Poll: Cam, Mac, Brian or?

Who's your preferred Pats starter at QB?


  • Total voters
    337

Soxy

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I don't follow Patriots beat writers very closely and didn't realize this was a Curran obsession.

I think all the questions in the second paragraph are apt and important. My gut instinct is that this would be much easier to pull off with a 80/20 type split, where Cam was the starter and Mac offered a strategic change of pace. That still hews fairly closely to everybody's understanding of how a football team works. A 50/50 split or a situation where either guy could end up with more snaps based on game flow seems like too big a stretch.
That's what I keep thinking too, which is why I ultimately land on no.

If they're going to do it, I think they should go all-in with it or don't even bother. Going all-in would probably mean a level of QB micromanagement that I'm not sure anyone in the building would be comfortable with. I'm talking subbing the QB out basically the same as any other position, based on packages and situations. That may actually be the most optimal or efficient use of their resources, given the differing strengths of Cam vs. Mac, but that's the kind of thing that is easy to do on a spreadsheet or a video game, but not as easy to actually pull off in real life without making sacrifices elsewhere.

If it became simply "giving Mac a drive or two as a change of pace" then I'm not quite sure what the point would be. Just start the clock on Mac or don't. Otherwise I don't think they'd be doing either of them any favors. Either go all-in with being weird at QB, or simply pick the guy who they feel gives them the best chance to win overall. Splitting the difference with some kind of half-measure doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Seems like that would be a path towards a lot of the same downside risks, without much of the potential upside.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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If it became simply "giving Mac a drive or two as a change of pace" then I'm not quite sure what the point would be. Just start the clock on Mac or don't. Otherwise I don't think they'd be doing either of them any favors. Either go all-in with being weird at QB, or simply pick the guy who they feel gives them the best chance to win overall. Splitting the difference with some kind of half-measure doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Seems like that would be a path towards a lot of the same downside risks, without much of the potential upside.
In theory, the point would be to force defenses to prepare for both, to have another card up their sleeve to play in certain game situations (ie, not just as a change of pace, but maybe Mac is a better option in the two minute drill), and to get Mac's feet wet in order to better facilitate an eventual transition to him as the starter.
 

ragnarok725

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I don't follow Patriots beat writers very closely and didn't realize this was a Curran obsession.

I think all the questions in the second paragraph are apt and important. My gut instinct is that this would be much easier to pull off with a 80/20 type split, where Cam was the starter and Mac offered a strategic change of pace. That still hews fairly closely to everybody's understanding of how a football team works. A 50/50 split or a situation where either guy could end up with more snaps based on game flow seems like too big a stretch.
Nobody has ever tried it before as far as I can tell, but I think I'd be much more interested in a model based on positional groupings/down and distance. Cam and the threat of the run on earlier downs, and on short to go yardages, with Mac in for longer yardages and third downs actually plays to the strengths of the players (or more accurately, hides Cam's weaknesses). I don't think a team has ever committed to something like that, and there's probably a lot of good reasons. But rotating in a QB like a third down back or your third WR is interesting to me, conceptually.
 

rodderick

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Nobody has ever tried it before as far as I can tell, but I think I'd be much more interested in a model based on positional groupings/down and distance. Cam and the threat of the run on earlier downs, and on short to go yardages, with Mac in for longer yardages and third downs actually plays to the strengths of the players (or more accurately, hides Cam's weaknesses). I don't think a team has ever committed to something like that, and there's probably a lot of good reasons. But rotating in a QB like a third down back or your third WR is interesting to me, conceptually.
Seems like a great way to advertise your tendencies, if I were a DC I'd love to face a team who has a designated running QB and a designated passing QB. It's kind of like having a strict running back/passing back division is detrimental to the team, only increased tenfold.
 

Soxy

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Seems like a great way to advertise your tendencies, if I were a DC I'd love to face a team who has a designated running QB and a designated passing QB. It's kind of like having a strict running back/passing back division is detrimental to the team, only increased tenfold.
You'd think so, but the Pats did exactly that in 2018 with Sony Michel and James White. Wasn't there like an 80/20 split on run/pass depending on which one was in the game? It went like that pretty much all season and through the Super Bowl, so I can only assume they didn't see that as an inherent problem in and of itself. It definitely drove some fans nuts.

