New England Patriot.” Hence, you use the ‘s after Patriots.

The New England Patriots’s starter, not the New England Patriots’ starter. There is only one team.
This is so spectaularly wrong, I can only assume it's a joke.