Probably worth mentioning that the theoretical problem you're talking about gets magnified even more so if you only sub them out drive-to-drive instead of play-to-play. Defenses would just be like "here comes the Mac drive" and adjust accordingly.
 

Hendoo

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Also while some may be hoping Cam gets Wally Pipped, it certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility for even a good rookie QB to spit the bit when handed the reins.
 

rodderick

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You'd think so, but the Pats did exactly that in 2018 with Sony Michel and James White. Wasn't there like an 80/20 split on run/pass depending on which one was in the game? It went like that pretty much all season and through the Super Bowl, so I can only assume they didn't see that as an inherent problem in and of itself. It definitely drove some fans nuts.

Probably worth mentioning that the theoretical problem you're talking about gets magnified even more so if you only sub them out drive-to-drive instead of play-to-play. Defenses would just be like "here comes the Mac drive" and adjust accordingly.
And you don't think that offense would have been much, much better if they had one guy who was able to perform both duties adequately? I mean, Rex Burkhead got a ton of snaps in crunch time in the playoffs precisely for that reason.
 

ragnarok725

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Seems like a great way to advertise your tendencies, if I were a DC I'd love to face a team who has a designated running QB and a designated passing QB. It's kind of like having a strict running back/passing back division is detrimental to the team, only increased tenfold.
As Soxy mentioned, they've frequently in the BB area had positional groupings that strongly suggest a play approach to the defense and it's been fine. The down and distance does it for you fairly frequently - how often is it a running play on 3rd and 10 anyway. The QBs might be a bigger tell, but that also gives you an opportunity to confound the expectation. Mac handing off to White or Sony, or Cam executing a PA pass to Henry or Jonnu over the middle is strong enough counter-play that the defense can't really cheat more than they otherwise would. There are a lot of reasons the approach might not work, but I think this is actually maybe the least of them.
 

Soxy

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And you don't think that offense would have been much, much better if they had one guy who was able to perform both duties adequately? I mean, Rex Burkhead got a ton of snaps in crunch time in the playoffs precisely for that reason.
I don't think anyone is arguing that it's optimal, but it's hardly an intractable problem. Better than not having a guy good enough to do either role.

They won the Super Bowl that season, so clearly it didn't hold them back all that much (though I do recall the Rams saying after the Super Bowl that they were keying on the RB for run/pass tells). Down, distance, and game situation are going to ultimately dictate a lot of that stuff anyways.
 

rodderick

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I don't think anyone is arguing that it's optimal, but it's hardly an intractable problem. Better than not having a guy good enough to do either role.

They won the Super Bowl that season, so clearly it didn't hold them back all that much (though I do recall the Rams saying after the Super Bowl that they were keying on the RB for run/pass tells). Down, distance, and game situation are going to ultimately dictate a lot of that stuff anyways.
Down, distance and game situation dictate a lot of that stuff and yet every HC has staffers working day and night to find any edge, however slight, on tendencies. That wins and loses football games now, and obviously switching RBs won't have the same impact as switching QBs, expecially when Tom Brady is under center for every snap for the team that doesn't have an all around running back. I find it really strange to see the "they won the Super Bowl, so this is meaningless" argument on SoSH.
 

DJnVa

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Lazar's Notebook: How Did Mac Jones Look at Pats Practice With Cam Newton Out? | CLNS Media

As one would expect, first-round pick Mac Jones dominated the reps in Monday’s session with current starter Cam Newton absent. On the surface, Jones’s completion rate of 54.8 (17-of-31) wasn’t great, and there were several practice “sacks” that might’ve brought the rookie down in a game. This wasn’t a statement practice where Jones seized the starting job sans Newton. However, after starting one-of-six, Jones turned it on with strong throws to Jonnu Smith (seam), a deep out to Agholor, a nice “hot” throw to J.J. Taylor out of the backfield, and two dig routes to Kendrick Bourne. From our vantage point, you could see the first dig to Bourne perfectly where Jones threw with anticipation into the first window and the ball met Bourne in the opening. Later on, J.C. Jackson had tight coverage on Bourne, and Jones put the ball in a spot where only the new Pats wideout could get it away from Jackson (Bourne made a nice one-handed grab). There was also a sign of growth from the rookie when he quickly threw the ball away to conserve the clock rather than throwing the ball in-bounds as he did at the end of the first half against Philly, wasting a potential scoring opportunity. Again, Monday’s session wasn’t the day where Jones surpassed an absent Newton on the field, but there are continuous moments in practice where Jones’s fit in McDaniels’s system shines.
 

Soxy

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Down, distance and game situation dictate a lot of that stuff and yet every HC has staffers working day and night to find any edge, however slight, on tendencies. That wins and loses football games now, and obviously switching RBs won't have the same impact as switching QBs, expecially when Tom Brady is under center for every snap for the team that doesn't have an all around running back. I find it really strange to see the "they won the Super Bowl, so this is meaningless" argument on SoSH.
I never said it was meaningless. I just think you might be overweighing its importance. That they went all season with an 80/20 run/pass split between their top two RBs and were mostly fine offensively is pretty strong evidence that maybe it's not worth stressing over. Is it the way anyone would draw up an ideal offense? Probably not. Is it something that will single handedly tank the offense? Also, probably not.

It's worth mentioning that QB is inherently different in this situation, as Cam provides an actual running threat with the ball in his hands. Even if Cam and Mac were to have a similarly extreme run/pass split, the added element of playing true 11-on-11 football when Cam is under center is an additional variable. Cam has to be accounted for in the run game in a way that Mac Jones does not, so it wouldn't quite be as simple as "look for them to run the ball now." They'd be running some different types of plays as well, and the defense would have an additional potential runner to account for.
 

Super Nomario

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You'd think so, but the Pats did exactly that in 2018 with Sony Michel and James White. Wasn't there like an 80/20 split on run/pass depending on which one was in the game? It went like that pretty much all season and through the Super Bowl, so I can only assume they didn't see that as an inherent problem in and of itself. It definitely drove some fans nuts.
I don't know White's ratio but Sony played 320 offensive snaps in 2018 and got 209 carries, so it was more like 2/3 than 80%.
 

Soxy

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I don't know White's ratio but Sony played 320 offensive snaps in 2018 and got 209 carries, so it was more like 2/3 than 80%.
Whatever it was, it was a huge split. According to this article from 2019 (which cites PFF), it was 76% run when Michel was in the game. I'm assuming this includes playoff games:
Having Michel available to the Patriots in a versatile runner-slash-receiver capacity would carry worlds of value. It would make them more unpredictable and harder to defend. But of the 417 snaps Michel saw as a rookie, 316 resulted in running plays, according to Pro Football Focus. That meant when opposing defenses saw No. 26 in the huddle, there was a 76 percent chance the Patriots would be handing off.
 

leetinsley38

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Whatever it was, it was a huge split. According to this article from 2019 (which cites PFF), it was 76% run when Michel was in the game. I'm assuming this includes playoff games:
And what happened in the 24% pass plays - did they run play action and hit a bunch of deep balls because it was “obvious they were going to run”? It’s definitely interesting but much more analysis is needed into game situations, outcome vs. expected, etc.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Hey mods? I mentioned in the JD Martinez thread that his off field stuff probably affected the way fans view him. I did so without any specifics. I was told (rightly and pleasantly) that would be a better convo in a different forum.

I know some posters are trying to keep this about covid/on field, but theres no way that happens and a good thread is starting to come off the tracks.

If I'm off base, tell me to shut up. (In fact, tell me regardless. I'm sure I deserve it for something.)
 

Dogman

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This conversation is teetering on V&N territory and I ask you take it there to continue.

There is no legroom for these conversations outside of that forum and that it is where should and must be had.

Let's get back to discussion of who should start based on their play on the field.

Thanks.

Hi KFP!
 

Bowhemian

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Just fueling the hype.

I've been unwavering on this, and Cam missing a few days of practice wont change it.

Cam is the starter. Barring injury or a worse year than last year, Cam will be the starter for the season.
I am inclined to agree with you-assuming his on-field play is "good enough", he will start. I also think that his off-field leash is getting shorter.
 

Rico Guapo

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Just fueling the hype.

I've been unwavering on this, and Cam missing a few days of practice wont change it.

Cam is the starter. Barring injury or a worse year than last year, Cam will be the starter for the season.
Cam will be benched by week 5 if not sooner.

The same issues that plagued him last year including awful pre-snap reads/lack of adjustments, slow progression through his reads, slow release, bad ball placement, and lack of touch are all still there.
 

Saints Rest

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Just fueling the hype.

I've been unwavering on this, and Cam missing a few days of practice wont change it.

Cam is the starter. Barring injury or a worse year than last year, Cam will be the starter for the season.
In some BBTL thread, I wondered about how teams, specifically the Patriots, would adjust their preseason usage schedule with the change from 4 PS games to 3. In recent years, the active list for PS-4 has often been the indicator of who has roster spots locked up. So if PS-3 this year continues that trend, then Mac won't have much opportunity to play with any of the 1's again this week, and if Joe Judge follows BB's lead and does the same, Mac will miss out on another opportunity to play against defensive 1s. So if those two things happen, I'm not sure these few days without Cam will change much and KFP's (and others') opinions that Cam starts Week 1 will not be altered this week by COVID-gateyears.

OTOH, if the Pats and Giants treat this week like past years' PS-3, wherein the expected starters get a lot of run, including maybe all of the 1st half and into the 3rd quarter, then I think Mac will have a huge opportunity to seize the Week 1 starting QB position.

I don't think this is the traditional "a player doesn't lose his starting job due to injury," A) because Cam's placement as starter is not set in stone; and B) there's more at work here than a typical injury as there may have been some measure of self-inflicted to it, not to mention some measure of future predictability.
 

RetractableRoof

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75% of adults have received at least one vaccination shot. So 25% have not. That is not even in the same realm of "nearly half". People who don't get vaccinated are part of the problem and are allowing the pandemic to go on longer than it already should. Unless Cam has a medical reason to not take the vaccine, and I don't believe he has one, his decision to not get vaccinated is both selfish and stupid. He might have an excuse but it's nonsense. I guess he did his own research.
Cam was reported to have had tested positive for covid the first week in October of 2020. That means that he should have natural immunity. Him not getting vaccinated if he has natural immunity wouldn't be "part of the problem", it would be a personal choice between him and his medical staff - hardly selfish and stupid. Demanding that someone (who is not part of the problem) take a vaccination he may not need (or may be getting advice not to take) just so *we* can watch a game being played - that is selfish and stupid. Selfish and stupid is thinking it's OK to have sports events where hundreds and thousands of people sit shoulder to shoulder for hours to watch a game and bear the risks that come with that attendance - but then force K-12 students to wear a mask in school while they do that "optional" education thing.

This is a football forum, so back on point. If the team has an issue with Cam's choices/behavior I'm sure they have let him know (or will do so). BB has a bit of a strong personality you know? And in that light, it would be very easy for BB to make a simple statement to Cam along the lines of "Hey Cam, you not being vaccinated increases the risk of you not being on the field on a given game day. We respect your personal decision, but we are going to factor potential 'covid related availability' in when we make our decisions about the roster, practice reps, and who is the starting QB of the team." In fact, we don't know that such a conversation wasn't already had. So until we know what has and hasn't been said, or what communication the team may or may not have had with all the players, all these statements/posts are just bringing V&N into the football threads...
 

Gash Prex

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Just fueling the hype.

I've been unwavering on this, and Cam missing a few days of practice wont change it.

Cam is the starter. Barring injury or a worse year than last year, Cam will be the starter for the season.
I'm on record that Mac is the game 1 starter...but this reporting isn't some Mac Jones fanboy drivel so clearly the organization isn't 100% on the "Cam will be the starter for the season" bandwagon.
 

BigSoxFan

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Cam was reported to have had tested positive for covid the first week in October of 2020. That means that he should have natural immunity. Him not getting vaccinated if he has natural immunity wouldn't be "part of the problem", it would be a personal choice between him and his medical staff - hardly selfish and stupid. Demanding that someone (who is not part of the problem) take a vaccination he may not need (or may be getting advice not to take) just so *we* can watch a game being played - that is selfish and stupid. Selfish and stupid is thinking it's OK to have sports events where hundreds and thousands of people sit shoulder to shoulder for hours to watch a game and bear the risks that come with that attendance - but then force K-12 students to wear a mask in school while they do that "optional" education thing.

This is a football forum, so back on point. If the team has an issue with Cam's choices/behavior I'm sure they have let him know (or will do so). BB has a bit of a strong personality you know? And in that light, it would be very easy for BB to make a simple statement to Cam along the lines of "Hey Cam, you not being vaccinated increases the risk of you not being on the field on a given game day. We respect your personal decision, but we are going to factor potential 'covid related availability' in when we make our decisions about the roster, practice reps, and who is the starting QB of the team." In fact, we don't know that such a conversation wasn't already had. So until we know what has and hasn't been said, or what communication the team may or may not have had with all the players, all these statements/posts are just bringing V&N into the football threads...
Yes, it's almost as if a mod already addressed this prior to your post
 

CR67dream

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I mean, we've really tried to be patient, but warnings are over. Anyone continuing to go V&N anywhere but V&N does so at their own peril.

P'Tucket, not referring to you, I believe that your response was important, given the claim that was made.

Now everyone, let's talk football. I'd be happy to join any discussion on athletes and vaccination in V&N, as well as any other political aspect of sports.
 

BigSoxFan

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FYI, I started the V&N thread.

Mods, would be great to move the relevant posts from this thread as a starting point, if possible. Apologies for my contribution to getting this thread off of its intended purpose.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Cam will be benched by week 5 if not sooner.

The same issues that plagued him last year including awful pre-snap reads/lack of adjustments, slow progression through his reads, slow release, bad ball placement, and lack of touch are all still there.
Lots of critiques that you were able to find over about 20 preseason throws.

And, quite frankly, the majority of them are wrong.

People really should watch the video that @Super Nomario posted above by Schofield. He literally highlights:

-Pre-snap reads (motioning receivers to determine man/zone, seeing 1 high safety, etc).

-Looking off receivers/manipulating defenders (opening shoulders for fake to FB in flat to provide space for the curl).

-Working through 3-4 options quickly and hitting the open receiver as he progresses.

-Ball placement so Myers doesnt get lead into a hit.

I'm not some Cam fanboy. He still looks like he needs to put his whole body into every throw, and he still had some accuracy issues in particular on short throws. But almost all the things you simply posted offcuff are refuted with video evidence a handful of posts before yours.

Cam didnt just look good against shitty players (they were shitty). But he did all the things right that you need to do against good players and that should transfer into the season. And he wasnt simply check down Cam, either. He made some good throws.

They also ran a lot of vanilla routes (flies, digs, comebacks, etc). So even though the defense was vanilla, so was the offense. You werent seeing a lot of rub routes, crossing routes, or option routes (I think, always hard to tell). So you can expect him to look better when the offense adds wrinkles in the season (and implements runs for him).

How he reacts to bad outings, bad plays, wear and tear on his body? No idea. But almost all the negative shit you said is refuted by visual evidence.
 

Harry Hooper

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OTOH, if the Pats and Giants treat this week like past years' PS-3, wherein the expected starters get a lot of run, including maybe all of the 1st half and into the 3rd quarter, then I think Mac will have a huge opportunity to seize the Week 1 starting QB position.
BB's Monday morning interview on WEEI suggested he was approaching PS-3 the same way as in years past. It remains to be seen, however.
 

cornwalls@6

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Bill's comments and tone at is presser seem ominous for Cam, though by now we know that trying too hard to read the tea leaves with him is probably a fool's errand. But this interruption in practice and preparation time can't be good for him. I've been in the camp of wanting to see MJ sooner than later this season, simply because I'm very skeptical Cam can ever be an upper tier passer in the league again. If this situation accelerates that process, I can't say I'll be terribly disappointed.
 

CR67dream

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I moved a bunch of posts to the V&N thread, it may be a little choppy given how the board sets up moved posts. I'm busy as hell today and may have missed a few, and I left some on purpose as a reminder.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Just fueling the hype.

I've been unwavering on this, and Cam missing a few days of practice wont change it.

Cam is the starter. Barring injury or a worse year than last year, Cam will be the starter for the season.
Do you think they would miss the playoffs or finish at .500 or below without giving Mac a look? Or even just lose one game because they fall behind and can't move the ball thought the air in the second half?
 

ponch73

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Lots of critiques that you were able to find over about 20 preseason throws.

And, quite frankly, the majority of them are wrong.

People really should watch the video that @Super Nomario posted above by Schofield. He literally highlights:

-Pre-snap reads (motioning receivers to determine man/zone, seeing 1 high safety, etc).

-Looking off receivers/manipulating defenders (opening shoulders for fake to FB in flat to provide space for the curl).

-Working through 3-4 options quickly and hitting the open receiver as he progresses.

-Ball placement so Myers doesnt get lead into a hit.
I’m wondering if two things can be true at the same time.

1. Cam has improved relative to last season, and his performance against the Eagles was a marked improvement relative to the first preseason game.
2. Cam is still the 2nd best option to run the Patriots’ offense.

Even in Cam’s Eagles game performance, the tape is not necessarily flawless given that he had the considerable benefit of working with the 1st team offense against the Eagles’ 2nd team defense. This meant clean pockets and lots of time to throw.

1. Bad throw to White in the flat
2. Bad decision to throw to a double/triple-covered White on 3rd and 6 on the second drive
3. Ball placement to Meyers *may have been* inaccuracy, rather than protecting the receiver. Frankly, a more “accurate” throw might have allowed him to make a defender miss and gain more yardage.
4. Cam’s passing yardage stats benefitted from poor Eagles’ tackling (they basically let Meyers waltz into the end zone)

The one argument against Mac is that we haven’t seen him perform at a high level against an opposing team’s 1st team defense yet. Hopefully, the Giants preseason game lays that issue to rest.
 

RedOctober3829

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Just fueling the hype.

I've been unwavering on this, and Cam missing a few days of practice wont change it.

Cam is the starter. Barring injury or a worse year than last year, Cam will be the starter for the season.
I just can't get on board with Cam being the starter if everything is equal between them. The ceiling for Mac in this offense is higher than with Cam IMO. I want to feel like they are building towards something at the QB position and if Mac spends the year on the bench, you will have wasted one year of his rookie contract while not even seeing if he's got the potential for being a franchise QB.
 

axx

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I just can't get on board with Cam being the starter if everything is equal between them. The ceiling for Mac in this offense is higher than with Cam IMO.
At the same time do you want to send the rook out there if you don't think he's ready? Even if you think he's outplayed Cam.
 

RedOctober3829

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At the same time do you want to send the rook out there if you don't think he's ready? Even if you think he's outplayed Cam.
I think he's ready. He's got a good line to protect him, he's had complete command of the offense throughout his game reps IMO, and has been challenged with running a lot of their personnel groupings and other situational football things and he's passed every test.
 

Super Nomario

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I just can't get on board with Cam being the starter if everything is equal between them. The ceiling for Mac in this offense is higher than with Cam IMO. I want to feel like they are building towards something at the QB position and if Mac spends the year on the bench, you will have wasted one year of his rookie contract while not even seeing if he's got the potential for being a franchise QB.
The team is going to be building towards something and seeing Mac's potential in practice even if he's not playing.
 

DJnVa

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Per the story in the link below, Mac was 29-34 in competitive snaps today, with 2 INTS.

First one on the QB, but off a deflection, second on, per Lazar, on Gunner.

After a shaky practice on Monday, first-round pick Mac Jones was much better today. Jones finished the session 29-of-34 with two interceptions in competitive 11-on-11s. He had a highlight throw to Jakobi Meyers, where the Pats’ rookie dropped a dime to Meyers on a slot fade from about 20 yards out with Jon Jones in tight coverage. The pass got a massive cheer from the entire offense and OC Josh McDaniels. Along with the dime to Meyers, Jones threw “hot” on two separate occasions, reading the pressure out quickly. On the first “hot” read, Jones knew his line was blocking down, and there would be an unblocked rusher on the backside if the defense blitzed. He read the blitz and got the ball out quickly to Sony Michel in the flat before Josh Uche could touch him. The second “hot” throw was to James White in the flat when Dont’a Hightower came through the middle of the line unblocked, and Kyle Van Noy dropped in coverage on the back. Jones knew his O-Line wasn’t accounting for Hightower and that White was releasing on a route, so he beat the unblocked rusher with his arm. On the two interceptions, the first pass was late and behind Gunner Olszewski, leading to a deflection into the hands of Devin McCourty. It looked like Jones held on Jonnu Smith’s route for an extra beat, but Smith didn’t go where Jones was expecting, and the rookie then went to Gunner. The second pick was more on Olszewski. Jones needed to get rid of the ball, and J.C. Jackson beat Gunner to the spot. Overall, Jones was sharp working against the starting defense and in a situation-heavy practice (two-minute, third down, red zone, etc.). The interceptions put a bit of a damper on things, but stacking together practices like that one will help Jones gain ground on Newton.

 

Soxy

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The team is going to be building towards something and seeing Mac's potential in practice even if he's not playing.
How many reps in practice do you expect him to get if Cam is the starter and Mac isn't playing? I can't imagine it would be very many. Once the season starts, there are only so many reps to go around. It's not like Cam wouldn't need those reps too, if he's the guy who is actually playing on Sundays.
 

DJnVa

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The Mac Jones audition continues as Cam Newton misses another day of Patriots training camp – The Athletic

For more context, the Patriots were very strict last week in Philadelphia – their first road trip of the summer – as they worked to ensure everyone in the traveling party abided by the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. So it has drawn a sentiment of frustration that the team’s starting quarterback had to miss a stretch of practices with less than three weeks to go until the regular-season opener.
But due to the COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players, Newton would be subjected to the five-day re-entry process if he becomes a close contact of someone who tests positive, so this scenario has to be crossing the minds of everyone on the staff.
 

SMU_Sox

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When he missed time last year it derailed the season. Newbie Cam fell way behind and the offense suffered. That wasn't the whole reason, the roster was shit last year in too many places, but you have to imagine the coaching staff will bake this into the calculation. How couldn't they? Availability at QB is kind of important... I was saying Cam should start but if Mac looks like he can hack it and Cam's unvaccinated status is a liability my own opinion is moving closer and closer to feeling like Mac should be the guy. Let's see what the practices this week and the game looks like but right now I feeling a little more sure that Mac should be the guy.
 

scottyno

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BB's Monday morning interview on WEEI suggested he was approaching PS-3 the same way as in years past. It remains to be seen, however.
I wouldn't be surprised, the time between PS-3 and the regular season opener is about the same this year as it was in the past give or take a day or 2
 

scottyno

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I just can't get on board with Cam being the starter if everything is equal between them. The ceiling for Mac in this offense is higher than with Cam IMO. I want to feel like they are building towards something at the QB position and if Mac spends the year on the bench, you will have wasted one year of his rookie contract while not even seeing if he's got the potential for being a franchise QB.
This assume that watching from the bench doesn't improve his chances of being a franchise QB down the line by calling it a waste. If they're equal I think it makes way more sense to start Cam. If Cam is bad then you just go to Jones after a few weeks and you haven't really lost much. If you announce Jones the starter then you probably lose Cam, either that he's released or that he mentally checks out on the season, and then if Jones starts badly what do you do? You're screwed for this year and hopefully you haven't screwed up your rookie QB for an extended period.
 

rodderick

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This assume that watching from the bench doesn't improve his chances of being a franchise QB down the line by calling it a waste. If they're equal I think it makes way more sense to start Cam. If Cam is bad then you just go to Jones after a few weeks and you haven't really lost much. If you announce Jones the starter then you probably lose Cam, either that he's released or that he mentally checks out on the season, and then if Jones starts badly what do you do? You're screwed for this year and hopefully you haven't screwed up your rookie QB for an extended period.
Why shouldn't that be assumed? Sitting and watching in lieu of being thrown into the fire could be beneficial for a guy who isn't ready to play, but is he's deemed ready, just play him.

Dealing with real live action on a football field is obviously a much better tool for development than sitting and watching, unless maybe your team is such a trash heap that you can potentially give your QB the David Carr syndrome even if he's not totally lost out there. But the roster is good and Belichick is the coach, Mac obviously doesn't gain anything by sitting that he wouldn't gain from playing.